Guinea fowl are becoming increasingly popular with chicken owners. They provide an excellent alarm system for your flock. And they do so much to clean up the yard of pests. Some might even raise Guinea fowl for their delicious meat. But you might wonder what their eggs are like. Stay tuned to find out what you need to know about Guinea hen eggs!
When, How Many, And How Long?
When raising a bird for eggs, the first question is when do Guinea fowl start laying eggs. Unlike most chickens, Guinea fowl don’t begin laying their eggs until about a year old. But once they start laying, they keep going strong.
How many eggs does a Guinea fowl lay? For the first 3-4 years, you can expect an egg every day. You will get 80-160 Guinea hen eggs a year. After about three years, you can expect a steady drop off in production. At three years old, your Guinea hen will lay only 3-4 a week.
And at five, they stop laying entirely. But your hens will still live 10-15 years to provide you with protection and bug control. Older Guinea hens even help in protecting the nest and might occasionally go broody.
Do You Need A Male For Eggs?
Many people think that you need a rooster to get eggs. But what you need to know about Guinea hen eggs is that you don’t need a rooster. Unless you plan to breed your hens, a rooster isn’t needed for yummy eggs. Hens will lay plenty of eggs on their own.
How Many Should I Get?
If you keep chickens, you will want 2-3 Guinea fowl in your mixed flock to make them comfortable. But if you only want a Guinea flock, starting with six is a great starting point. Once your Guineas come of age, you will get 5-6 eggs a day! Keep reading to the end to figure out what to do with all of these eggs.
How Do Guinea Hens Fair In Winter?
Guinea fowl come from the warm country of Africa. And unfortunately, they haven’t adapted to the North American cold winters. So your hens won’t lay any eggs in cold winter weather here. But they start right back at it in the spring into early fall.
Do Guinea Hens Go Broody Often?
Guinea hens make wonderful mothers and look after their keets well. But Guineas don’t go broody unless you let them. The average Guinea will start their breeding season in early spring, and the females have a communal nest. Once the nest has about 20 eggs, one or more of the females will go broody.
If you are keeping only hens, then you should collect the eggs daily to prevent broodiness. If there aren’t enough eggs in the nest, your Guinea hens won’t become broody. But breeding them for keets is an easy task to do.
Your females will take care of the nest as a tribe while your males stand watch. How long do Guinea fowl eggs take to hatch? Usually, within 26-28 days. But it might seem shorter if you didn’t find the nest early.
What Are Guinea Fowl Nesting Habits?
What you need to know about Guinea hen eggs is that you find them everywhere. Chickens like to have a quiet, dark nesting box in the coop to lay their eggs. But a Guinea hen is a little different. They prefer to lay their eggs outside on the ground. Guinea hens will find a nice hidden area with a slight dip to lay their eggs.
These nests are not as easy as they sound, though. In many cases, it isn’t easy to find your guinea hen nests. If you have free-range Guineas, it makes it even harder. But what really makes it difficult is that Guineas change nesting grounds often. If you take their eggs and they feel threatened, they move to a new area. Or if something spooks them, they will abandon their nests.
So what should you be looking for? The ideal Guinea nest is in tall grass, low branches, or even covered areas. One female or male will always stand guard. In some cases, you might find that your guineas like the coops nesting boxes as well. But you shouldn’t force it if it’s not natural.
What Do Guinea Fowl Eat?
When you keep Guinea hens, you don’t have to worry too much about feeding them. They fend for themselves well by foraging and snapping bugs from the air. Their favorites are grasses, slugs, flies, and any beetle. But you will need to give them something to eat once a day to encourage them to roost in the coop at night. What type of food should that be?
Guineas need a higher protein diet than chickens do. So you can’t feed them the regular layer feed that your chickens enjoy. Keets will need a starter diet with 24-26% protein for the first five weeks of life. At five to eight weeks, your keets will need a diet with 18-20% protein. And after that, they should always have 18% protein in their diets.
But the most important part is only to feed crumbles or mash to your Guineas. If the feed is too large, your Guineas become prone to impacted and sour crops. There are a few brands out there that specialize in food explicitly made for Guinea fowls. But if you can’t find that in your area, game and poultry food works just as well.
Do Guineas Suffer From Reproductive Issues?
Guineas can catch any viral infection that chickens can get. But they aren’t prone to many of the reproductive health issues like chickens. As long as you keep them on a healthy diet and weight, your Guinea hens won’t have any problems. This might be why they live for such a long time.
But even if your Guineas do experience some difficulties, they are quickly resolved. With an early diagnosis, your Guineas will be back at it in no time.
What Are Guinea Hen Eggs Like?
If you have never seen a Guinea hen egg, you might be a little surprised the first time you see one. These eggs are small and light brown with darker brown speckles. How small are we talking? A Guinea egg only weighs 1.4 ounces, so two guinea eggs equals one large chicken egg.
You might even wonder can you eat Guinea eggs? What do Guinea fowl eggs taste like? Do they look different from chicken eggs? All Guinea hen eggs have a higher yolk to white ratio than chicken eggs. And don’t be surprised that the eggshells are harder than your average chicken egg. But what really sets these eggs apart from others is the taste.
Since Guinea eggs have more yolk in them, they have a richer flavor. Each Guinea egg has a higher fat and protein content than chicken eggs, making them heavenly to eat. But when you use them in recipes, you won’t notice a difference in flavor. We will get into how to cook them later, though.
Guinea Fowl Eggs Nutrition
Some people might think that since the Guinea fowl’s eggs are so creamy, they must have better nutritional value. But that isn’t exactly true. Guinea hen eggs are only 35 calories with 3 grams of protein and 2 grams of fat. But when you consider it takes two Guinea eggs to equal a chicken egg, this is very similar.
How To Use Guinea Hen Eggs
Guinea hen eggs are so small and almost exotic. You might be wondering how to use them precisely. You can use the eggs in just about any recipe that you would use for chicken eggs. Just remember to double the recipe to make up for their size.
You can boil these eggs for 4-5 minutes for little snacks. Or you can scramble or fry them up for breakfast. And they are even better for baking. Remember that larger than average egg yolk? That yolk is gold for baking any treat. It makes cookies chewier and soft. And it helps cakes retain moisture and sugar usually lost while cooking. So your cakes will be light, sweet, and delicious.
Adding your Guinea hen eggs into any recipe adds instant richness. You will wonder why you didn’t start using these eggs sooner.
What If You Have Too Many?
If you keep several Guinea hens, you might become overrun with eggs. But don’t think of this as a bad thing. You could make a profit off your Guinea hen eggs just as you would chicken eggs.
The first option is to sell Guinea eggs for eating. Organic chicken eggs run for $3-$5 per dozen, but Guinea hen eggs are rare in most parts of the country. You could easily charge $5-$9 a dozen at your local farmer’s markets or in the neighborhood.
If you have fertilized Guinea eggs, you could charge even more. Most breeders that sell fertilized Guinea eggs sell them for about $1 an egg. Most will even include free shipping if that’s what you want to get into.
And then, of course, you could hatch keets and sell them. Most Guinea keet breeds sell for anywhere between $4-$7. But if you have a rare breed, you could potentially get more. All of these are great options to get some money back for raising your flock.
Now You Know It All
You are now proficient in what you need to know about Guinea hen eggs! All that’s left to do is go out and get a few! Before long, you will be swimming in delicious and creamy Guinea eggs.
Below is a Pinterest friendly photo…. so you can pin it to your Backyard Chicken Board!!