You’ve decided to get a guinea fowl and (hopefully) know how noisy they can be. With this in mind, you should consider how many you should have at once…and how many you can tolerate.
How do you decide how many guinea fowl to get?
There is no standard limit for the number of guinea fowl that are recommended to keep at any one time. But there are certain factors that can guide your decision.
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7 Ways to Decide How Many Guinea Fowl to Get
If you are not yet sure of how many guinea fowls to get, consider the following factors to help guide your decision.
1. Raising Guinea Keets vs. Buying Adults
The circumstances surrounding raising guinea keets differ somewhat from those surrounding buying adults.
On the other hand, when you buy adult guinea fowl, they are more likely to be noisy or fly away. They are also more likely to fly away. If you want to buy adults, you may want to buy several.
One thing you should note is that buying a single adult guinea fowl is a bad idea. When there is only one bird, it will keep calling out for other guinea fowl and cause unrelenting noise.
2. Reasons for Ownership
Another factor to consider when buying guinea fowl is the reason you are looking to get them in the first place. Are you getting them for ornamental purposes? Do you intend to breed them or use them for pest control?
If you are getting guinea fowl for ornamental purposes, you may get just 2: a male and a female. Since you are not looking for extra value, having just 2 should be affordable, fun, and provide them with companionship.
If you are want them for breeding purposes, you need at least 1 guinea cock and 1 guinea hen. You may get more, but this is the minimum.
When getting guinea fowls for pest control, you can get as many as 12. It all depends on the level of infestation from the pests and what you can afford for their care and maintenance.
Plus, when you have many guinea fowl, they can look out for each other when free ranging.
3. Restricting Their Numbers
You can have just one guinea fowl but it is not advisable. With a single guinea fowl, you may experience even more noise than if you had an entire group.
Lone guinea fowl are typically noisier and more stressed than when in a group. They usually pace around frantically and call out for another guinea fowl.
If you are getting guinea fowl to breed them, you can get at least 2: a guinea cock and a guinea hen. You can also get more guinea hens for the guinea cock.
Although a one-to-one situation is possible, guinea cocks can mate with up to 6-8 guinea hens.
5. Egg Production
If you want eggs from a domestic bird, guinea fowl should not be the first on your mind.
Chickens, ducks, and turkeys are more prolific layers compared to guinea fowls. Of course, this does not mean you can’t keep guinea fowls for eggs.
If you are comparing chickens and guinea fowl, chickens lay many more eggs per year. So, you will have to get more guinea fowl to match the productivity of chickens.
On average, a well-fed chicken lays 250 eggs per year. On the other hand, guinea fowl lay an average of 100 eggs per year. This means you will need 2.5 guinea fowl to match the average laying rate of 1 chicken.
A report by Washington Post suggests that the average American eats up to 279 eggs per year. A family of 3, for instance, would need about 840 eggs in a year.
To get 840 eggs in a year, you will need about 3-4 chickens. But if you are getting guinea fowl, you will need 8-10 individuals to get 840 eggs in a year.
When rearing guinea fowl, the space available for them to roost is also vital.
If you keep them in a small or restricted area, they will get stressed. And when they are stressed, you will know because they will be very noisy.
As a rule, you should have a space that offers 2-3 square feet per guinea fowl.
To determine the number of guinea fowl to get, measure the area of the space you have for them in square feet. Then divide this value by 3 to get an estimate of the number of birds to get.
7. Noise Reduction
Guinea fowl are highly social when with others of their kind. They usually move in groups; they move together in similar directions and communicate untiringly.
You can expect that having more of them will most likely make them noisier. But remember, keeping a single guinea fowl could be worse if it is lonely and stressed with no other animals to keep it company.