Q:

What are the advantages of owning guinea fowl?

A:

Quick Answer

Guinea fowl provide organic pest control for farmers, ranchers and gardeners by eating unwanted insects such as ticks, wasps and beetles. Gardeners find that, unlike chickens, guinea fowl don't harm plants when they forage for insects. They also eat rodents and small snakes.

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Full Answer

Some farmers find guinea fowl to be a more low-maintenance alternative to chickens and turkeys. They are more resistant to disease than other types of poultry, since they are a free range species that is not raised commercially. In addition, they don't require feed since they find their own food, and their shelter requirements are simpler than those of chickens. They adapt easily to most environments.

Farmers refer to guinea fowl as "watch dogs," because they cackle loudly in alarm when strangers or predators approach. They have been known to drive off foxes and dogs as well. Ranchers use them to discourage rattlesnakes. They provide meat and eggs that are typically sold in gourmet restaurants rather than grocery stores. Cooks describe the meat as tasting similar to pheasant but less "gamey" and the eggs as tasting sweeter than chicken eggs. It is suspected that keeping guinea fowl reduces the presence of lyme-carrying ticks when combined with other precautions.

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