Guinea fowl belong to family Numididae and order Galliformes. These birds are native to Africa and are the oldest birds from Galliformes. Guinea fowl are very beneficial birds. They act as natural remedies to control pests and other insects further controlling the spread of Lyme disease. So they are widely domesticated. These domesticated birds include a variety of species like lavender, white, purple, coral blue, pewter, blonde, and pied guinea fowl.
This article is all about pied guinea fowls. This bird is a unique specie of guinea fowl. Its color combination is due to different types of mixed colors which means they are not pure breeds. They are crossed breed. To know more about pied Guinea fowls, read the article.
Pied Guinea Fowl- Habitat, lifestyle & Breeding
Just like all the other guinea fowl, this species also belongs to order Galliformes. This order also includes birds like turkeys, pheasants, quail, and chickens.
The Appearance of Pied Guinea Fowl:
Pied Guinea fowl is a medium-sized bird just like a hen. All the fowls in this order are almost the same. They range from 16 to 28 inches and weigh up to 3.5 pounds. they have a bulky body with stout bill and round wings. their legs are also thick and have powerful toes.
Pied guinea fowl is a crossbreed of guinea fowl. The color of this bird is white from the chest and wings and the upper part is brownish. This color combination gives it a pie like an appearance. Sometimes the color of the back of the bird also appears to be white.
The pied guinea also exhibits different colors like purple, buff, and chocolate.
It is a medium-sized bird just like other guinea fowls but has unique and beautiful feathers and appearance.
Although these fowls are edible most people breed this bird as a pet and as a pest control remedy. Further, just like other guinea fowls, pied guinea fowl is very noisy and that noise helps to prevent your garden from bugs, insects, and other predators.
Habitat of Pied Guinea Fowl:
As we know guinea fowls are native to Africa, so are pied guinea fowls. They are distributed across the Sahara region of Africa. They prefer to live in grassland, savannahs, forests, and semi-deserts. Although a pet bird they are distributed across the world on different farms and regions.
The average lifespan of guinea fowl including pied guinea is between 10 to 15 years. if managed in a proper environment they can survive up to 20 years.
The feed of Pied Guinea fowl:
Feeding pied guinea is not a big problem. These birds are omnivorous. It means they can eat animals as well as plants. Their diet most commonly includes insects, bugs, worms, fruits grass, and vegetables. Moreover, they can also eat rice.
If you are raising pied guinea at your home you can easily get this food from any store without spending much money. Vegetables and fruits are almost available in your home so getting them as well is not a big deal.
In the wild, they may forage and travel behind other animal troops and feed on manure, insects, or anything they found there. They also feed on leftovers of trees that fall off from the canopy.
Breeding of Pied Guinea fowl:
Pied guinea fowls usually mate from March to December, they form monogamous pairs. Male hump his back during courtship. In natural habitats, guinea makes their nest in the ground and cover it with weed and other vegetation.
The females lay 50 to 100 eggs in a year. Eggs take 26-28 days for incubation. After hatching young ones are born called Keets. The nestlings after hatching are on their own. These birds do not care about their babies and they have to feed on their own. But it protects them from predators.
Moreover, hens help them to raise their keets and take care of them. Keets are very vulnerable to extreme temperatures. So they need extensive care. Hens help them to keep them warm in cold weather and sometimes guinea help them to do so.
When these fowls are on the farm or in captivity owners take care of the need and provide proper shelter and temperature for the young ones as well as for adults.
Another unique trait of these birds is their ability to mate with other species of birds. They mate with other birds and produce an off-spring called hybrid. An example of this hybrid is “guin-hen” this is produced by the mating of a guinea fowl and hen.
Lifestyle and Behavior:
Pied guinea fowls are very active and quick. They defend can defend themselves and their keets very effectively by scratching, pecking their beak into the predator. They also flap their wings over the enemies to defend themselves. The major predators of this pied-guinea fowl are fox, hawks wild cats, wolves, and snakes.
Moreover, these fowls can fly high and are greater runners. they mostly spend their time on the ground searching for feed here and there.
They are very social and spend their time in flocks and roost together. 2000 individual can roost with each other at a time.
Calls and Sounds of Pied Guinea Fowl:
These fowls are very noisy. Male and female calls are very distinct. The male call includes a “kek-kek-kek” and “chi-chi-chi” sound whereas female calls are like “buck-wheat-buck-wheat”.
Their sound is so squeaky that it warns and keep hawks, raccoons, owls, and other predators away from them. Hence they are also known as “guard birds”. As they quickly predict the predator and warn each other so they are also kept own the farms to prevent them from invaders.
Source of protein and calories:
Pied guinea as well as other guinea fowls are a rich source of calories. It consists of more proteins and calories than that of chicken or turkey. Their meat is dry and has a gamey flavor. So they can also be consumed as a rich source of protein. But mostly they are kept as pet animals especially by farm owners to get rid of pests and bugs.
Eggs of these fowls also have a considerable amount of proteins and other essential minerals than the chicken egg.
Facts about pied guinea fowl:
- They lay almost 100 eggs in a year. But they lay eggs in 3 or 4 clutches. each clutch consists of 20 to 30 eggs.
- Guinea can lay eggs when it is just 20 weeks old. all it needs is a favorable weather condition.
- They are amazing alarms. they call off when there is a threat from predators. they have an exceptional instinct.
- These birds are most active during early morning and late in the afternoon,
- Pied guinea fowl are very social that they live in flocks. Moreover, they move in a line and follow their leader.
- The voice of this bird is very loud.
- They act as leaders and do not follow chickens or other birds. even they bully other birds
Pied guinea fowl are unique in color and appearance. They have a different color combination as a result of crossbreed. But these fowls are similar to all other guinea fowl species. They are equally beneficial and rich in proteins and calories.
They can be a means of meat. But They are primarily raised and used as pest control and night guards like all other members of this order.
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