Raising guinea fowl can be a lot of fun. If you’ve raised chicks in the past, guinea fowl are a fantastic way to add some different birds into your flock with some unique benefits. Guinea fowl are interesting to look at, will eat up ticks and other insects around your yard, and are relatively low maintenance animals.
Guinea fowl are also good eaters who will take down pretty much anything that you throw at them. Can they eat bread? It is safe for guinea fowl to eat bread, vegetables, rice, and really anything else off of your table that you don’t eat.
Of course, as with any animal, you don’t want to only feed them bread. Adding diversity into their diet will help them get the vitamins and other nutrients they need to stay healthy and strong. Let’s talk a bit about what you can feed your guinea fowl to keep them in the best possible shape.
Feeding Baby Guinea Fowl
Before you raise any animals, you need to know what you’re going to feed them. It will increase the odds of seeing them through the critical first few months that you have them whether you’re adopting adults or raising babies.
Getting them the right food will keep them healthy and help them transition into the new environment.
One thing to remember when raising baby guinea fowl is that these are not baby chicks. They are better off eating game bird feed that typically has a higher level of protein than poultry feed for chickens.
Other birds like guinea fowl, turkeys, etc., need more protein to survive. Without the right protein, they can stop growing and die.
Try to find a feed that has around 25 percent protein mix for their first month or two of life. Once they reach around five weeks old, then you can switch their feed to a game bird feed that has a lower protein mix.
Transitioning to an Adult Diet
You have more freedom in what your guinea fowls can eat as they get older. You can keep buying them poultry feed, but you can also start introducing a lot of leftovers and other feeds that will cost you less money.
Guinea fowl are omnivorous animals. They can eat a mix of animal and plant products. They’ll eat leftover eggs, chicken, pork, and other meats, as well as a wide range of vegetables like lettuce, carrots, potatoes, corn, etc.
Your guinea fowl will also find a lot of things to eat as they range on your property. Whether you live in a suburban setting or on a farm with large fields, guinea fowl are adept hunters. They’ll track down and eat things like worms, snails, frogs, snakes, and all sorts of insects.
They also love eating weed seeds, nuts, and any grains you drop on the ground for them. Their love for seeds can be a challenge when you are trying to plant crops or a garden.
You may want to keep them out of the area to give your plants time to sprout. Otherwise, they will peck through the topsoil and find their way to the seeds.
Feeding Your Guinea Fowl Bread
Feeding your guinea fowl bread can be a nice treat for the birds. Even if the bread is hard, they’ll peck at it until it’s small enough to eat. You can help them out a bit by breaking it up into smaller pieces so it’s easier for them to swallow, but they’ll do a lot of the work themselves.
One thing you can and should do is monitor how they respond to any type of food that you introduce into their diet. Put some bread into their pen or where they are foraging and see how they like it. If they don’t take to it quickly, try making it into smaller pieces and go from there.
You can regularly update how you are serving food to your birds to make sure they have a diet that works for them.
Remember, bread is a good source of calories for humans and animals, but it’s not always a nutrient-rich food. If you’re worried about getting your birds a healthier diet because there isn’t a lot to forage on your property, get them the protein and vitamins they need from animal products, vegetables, or a poultry feed that you can buy in stores.
Always Make Sure They Have Fresh Water
Keeping your water clean and fresh is a must for raising guinea fowl. If the water sits for too long, gets bird droppings in it, or isn’t fresh, they won’t drink it. And if they do, the water can make them sick and die.
Change the water regularly to make sure they’ll always have clean water to drink.
Also, don’t feed your birds water that is very cold. It can kill young guinea fowl, and they also don’t enjoy drinking it all that much. To encourage them to drink plenty of water, keep it clean, at a good temperature, and put it in a prominent place where it is easy to find it.
Raising guinea fowl isn’t as complicated as you might think. Their diet is relatively simple and these are low maintenance birds that can be a fantastic addition to your property.
They’re a great early warning system against predators, will kill mosquitos and other bugs on your property, and are lovely to look at.
Take things slowly and with a bit of trial and error, you’ll have some great new birds as part of your flock!