Tue. Sep 27th, 2022
helmeted guinea fowl

Guineafowl is a domesticated bird belonging to the Genus Numida. It is a large African game bird with slate-colored, white-spotted plumage and a loud call. People domesticated Guinea fowl for egg and meat. Later many improved varieties were developed by breeders across the world. Egg production improved to 100-115 eggs in improved varieties from 40 -60 in wild varieties.

Similarly, improved varieties for meat purposes can be marketed at 12 weeks of age while they attain one-kilogram body weight. Many fanciers rear and breed these birds for show purpose. The meat of these birds have high demand due to its gamy flavour and fetch high value in the market. So rearing Guineafowl provides good consistent income to farmers. Proper knowledge of Guineafowl farming and market study is mandatory to get success in its farming.

Importance of Guineafowl farming are listed below,

  • Meat is Tasty. Commonly described as gamey favoured meat.
  • Birds are more adapted to various agroclimatic conditions and have more diseases resistance compared to chicken
  • It can be described as farmers’ friend as it helps to protect land and cultivation from insects, snakes and unauthorized intruders.
  • Both egg and meat of Guineafowl are nutritious.

GUINEA FOWL (ഗിനി കോഴി)

Guinea fowl often referred to as guineas, are gamebirds that are increasingly popular among keepers of small and backyard flocks. Guineas are vigorous, hardy, and largely disease-free birds. This is an important poultry species which helps to earn a good income to farmers in areas having good demand for its meat and egg.

Domestic guineafowls are also called as pintades, pearl hen, or gleanies.  Guinea fowl are native to the guinea coast of West Africa. They are the domesticated form of the helmeted guineafowl (Numida meleagris) and are related to other game birds such as the pheasants, turkeys and partridges. Although the timing of their domestication is unknown, evidence indicates that the domestication was done by the ancient Egyptians (about 1475 BC), Greeks (about 400 BC), and Romans (by AD 72). Then these birds were taken to other parts of the world by early settlers.

Is Guinea fowl same as chicken?

No, A guinea fowl is definitely not a chicken.

It is more active, ranges farther, and flies higher than a chicken.

Scientific classification

Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Galliformes
Family:Numididae
Genus:Numida
Species:N. meleagris

There are three species of guinea fowl:

  1. Vulturine guinea fowl (Acryilium vulturinum) are from the semi-arid regions of East Africa. The vulturine is not commonly raised in backyard as it is more sensitive to cold and lacks the hardiness of the common guinea fowl. It has a helmet less head and resembles a vulture.
Vulturine Guinea fowl
Vulturine Guinea fowl

2.Crested guinea fowl (Guttera pucherani) are from South Af­rica. They can be distinguished from other guinea fowl by their black head plumes.

Crested Guinea Fowl

3. Helmeted guinea fowl (Numidae meleagris) is the most common species of guinea fowl. They are named for the bony “helmet” on their head (see Fig­ure 1). Only three colours are rec­ognized for exhibition purposes: Pearl, White and Lavender.

Helmeted Guinea fowl

Terminology

  1. Guinea cockerel: A male guinea less than a year old
  2. Guinea cock: An adult male guinea a year or older
  3. Guinea fowl: Proper name for the species
  4. Guinea hen: An adult female guinea a year or older
  5. Helmet: Protuberance on the head of some guinea fowl
  6. Guinea keet: Offspring of a guinea hen and a guinea cock from hatch through 12 weeks of age
  7. Poultry: Domestic fowl raised for meat or eggs
  8. Guinea pullet: A female guinea less than a year old
  9. Varieties: Differences in colour patterns or markings
  10. Young guinea: Any guinea 12 to 52 weeks old

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