Difference between revisions of "Guinea Fowl"

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The Guinea Fowl family is a group of insect and seed eating, ground nesting birds rather similar to partridges. They have featherless heads and in the original form, spangled grey plumage. Nowadays there are many more colours available. They are large birds which measure from 40-71 cm in length, and weigh 700-1600 g.
+
The Guinea Fowl family is a group of insect and seed eating, ground nesting birds rather similar to partridges. [[Image:Cinnamon Female.JPG|170px|right]]
 +
They have featherless heads and, in the original form, spangled grey plumage. Nowadays there are many more colours
 +
available.  
  
Origin: Africa
+
They are large birds which measure from 40-71 cm in length, and weigh 700-1600 gms.
 +
 
 +
'''Origin''': Africa
 +
 
 +
Photo from Backyard Poultry website [http://www.backyardpoultry.com] Cinnamon Female courtesy Trevor Hunt 2006
 +
 
 +
 
 +
== History ==
 +
 
 +
Guinea Fowl, which originated in Africa, were domesticated more than 4000 years ago, and in Roman times regarded as a table delicacy. They were spread across Europe in two waves, firstly by the Romans. In Greek mythology two Caledonian women were killed and turned into Guinea Fowl. Their tears turned into the white spots on the Guinea Fowl plumage. Following the fall of the Roman Empire their popularity died out until Portuguese traders reintroduced them around the 15th century and they have remained ever since.
  
  
 
== Colours ==
 
== Colours ==
  
According to the Guinea Fowl International Association, there are 22 colour varieties varying from Fully Pearled, Partially Pearled through to Solid.
+
According to the Guinea Fowl International Association, there are 25 colour varieties ranging from Fully Pearled (dotted), to Partially Pearled through to Solid.
  
 
There is a fantastic Colour Chart here listing the following colours (not all available in Australia)
 
There is a fantastic Colour Chart here listing the following colours (not all available in Australia)
Fully Pearled
+
 
 +
 
 +
 
 +
'''''Fully Pearled'''''
 +
 
 
Pearled Grey
 
Pearled Grey
 +
 
Pied Pearled Grey
 
Pied Pearled Grey
 +
 
Lavender
 
Lavender
 +
 
Light Lavender
 
Light Lavender
 +
 
Porcelain
 
Porcelain
 +
 
Brown
 
Brown
Buff
 
  
Partially Pearled
+
Buff Dundotte
 +
 
 +
Cinnamon
 +
 
 +
 
 +
 
 +
'''''Partially Pearled'''''
 +
 
 
Royal Purple
 
Royal Purple
 +
 
Bronze
 
Bronze
 +
 
Coral Blue
 
Coral Blue
 +
 
Light Blue
 
Light Blue
Opaline  
+
 
Chocolat
+
Opaline
 +
 
 +
Chocolate
 +
 
 
Buff
 
Buff
 +
 
Blonde
 
Blonde
  
Solid
+
 
 +
 
 +
'''''Solid'''''
 +
 
 
Violet
 
Violet
 +
 
Slate
 
Slate
 +
 
Sky Blue
 
Sky Blue
 +
 
Powder Blue
 
Powder Blue
 +
 
White
 
White
 +
 
Copper
 
Copper
 +
 
Pewter
 
Pewter
 +
 
Pastel
 
Pastel
 +
 +
Ivory
 +
 +
 +
== Comments ==
  
 
'''Eggs'''
 
'''Eggs'''
Guinea eggs are small and quite pointed at one end with extremely hard shells. They taste very similar to Chook eggs.
 
  
'''Comments'''
+
Guinea eggs are small and quite pointed at one end with extremely hard shells. They taste very similar to chook eggs.
Some of the advantages of Guinea Fowl:
+
 
• They act as very efficient watch dogs and are constantly on guard.
+
 
• They will pick up a large part of their own food during the warmer months if given space.
+
'''Some Advantages of Guinea Fowl''':
• In the winter they eat less grain then most domestic fowl.
+
 
• They carry few of the diseases dangerous to other domestic fowl.
+
• They act as very efficient watch dogs and are constantly on guard
• Guinea Fowl eggs are considered a delicacy and have a good flavour.
+
 
• Guinea Fowl meat is classed as a game meat and described by many as half way between a free range chicken and a pheasant and commands premium rates.
+
• They will pick up a large part of their own food during the warmer months if given space
 +
 
 +
• In the winter they eat less grain then most domestic fowl
 +
 
 +
• They carry few of the diseases dangerous to other domestic fowl
 +
 
 +
• Guinea Fowl eggs are considered a delicacy and have a good flavour  
 +
 
 +
• Guinea Fowl meat is classed as a game meat and described by many as halfway between a free range chicken and a pheasant, and commands premium rates
 +
 
  
 
'''Some Disadvantages of Guinea Fowl''':
 
'''Some Disadvantages of Guinea Fowl''':
 +
 
• They can be very noisy
 
• They can be very noisy
 +
 
• They can roam large distances
 
• They can roam large distances
 +
 
• They are flighty and difficult to tame (although can be trained to come to food)
 
• They are flighty and difficult to tame (although can be trained to come to food)
 +
 
• The lay eggs seasonally
 
• The lay eggs seasonally
 +
 
• Broodies are easily taken by foxes
 
• Broodies are easily taken by foxes
 +
 
• Happiest in flocks
 
• Happiest in flocks
  
  
== History ==
+
'''Suitability''':  Need room to roam to be happy, and as they are flock birds are happiest with a group of companions. If they are brought up with chooks they will happily be a part of their flock. They can be very noisy so are not really suited to suburban backyards.
  
Guinea Fowl, which originated in Africa, were domesticated more than 4000 years ago, and in Roman times regarded as a table delicacy. They were spread across Europe in two waves, firstly by the Romans. In Greek mythology two Caledonian women were killed and turned into Guinea Fowl. Their tears turned into the white spots on the Guinea Fowl plumage. Following the fall of the Roman Empire their popularity died out until Portuguese traders re introduced them around the 15th century and they have remained ever since.
 
  
 
'''Exhibition'''
 
'''Exhibition'''
Male and Female
 
Head
 
Short and broad with the helmet on the top. A narrow band of hairlike plumage runs down the back of the head and neck. Nostrils are prominent. Beak is short, stout and well curved. Eyes are to be large, round and alert. Wattles stiff, wide, smooth, and free from wrinkles or folds. The Male helmet and wattles are usually larger than the female.
 
  
'''Legs and Feet'''
+
'''Male and Female'''
Shanks fairly short and unfeathered. Toes straight, well spread and strong.
+
  
'''Serious Defects'''
+
'''Head''':  Short and broad with the helmet on the top. A narrow band of hairlike plumage runs down the back of the head and neck. Nostrils are prominent. Beak is short, stout and well curved. Eyes are to be large, round and alert. Wattles stiff, wide, smooth, and free from wrinkles or folds. The Male helmet and wattles are usually larger than the female.
Crooked back or breast. Decidedly wry tail. Want of size. Any other deformity.  
+
  
'''Suitability'''
+
'''Legs & Feet''': Shanks fairly short and unfeathered. Toes straight, well spread and strong.
Need room to roam to be happy, and as they are flock birds are happiest with a group of companions. If they are brought up with chooks they will happily be a part of a flock of chooks. They can be very noisy so are not really suited to suburban backyards.
+
 
 +
'''Serious Defects''': Crooked back or breast. Decidedly wry tail. Want of size. Any other deformity.  
  
  
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Reference - The Australian Poultry Standards, First Edition
 
Reference - The Australian Poultry Standards, First Edition
  
http://www.guineafowlinternational.org/
+
Guinea Fowl International website[http://www.guineafowlinternational.org]
http://www.guineafowlinternational.org/colorchart/
+
 
http://www.guineafowlinternational.org/articles/genetics.php
+
Guinea Fowl International Colour Chart [http://www.guineafowlinternational.org/colorchart]
http://www.guineafowlinternational.org/articles/
+
 
http://ukguineafowl.co.uk/
+
Guinea Fowl International Genetics [http://www.guineafowlinternational.org/articles/genetics.php]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guineafowl
+
 
 +
Guinea Fowl International Articles [http://www.guineafowlinternational.org/articles]
 +
 
 +
United Kingdom Guinea Fowl [http://ukguineafowl.co.uk]
 +
 
 +
Wikipedia Guinea Fowl page [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guineafowl]
 +
 
 +
Backyard Poultry forum breed profile by NellyG [http://forum.backyardpoultry.com/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=7973785&p=248781#p248781]

Latest revision as of 09:13, 22 July 2013

Contents

Description

The Guinea Fowl family is a group of insect and seed eating, ground nesting birds rather similar to partridges.
Cinnamon Female.JPG

They have featherless heads and, in the original form, spangled grey plumage. Nowadays there are many more colours available.

They are large birds which measure from 40-71 cm in length, and weigh 700-1600 gms.

Origin: Africa

Photo from Backyard Poultry website [1] Cinnamon Female courtesy Trevor Hunt 2006


History

Guinea Fowl, which originated in Africa, were domesticated more than 4000 years ago, and in Roman times regarded as a table delicacy. They were spread across Europe in two waves, firstly by the Romans. In Greek mythology two Caledonian women were killed and turned into Guinea Fowl. Their tears turned into the white spots on the Guinea Fowl plumage. Following the fall of the Roman Empire their popularity died out until Portuguese traders reintroduced them around the 15th century and they have remained ever since.


Colours

According to the Guinea Fowl International Association, there are 25 colour varieties ranging from Fully Pearled (dotted), to Partially Pearled through to Solid.

There is a fantastic Colour Chart here listing the following colours (not all available in Australia)


Fully Pearled

Pearled Grey

Pied Pearled Grey

Lavender

Light Lavender

Porcelain

Brown

Buff Dundotte

Cinnamon


Partially Pearled

Royal Purple

Bronze

Coral Blue

Light Blue

Opaline

Chocolate

Buff

Blonde


Solid

Violet

Slate

Sky Blue

Powder Blue

White

Copper

Pewter

Pastel

Ivory


Comments

Eggs

Guinea eggs are small and quite pointed at one end with extremely hard shells. They taste very similar to chook eggs.


Some Advantages of Guinea Fowl:

• They act as very efficient watch dogs and are constantly on guard

• They will pick up a large part of their own food during the warmer months if given space

• In the winter they eat less grain then most domestic fowl

• They carry few of the diseases dangerous to other domestic fowl

• Guinea Fowl eggs are considered a delicacy and have a good flavour

• Guinea Fowl meat is classed as a game meat and described by many as halfway between a free range chicken and a pheasant, and commands premium rates


Some Disadvantages of Guinea Fowl:

• They can be very noisy

• They can roam large distances

• They are flighty and difficult to tame (although can be trained to come to food)

• The lay eggs seasonally

• Broodies are easily taken by foxes

• Happiest in flocks


Suitability: Need room to roam to be happy, and as they are flock birds are happiest with a group of companions. If they are brought up with chooks they will happily be a part of their flock. They can be very noisy so are not really suited to suburban backyards.


Exhibition

Male and Female

Head: Short and broad with the helmet on the top. A narrow band of hairlike plumage runs down the back of the head and neck. Nostrils are prominent. Beak is short, stout and well curved. Eyes are to be large, round and alert. Wattles stiff, wide, smooth, and free from wrinkles or folds. The Male helmet and wattles are usually larger than the female.

Legs & Feet: Shanks fairly short and unfeathered. Toes straight, well spread and strong.

Serious Defects: Crooked back or breast. Decidedly wry tail. Want of size. Any other deformity.


Sources & Links

Reference - The Australian Poultry Standards, First Edition

Guinea Fowl International website[2]

Guinea Fowl International Colour Chart [3]

Guinea Fowl International Genetics [4]

Guinea Fowl International Articles [5]

United Kingdom Guinea Fowl [6]

Wikipedia Guinea Fowl page [7]

Backyard Poultry forum breed profile by NellyG [8]