Raising guinea fowl is a fun adventure for a lot of families. They are a great addition to any property and will add some unique flavor to your flock if you’ve already got some chickens, geese, or ducks.
Whether you’re raising adult guineas or keets, you need to pay special attention to their diet to keep them healthy and strong. A lot of people ask questions like, “Can a guinea fowl eat cereal?”, and other similar inquiries.
Guinea fowl certainly do love cereal, but you’ve got to make sure that you’re giving your birds a balanced diet that gives them all of the nutrients they need.
Before you raise an animal, you should know what and how to feed it. Don’t just figure it out as you go along. When they’re young, guinea keets can be very fragile, so feeding them healthy treats is key to getting them to bulk up quickly and stay strong.
Here are 9 healthy treats that you can give to your guineas and some information on how to prepare them best.
Guinea Fowl Are Omnivorous Birds
First of all, we should point out that guinea fowl will eat a variety of both plant and animal products. They will eat things like insects, worms, etc., but they also spend much of their days grazing and looking for any berries hanging off of bushes.
A guinea fowl will take down a frog or a snail, but they’re also searching for seeds and grains in fields. That’s one of the reasons why guinea fowl are so attracted to farmland. They can find a decent mix of tiny animals and plant-based foods to munch on.
In the wild, these birds can’t be selective about what they eat. They are mainly foragers and will attack anything they see crawling that’s small enough to fit in their mouths. If you’re raising guineas, recognize that a typical wild guinea eats fairly boring food most of the time.
They’re not exactly drowning in things like raspberries or blueberries. Giving them these types of foods is the perfect healthy treat for your birds. They’ll find them delicious, and it’s not something that they don’t get every day.
Healthy Snacks Guinea Fowl Love
People raise guinea fowl for several reasons. One of the most popular is that guinea fowl are an excellent source of natural pest control. If your garden is infested with bugs, for instance, a few guinea fowl will track them down and eradicate the insect problem.
They’re also a fantastic way to get rid of ticks in your grass or bushes. That gives parents peace of mind letting dogs or children out to play in the woods or the yard. If you need a natural alarm system, a guinea fowl will make a lot of noise anytime something strange comes into your yard.
Guinea fowl are wild animals though. They aren’t the same thing as chickens. They will range farther and it can be hard to get them back to their coop at night.
This is where healthy treats come in. You can use these treats to lure them back when you need to shelter them for the evening. Here are some of the treats you can use:
1. Bird Feed
Guinea fowl are basic animals. You don’t need to serve up ice cream sundaes or expensive fruits like cherries to get them to come back.
Usually, a handful of bird feed will do the trick. You can find guinea bird feed online or in a lot of animal supply stores. If you can’t find something specifically for guineas, chances are they will respond well to chicken or duck feed too.
If you own chickens, then you know how excited they get whenever they see or smell mealworms. Birds absolutely love these things. They’ll prefer them alive to dead, but they’ll eat them either way.
Mealworms are one of the best treats for guinea fowl, and they’ll come running if they notice them. They’re also a fantastic source of protein for the birds. You can find them online or at pet stores near you.
Don’t toss that old rice just yet. Guineas love rice and will peck at the ground until each grain is in their stomachs. It doesn’t matter if it’s white rice or brown, they’ll love it.
You can either put it in a bowl and leave it for them or spread it out in a small area to accommodate all of the birds that will likely come at the same time.
Feeding watermelon to guinea fowl is a ton of fun because it will take them longer to get through the fruit and you may be able to get closer up to watch them feed.
Watermelon is a relatively affordable fruit for most of the year, and you can buy one big enough depending on the number of birds you have.
It may seem weird to feed cooked chicken meat to other birds, but remember, these are omnivorous birds that are used to going without. They’ll eat chicken in a heartbeat.
Make sure that you cut the pieces down to size so it’s easy for them to swallow the chicken. Guinea fowl will also eat beef if you have any to spare. It’s good protein and healthy fats that will serve the birds well.
If you ask most American families, they’ll tell you that they throw stale bread away regularly. Bread doesn’t have the best shelf life, and it becomes hard fairly quickly, especially if you leave it out or live somewhere that’s humid. Rather than throw it away, give it to the birds.
They love bread, but just be careful not to give them too much bread. Keep it as a treat because bread doesn’t have a ton of nutritional value.
In general, veggies are a terrific healthy treat for guinea fowl. The leftover vegetables from dinner and even the scraps from prep like carrot peels or the ends of cucumbers will be great for them.
No, we’re not saying you should feed your guinea fowl Captain Crunch or anything like that. Rather, we mean things like barley, millet, sorghum, and other cereals. Many owners use cereals to train guinea fowl. That’s how much they like them.
Having a hard time getting them to come back to the coop? A handful of cereal will help them develop behaviors and respond to prompts.
Yes, we’ve mentioned watermelon already, but guinea fowl will eat any other type of fruit. You can use berries, apples, oranges, and other fruit to give them a nice, sweet treat every once in a while.
Remember to Balance Their Diets
Owning and raising guinea fowl isn’t hard. Owners love these birds, and they can be a great addition to your property.
With some work, you can use treats to help get your birds to respond to things you want them to do and keep them safe from any predators by getting them back in their shelter before it gets too dark.
The main thing to remember is that their diet should be balanced. Treats shouldn’t happen every day, and you should watch your birds closely to track how they respond to the foods you give them.
If you have questions about anything not on this list, you can ask your local pet store or consult with a vet about the best approach. Better safe than sorry when it comes to your birds.