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Everyone can breed such an exotic bird as guinea fowl. It is unpretentious, advantageous in feeding and can tolerate frost well. It is chosen for its high quality eggs and dietary lean meat. The bird is fully adapted for home keeping. The main thing is to adhere to the basic rules for breeding guinea fowls at home, to provide free range, food, and a heated room.
Guinea fowls belong to the category of large birds, the mass of adults varies from 1.5 to 2 kg. For one guinea fowl, the owner spends from 3 to 3.5 kg of feed per 1 kg of weight. There are several varieties of breeds, but the common ancestor here is the common guinea fowl. Among the main types:
- Gray speckled. The plumage color is gray with a white speck. The body is oval. The mass of females is 1.5-1.6 kg, that of a male is 1.8 kg. Sexual maturity occurs by 8 months. The average egg production is 90 eggs, each weighing 45-47 g. The color of the meat is bluish, the taste is high.
- Zagorskaya. This is one of the most valuable breeds. Guinea fowls are distinguished by their large size, high egg production - up to 140 eggs per year. The weight of the female is 2 kg, that of the male is 2.5 kg. A characteristic feature is a white breast. The bird is unpretentious in its content, it is not afraid of either cold or heat. The meat is of high quality, the eggs are subject to long-term storage and transportation. To breed this breed, a Moscow rooster and a gray-speckled guinea fowl were used.
- White Siberian. The breed is relatively new, it is distinguished by a white color with a slight splash. Its popularity was brought by high rates of egg production - up to 170 pieces per year. The weight of the female is about 2.1 kg, that of the male is 2 kg.
- Creamy. According to external data, the creamy guinea fowl is very similar to the Siberian white. It is only distinguished by its smaller size, rich dark color of the carcass. Basically, the color of the guinea fowl is white-cream, but there is also a yellowish tint. The weight of an adult female is 1.65 kg, that of a male is 1.75 kg. Egg production rates vary from 80 to 100 pieces throughout the year. The color of the eggs is also cream, the weight of each is from 44 g. The percentage of their hatchability is 70%.
- Blue. The breed is less common. She has an interesting appearance: a blue color, in comparison with the body, the head is very small in size, there is a pink comb. Egg production indicators are good - 100-150 pieces per year from one guinea fowl. The weight of one egg is almost 45 g. The fertility rate reaches 75%. The breed is suitable for both artificial and natural reproduction.
- Yellow. The color of the guinea fowl fully corresponds to the name of the breed - pale yellow. Only at the neck and chest is a yellow-red tint visible. An adult female weighs about 1.8 kg, a male - 1.5 kg. In one year, the guinea fowl is able to bring up to 100 eggs, each weighing 45 g.
- Volzhskaya white. For breeding work, productive individuals of the white Siberian guinea fowl were involved. Breeders are attracted by the high taste of meat, excellent presentation. Guinea fowl is not demanding on nutrition, it is able to quickly gain weight. Of the shortcomings, a weak egg production, difficulties in identifying sex are distinguished. The bird has short legs, an elongated body, and a small head. The beak and catkins are pink, and the plumage ranges from white to cream. There are specimens with dark feathers. The weight of the female is 1.9 kg, that of the male is 1.6 kg. Per year, the egg production of a bird can reach 100 eggs. The percentage of their hatchability is almost 80%.
- Blue lilac. A characteristic feature of the breed is the color of the feathers - a pronounced indigo color with white blotches. Strong pubescence in the region of the neck and chest. An adult female weighs 2.5 kg, a male 2 kg. The advantage of the breed is its high egg production rates, they amount to 150 pieces in one year. The weight of each is almost 45 g. Due to the hard shell, the eggs are suitable for long-term storage and transportation.
- White. Guinea fowls of this breed are distinguished by their white color, there are no blotches or spots on the feathers. The beak and earrings are colored unevenly, at the base it is a deep pink color, and towards the end it is white. The male weighs about 1.5 kg, while the female weighs 1.8 kg. Egg production rates in an adult guinea fowl vary from 90 to 100 pieces per year, each weighing 42-45 g. The shell is dense, there are many small dots.
The subtleties of keeping birds
Breeding guinea fowls at home is not difficult, even a beginner can handle them. The main thing is to take into account that these are birds with increased activity, freedom-loving, used to graze in meadows. To keep them productive, you should organize walking in the open air.
Guinea fowls can also stay in an enclosed space, but then you should not expect high egg production rates, as well as fertilization.
In order for the sexual activity of individuals to be at a sufficient level, space is needed to conduct their mating games.
Arrangement of a poultry house and a walking yard
For the normal cultivation of guinea fowls at home, breeders equip a room where the birds will rest and spend the night. An existing outbuilding is suitable for these purposes; in its absence, a new one is being erected. The main thing is that the poultry house is insulated, located on a hill, otherwise it will be damp in autumn and spring. And the presence of mold will only provoke the development of dangerous diseases in poultry.
To prevent the appearance of mold on the floor, it is treated with slaked lime. Spend for 1 sq. m area of 1 kg of the drug. After all the preparatory measures, a layer of straw or dried grass, sawdust is laid. It is optimal to place perches for guinea fowl at a height of 50 cm from the floor. It is necessary to take into account that only 5 females can be placed on 1 m of the perch.
In the room, you need to provide a bedding that will effectively absorb moisture and warm in winter. For guinea fowls, lovers of free walking, an appropriate aviary is required. Fencing it with a metal mesh, the height of the structure should be up to two meters. If it is lower, then the birds will fly safely. In addition, it is necessary to provide a canopy that will save the guinea fowl from direct sunlight and precipitation.
Everyone can keep an exotic bird at home, if you maintain a comfortable indoor microclimate, correctly install drinkers and feeders. Guinea fowls should have easy access to them. Clean water is especially necessary for birds during the hot season, otherwise they will simply overheat.
The house should also clean the water and feed containers with disinfectants once a month. Where guinea fowls live, it should always be dry and clean. If you plan to contain not one, but several breeds, then the room should be zoned. These birds have a strong sense of rivalry.
To increase the egg production rates, the area is calculated taking into account 1 sq. m for 2-3 individuals. In the cold season, the guinea fowls cluster together. If the temperature in the house drops, it is necessary to ventilate. The bird opens its beak, spreads its wings, anoints itself on the floor in this state. For guinea fowls in the poultry house, the humidity level is maintained within 60-70%, and the temperature regime is from 18 to 30 degrees.
Features of caring for guinea fowl
In order to properly care for a guinea fowl at home, you need to know some subtleties. Particular attention should be paid to the choice of the breed, it is better to give preference to the Siberian white, Zagorsk white-breasted. At the age of three months, young individuals already weigh 1.3 kg. The adult livestock gains weight up to 2 kg, the female surpasses the male in weight.
Guinea fowls know their flock very well, they are always grouped. They know their master, when he appears, they begin to bawl. Such birds may well act as a watchman, they determine a stranger from afar. They are unpretentious and economical in feeding. It is important for them to spend the night and rest in the poultry house, where it is dry, there is bedding and comfortable perches. Due to the simplicity of their content, they can be safely bred even on a personal plot. Nearby copses are suitable for free walking.
How is the parent flock formed?
The parent herd includes one male and several females. Most often, it is possible to distinguish them by weight. Females are larger in size, more in weight. But they have other distinctive features:
- constantly "talking";
- are in a tilted position (looking for food);
- the presence of a graceful beak;
- straight head;
- delicate earrings under the beak.
To accurately determine the sex of the guinea fowl, you need to carefully turn the chick, open the cloaca. In males, the presence of a small tubercle can be traced. When the head of the herd is found, they look for two-year-old females, 5-6 are enough. The family is organized free-range.
The mating process in guinea fowls in a closed poultry house does not occur, which must be taken into account when breeding them. The eggs that are to be hatched for the next generation are collected and stored vertically. The main thing is that the blunt end is facing up. In addition, the eggs must be kept clean, otherwise any dirt will only clog the pores, which will slow down the normal development of the embryo. You need to assemble the eggs before noon.
Zarechny Maxim Valerievich
Agronomist with 12 years of experience. Our best summer cottage expert.
There are situations when there is no brood hen. The eggs are then placed in an incubator for 29 days. The main thing is to turn them regularly. In order for the hatching of chicks to be successful, it is necessary to provide them with increased humidity.
This poultry does not require a special diet. She eats insects, worms, plant food with pleasure. Vegetables, fruits are cut, crushed, grass is the same. For guinea fowls, the ratio of vegetable and dry food is important, the first should be more - 60%. The main thing is greens.
Zarechny Maxim Valerievich
Agronomist with 12 years of experience. Our best summer cottage expert.
The exotic bird helps to eliminate pests such as the Colorado potato beetle, snails, caterpillars. But first, the beetles are added to the food so that they get used to them.
In summer, there are no problems with food at all. Guinea fowls are able to independently seek food for themselves in meadows, free-range. It is both economical and effective for the health of the livestock. But in the fall and winter, it is required to add blood meal, wet meat waste, dairy products, cereals, fish oil to the feed. Such supplements will avoid the development of vitamin deficiency during this period. If the guinea fowl is grown in this way at home, the profit will be guaranteed.
Bird breeding rules in detail for beginners
To raise guinea fowls without loss, you need to know how to choose the right chicks. It is better to take them already grown, at the age of 2-3 days, from experienced livestock breeders. When buying, each chick is carefully examined - they must be lively, healthy, active. The skin should not have naked areas, various kinds of damage. The seller should check the main points of nutrition, what kind of food is common for these chickens.
For beginners, it is better to breed a herd of 18-20 chicks. It is recommended to buy them in the spring. So they will have the opportunity to eat more plant food, walk in the fresh air. The fewer the Caesarians, the easier and faster they can adapt to new conditions, the owner. At first, the chicks are still supported with wet feed (during the day) and compound feed (in the evening).
At what age are guinea fowls slaughtered for meat
The bird grows quickly, for 1 kg of weight it needs 3-3.5 kg of food. At the age of 3 months, their average weight is 1.1-1.3 kg. Guinea fowls live up to slaughter for 5 months, females already weigh 1.5, and males - 2 kg.
In the absence of proper care, feeding irregularities, non-observance of the rules for keeping the guinea fowl begin to get sick. Most often this happens due to untimely cleaning of the room. Bird droppings are a source of pathogenic microflora development. And pathogens are easily tolerated by rats and mice.
Poultry is prone to trichomoniasis, mycoplasmosis, pullorosis, pasteurellosis. With reduced immunity, there is a danger of infection with parasites, in which case the doctor prescribes appropriate medications. In order to prevent the development of infectious diseases, such agents as "Baytril", "Enroxil" are added to the water.
Is the business profitable?
Breeding guinea fowls at home is beneficial. Even a beginner can handle them. Among the advantages of their content are:
- high egg production throughout the year;
- the ability to keep in personal plots;
- economical feed consumption;
- unpretentiousness in nutrition;
- high nutritional value of eggs;
- free range;
- self-production of feed;
- strong immunity;
- quick adaptability to new conditions;
- increased resistance to adverse environmental factors;
- good contact with other domestic animals (chickens, quails, geese);
- dietary meat;
- high-calorie eggs do not provoke allergic reactions;
Attract novice businessmen and minimal financial costs at the start. A bird at the age of 4-5 weeks will cost about 500 rubles. And you can sell an adult guinea fowl for 3-4 thousand rubles. This business will be especially profitable in rural areas where there are pastures and meadows. You can sell not only eggs and carcasses, but also live birds, feathers, fertilized eggs.
Although guinea fowls are not demanding on nutrition, conditions of detention, the young generation will have to tinker with. First of all, the difficulties relate to the collection of eggs. They can be found in various corners of the walk, garden. During the incubation period, it is important not to frighten off females, when they are disturbed, they abandon future offspring, leave the nests. To be sure to hatch chicks, it is better to place the eggs in an incubator, under the brooding hen.
Growing guinea fowls at home is profitable and not troublesome. The main thing is to choose healthy chicks and provide them with free range, good nutrition. There are many decent breeds on the market, but the Zagorsk and gray-speckled ones remain the priority.