The planet has many bird species with the Guinea Fowl being one of them. This strange-looking bird is unique in all aspects and once seen, it can never be forgotten. The guinea Fowl has a completely different temperament when compared to chickens and it can never be raised as a pet. But, other than its looks and personality, this bird lays eggs. So, what color are Guinea Fowl eggs?
Well, that’s exactly what we’ll discuss today. You see, identifying Guinea Fowl eggs is essential if you’re planning to raise them or if you already have them as part of your flock. This way, you won’t confuse the eggs with those of your chickens.
Speaking of the egg color, Guinea fowl eggs are light brown or creamy white. Sometimes, the eggs might have brown spots or speckles that are light or dark in color. That said, if you’re interested in raising this wacky loud-mouthed bird, then keep reading for we have a lot of information lined up for you.
What Is a Guinea?
A Guinea Fowl is an interesting bird that comes in several contrasting colors that including shades of pearl, white, and lavender. On its head, this bird has a combination of blue, red, and black makeup that gives it a somewhat clownish appearance.
But, other than the coat colors, this bird has an aggressive temperament when it’s displeased. I guess this is why it has such a bad reputation, especially among neighbors. While most birds are gentle and docile, this one is very arrogant and doesn’t enjoy being held.
Therefore, you should note that these birds are very noisy making them the worst choice if you have neighbors around.
Types of Guinea Fowl
Six species of Guinea Fowls exist with the Helmeted Guinea Fowl being the only breed domesticated for its eggs and meat produce. Although the rest of the breeds are wild, some of them are raised but not for their produce but rather ornamentally as pets.
Helmeted Guinea Fowl
The reason why we started with the Helmeted Guinea Fowl is simply that it’s the only species that are widely domesticated. This species can be raised in the same flock with other birds if you need them for eggs and meat.
Unlike chickens, guinea fowls have a varied diet that consists of insects, pests, rodents, fruits, seeds, and tubers. They’re 21 to 23 inches high and they mostly enjoy living in large groups.
White-Breasted Guinea Fowl
The white-breasted guinea fowl is another species that’s found in the forested parts of Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Ghana. This species is the rarest to find and is in fact nearing extinction as most of its habitat forests are being destroyed. While deep in the forest, this bird feeds on seeds, rodents, insects, and reptiles.
Plumed Guinea Fowl
Standing at 17 inches, the plumed guinea fowl is admired for its white spots, large wattles, and straight black feathers on the head. This bird lives in the deep tropical forests of Africa. It has a shy nature that makes it quite challenging to study and monitor.
Crested Guinea Fowl
The crested guinea fowl has identical features to the plumed guinea fowl with the only difference being the fancy curly black feather crest on top of its head. In terms of behavior, this bird is gregarious and inquisitive making it easier to sight while in the wild. The crested guinea fowl lives in forested and grassland areas where it feeds on leaves, roots, fruits, and insects.
Black Guinea Fowl
The black guinea fowl is a species that’s shyer than the rest. It has an all-black body with a red or pink head. Due to its shyness, this bird prefers to hide on the thick forest floor where it’s hard to get spotted. Just like the other species, the black guinea fowl feed on seeds, fruits, rodents, and other forest vegetation.
Vulturine Guinea Fowl
Lastly, we have the vulturine guinea fowl. Now, this species is easy to identify, especially due to its bright blue, black, white, and brown plumage. The bird is outgoing and quite social. It travels in large flocks and it’s not shy thus making it easier to spot. This species is found in Central African forests where it feeds on insects, fruits, seeds, rodents, and other forest vegetation.
Do Guineas Lay Eggs?
Yes, they do. Guineas lay eggs as soon as they mature. This can be anywhere from 5-12 months. Just like chickens, guinea fowls are seasonal layers meaning they only lay eggs from spring through summer, when days are long, and rest during winter, when days are short.
Do Guinea Fowl Hens Lay Eggs Without a Rooster?
Just like chickens, farmers can collect guinea fowl eggs even without a rooster. Therefore, if you intend to keep guinea hens for meat and eggs, then you can consider having females only. However, if you’re planning to hatch keets, then the best option is to add guinea fowl roosters to your flock.
Now, when it comes to mixing guinea fowls, you should be very careful with the ratio. In most cases, you should observe a ratio of one rooster for five hens. Otherwise, keeping many roosters can lead to fights, as guinea roosters are very aggressive and territorial.
How Many Eggs Does a Guinea Fowl Lay?
Now, wild guinea fowls prefer to live in large flocks to protect themselves from predators. The same case applies to domesticated guineas.
When it comes to the number of eggs they lay, each bird lays around 90-130 eggs each year. Now, because of their wild instincts, guineas have one interesting characteristic—they practice communal laying. Therefore, a single laying box is enough to accommodate all the eggs from the laying hens.
What Does Guinea Eggs Look Like?
If you’ve decided to mix chickens and guineas in the same backyard space, then you’ll need to know what guinea eggs look like. Now, guinea fowl eggs are quite easy to identify. These eggs have a creamy white to light brown color that’s quite different from those of chickens.
The eggs are smaller in size and by looking at the shape, you’ll notice that they’re a little pointer at the top. The shells are also stronger than eggs from most other birds.
Guinea Hen Eggs vs. Chicken Eggs
The first major difference between guinea eggs and chicken eggs is their appearance. Guinea eggs are considered smaller and are pointer at the top than chicken eggs. The color of the shell is creamy white while that of chickens will depend on the breed.
- Shell Hardness
When it comes to the shells, the eggs of guineas are hard to crack. This is quite different from chickens whose egg shells are thinner and easy to crack. So, if you’re raising guinea fowls to sell the eggs, then there are higher chances your eggs will reach the stores without cracking or breaking.
If you’re wondering what does guinea eggs look like, then you can try cracking an egg and observing the yolk. Here, you’ll notice that guinea fowl eggs have a higher yolk to egg white ratio than chicken eggs. This makes guinea eggs creamier and tastier.
- Nutritional Value
Since guineas are birds of the wild, they’re good foragers with excellent free-ranging capabilities. These instincts allow these birds to hunt for seeds, fruits, insects, and rodents around the backyard. As a result, their eggs become healthier with high nutrients, proteins, and fats. Although chickens are also good free rangers, the nutritional value in their eggs can’t be compared to that of guinea fowls.
Guinea Egg Incubation
There are three interesting characteristics that make guinea fowls different from chickens. One, guineas lay their eggs communally where multiple hens lay eggs in one nest. Two, they practice communal brooding where hens take turns sitting on the eggs.
This is a type of defensive measure where the rest of the flock, especially roosters, watches out for oncoming predators. Lastly, guinea fowls have poor parenting instincts. This is demonstrated in various ways.
- One, the hens can tire and refuse to proceed with brooding even before the eggs hatch.
- Two, some hens can complete the brooding process and then neglect the keets as soon they’re hatched.
- Three, the mothers are poor when it comes to protecting the keets. In most cases, the keets die of hypothermia and predation before they’re 4 weeks old.
That said, raising guineas means that you must think of different methods of incubating the eggs if you wish to hatch them for chicks.
- Incubate the Eggs
The first method is to incubate the eggs yourself. Here, you’ll need to collect the fertilized eggs and incubate them the same way you do with chicken eggs. Once the keets are hatched, you can start to feed them with turkey starters.
- Let the Guinea Hens Incubate the Eggs
Alternatively, you can allow the guinea hens to get broody and sit on the fertilized eggs. Here, you should allow the eggs to accumulate in the laying nest before a broody guinea hen comes to sit on them. On average, guinea-hatching eggs take around 28 days to hatch.
- Add the Eggs to the Chicken Nest
We all know that Guineas aren’t good mothers. Therefore, instead of trusting them to incubate the eggs, you can leave a broody chicken to do the job instead. This usually takes 27 days after which the hen will take care of both her chicks and the guinea keets.
Can You Eat Guinea Eggs?
Yes, you can. Guinea fowl eggs are edible and in fact, they’re very delicious. However, these eggs are not largely available as chicken eggs are. Therefore, you’ll have to work extra hard to get them.
Something else about guinea eggs is that they’re fairly smaller than both chicken and duck eggs. Therefore, if you’re thinking of using them for baking, then you’ll need to adjust the measurements of other ingredients.
Cause for Not Guinea Eggs Readily Available
Now, most consumables usually come down to supply and demand. The same case applies to guinea eggs. First, guinea fowls are not good layers. Therefore, you’ll expect one guinea hen to lay approximately 100 eggs annually. This is very different from chickens, especially prolific egg-laying breeds, which lay a maximum of nearly 300 eggs annually.
Something else about guinea fowl eggs is that they’re small but very expensive. For instance, a dozen of chicken eggs might cost you $3 to $5 while a single guinea egg will cost you nearly $1. Therefore, due to high cost and low supply, guinea eggs are hence hard to find in your local stores.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. When Do Guineas Start Laying Eggs?
Guinea fowls start laying eggs when they’re at least 20-32 weeks old. Pullets begin laying eggs in spring and continue through summer when daylight hours are longer and temperatures warm. Since they’re seasonal, guinea fowls will lower their egg production during winter.
Q2. Do I Need a License to Sell Guinea Eggs?
Now, most products sold for human consumption require a consumer safety license. Since guinea fowl eggs aren’t exempted, it’s good to inquire about your state rules and regulations regarding this issue. While some states allow farmers to sell their produce directly to consumers, others have strict regulations that must be adhered to.
Q3. How Should I Feed My Guinea Fowls?
Guinea fowls require a high-protein diet of 24-28% in the first 4 weeks of their growth. From 5 weeks, you can reduce protein intake to 18-20% until they’re 8 weeks. From there, you can lower it further to 16%. When feeding them, it’s recommended that you give them to mash and crumbles instead of pellets. Lastly, avoid feeding your guinea fowls with medicated feeds, as they can be highly toxic.
So, what do guinea eggs look like? Well, from our discussion, guinea eggs are creamy white or light brown in color. The eggs are smaller, pointier, and hard-shelled as compared to those of chickens. Regarding taste, most people argue that guinea eggs are tasty and very nutritious.
Regarding their egg-laying capabilities, guinea fowls are not good layers as chickens. They’re seasonal and mostly lay around 100 eggs annually. With such a low production rate, it’s fair to say that guinea fowls can’t be kept for egg production but rather for pest control.
Hello, I am John Reid. I have been raising chickens for the last 15 years. I have got my experience from my father. My father is the owner of a large chicken farm. This is our family business that has been continuing for over 35 years. I am very interested in backyard chickens and I know how to take care of them. You can learn more About Us here. Happy Reading!!