Mixed flocks are a beautiful sight in any yard. And most owners wonder if their different species of bird could make exciting crosses. Wouldn’t that be a sight to see a chicken crossed with a Guinea fowl? What would you even call them? A Guin-hen, chicken Guinea? No matter what you call them, can Guinea fowl and chickens crossbreed? Let’s take a look together.
Can Guinea Fowl And Chickens Cross Breed?
It is possible to cross a chicken with a Guinea fowl, but it’s not exactly the best cross. The Guinea fowl and chicken cross don’t live for long, and they aren’t always viable. Most die within a few months, and others have severe medical defects. Plus, getting your birds to make this cross is just as tricky. Your birds won’t naturally want to mate together, but it’s possible if put in certain conditions.
The Chicken-Guinea Temperament
With a chicken crossbreed such as this, you might be wondering how they act. It’s hard to say since they are unpredictable. But most successful breeders say that their Guin-hens are braver than Guinea hens but not as outgoing as chickens. Most of these crossbreeds prefer the company of Guinea flocks and are very docile.
For the short time you have a Guinea hen crossbreed, you will grow fond of them. They don’t recoil at your touch or run away. Even young chick-keets seem to enjoy human company.
How To Mate Chickens And Guineas
The best way to produce a Guinea hen crossbreed is to use a chicken roo and guinea hen. Most people who have experimented with this cross simply put their rooster with a flock of females and let nature take its course. Others have better luck by putting their rooster and a hen in a smaller cage together during mating season. But this can lead to a fight and is not recommended for the inexperienced.
It’s also possible for male Guinea fowl to breed with smaller chicken breeds. But it can be a challenge due to anatomy differences. You will need to make sure that you have one Guinea male with several chicken hens for this type of cross. The most important part of this method is to keep all chicken roosters out of the flock. Roosters are very protective and proud birds, and if they see your Guineas going after his hens, he will get hostile.
Can Guinea fowl and chickens crossbreed? Yes, but they require a lot of care to get them to hatch. Most of the eggs from your first clutch are likely not viable. If you want the best possibilities, you should incubate your eggs to keep a better eye on their growth. Most Guin-hen eggs have the same incubation process as the Guinea fowl. After 25-26 days, you should expect your fertilized eggs to hatch. But getting them to that viable stage is rather unlucky.
After ten days, you should candle your eggs to see if they are growing. Having an automatic incubator is perfect for this. Since they have built-in lights, you can periodically check your eggs at every stage of growth. It also prevents you from wasting time incubating non-viable eggs.
Caring For Your Chick-Keets
You may be wondering what to do with this chicken crossbreed now that they have hatched. Since there aren’t many of these chick-keets around, it’s hard to say how to care for them. Many of these hybrid babies die within the first few days of life. Some die from medical conditions, and others seem to die for no reason at all.
Your chick-keet will be larger than a keet but have the markings of one. Some of them might prefer to hang out only with their clutch mates. But above all else, it’s important to remember to keep a watchful eye on them at all times.
Most of these birds have better luck when you care for them like most keets. A finely ground chicken starter with 23% protein is perfect for your growing chick-keets. And always remember to keep them warm and dry. If you can keep that up, you will have better luck keeping them healthy.
Does Chicken Crossbreed Lay Eggs?
If your chick-keets live, you might be wondering when to expect eggs. Well, here is where we might have a bit more bad news. Guin-hens don’t seem to show any physical differences between males and females. Chickens and Guineas usually have physical differences in size and coloring. But your Guin-hens will all look alike. They even lack the hormones required for sexual maturities, such as having babies and testicle formation. Even with all of this, most of the Guin-hens that survive are male.
However, as we all know, you don’t need a rooster to fertilize eggs to have a female lay them. But do female Guinea hen crossbreeds lay eggs? No one really knows for sure. Most of these birds don’t live long enough to reach laying age. We think it’s safe to say that if these birds are sterile, they won’t lay eggs.
The Average Lifespan And Medical History
We’ve mentioned that the Guinea hen crossbreed doesn’t live very long. The few that live past a few months are always male. But how long do these boys live? The longest most of your Guin-hens might live is two years, provided that you keep them healthy. The exception to this was the world-famous Egbert, who lived to almost ten years old.
Most of these birds don’t live the full two years because of their many ailments. Many of these birds have chronic heart problems, arthritis, extra limbs, and chronic fatigue. It’s safe to say that this Guinea hen crossbreed isn’t a safe one.
Why Did This Cross Come About?
It’s evident that this crossbreed isn’t the healthiest. So why did breeders attempt this cross to begin with? Breeders across the world are always making crossbreeds to create the best egg and meat producing birds. Whether it’s chickens, turkey, ducks, or geese, breeders are always looking to improve.
Breeders might have created this cross to make a chicken crossbreed lay more eggs. Or maybe even instill the broodiness of the Guinea hens in the chicken lines. It could even be that they were curious about the markings this unique cross would make. Can Guinea fowl and chickens crossbreed? No one knows who the original hybrid breeder was. But it’s one that has been attempted for years. But it’s safe to say that just because they can, doesn’t mean they should.
Can Guinea Fowl And Chickens Live Together?
So crossing these birds isn’t the best idea. But can Guinea hens and chickens be raised together? And better yet, will Guinea fowl kill chickens? You can safely raise your Guineas and chickens together with no repercussions. In fact, many people like raising this mixed flock for the variety of eggs and meat. The better question is, do Guinea fowl like chickens? If raised under the proper conditions, your Guineas will accept chickens as their flock.
You will find that your Guineas do an impeccable job cleaning up all of the bugs that your chickens can’t get. Another thing people like Guineas for is protection. Will Guinea fowl protect chickens if they are in a mixed flock? Of course, they will, albeit a little indirectly. Guinea fowl will sound a loud call at any sign of danger. It won’t take your chickens long to learn that the call means take cover.
Do You Have To Make Changes For Guinea Fowl?
If you already keep chickens, you might wonder what changes you need to make for Guinea fowls. A few simple changes will make your Guineas feel right at home with your chickens.
The first change you will make is to the run. Guinea fowl fly better than chickens, so a covered run is a must. And these birds don’t like to go into the coop at night. A small dim light inside the coop with a little treat to entice them inside will solve many problems.
You won’t have to worry about nesting boxes with Guineas, though. These birds like to leave their nests hidden along the ground in any cover they can get. So you might have to go searching every day for a communal nest along the tall grass or bushes.
Can Guinea fowl eat chicken food? The truth is that Guineas are pretty self-sufficient. They get most of their nutrition from foraging around for bugs and flies. But in winter, you will need to make extra sure that your fowl are getting enough to eat. You should always ensure that your Guinea fowl do best on poultry and game feed with higher protein content. If your Guineas eat chicken feed for too long, they will eventually become malnourished.
Can Guinea fowl and chickens crossbreed? If keeping chickens and Guinea fowl together results in an accidental crossbreed, you may be in for a lovely surprise. But crossing these birds won’t give you many benefits. With no eggs, not much meat, and short unhealthy lives, you might be in for more heartache. But having a Guin-hen will be a fantastic pet you will talk about for years.
Below is a Pinterest friendly photo…. so you can pin it to your Backyard Chicken Board!!