Date(s) - 11/09/2018
Guinea Fowl are sometimes known as Helmeted Guinea Fowl (Numida meleagris). They are native to the dry areas of Africa and were domesticated, in Africa, more than 4000 years ago.
Pied Guineas have the same color pattern as Pearl Guineas except that their breasts and flights are pure white.
Pied keets are very active. The back and top of their heads are dark brown with alternating light brown streaks running the entire length. Their face, wings, throat, chest, and abdomen are put white. Their beak, clean legs and feet are orange. They do not have a comb.
Pied Guineas are relatively rare and Ideal Poultry is one of only a few hatcheries to breed and hatch Pied Guineas. The common types of guineas begin laying in the spring when the weather turns warm. Therefore, since Ideal Poultry is located in Texas, with a relative warm climate, guineas are available much earlier in the year than from hatcheries located in colder climates. It is more difficult to determine the sex of adult guineas than to determine the sex of adult chickens. The helmet and wattles of males are much larger than those of females. Also the wattles of males have a tendency to be perpendicular to the head while those of the female may be either perpendicular or parallel to the head. Probably the easiest way to sex them is by voice. Both males and females make a single syllable, machine-gun like alarm call, but only the females have a two syllable call that sounds like they are saying “buck-wheat”.
Originally, Lavender Guineas may have been the result of a cross between Pearl and White Guineas.
The plumage of Lavender Guineas is light gray or lavender throughout, generously and regularly marked with pearl-like white spots or wavy bars of white. The beak, which is reddish, is darker at the base than at the tip. They have a helmet that is light brown and their eyes are dark brown or black. They have coral red wattles. Covering the side of the face is a crescent-shaped patch of featherless bluish-white skin, beginning in front of the eyes and extending back to the band of hair-like plumage at the back of the neck. The remainder of the head, neck and throat, down to the hackles is covered by bluish-black skin. The area from the base of the beak to the base of the helmet is coral red, matching the color of the wattles. The back and shoulders are lavender with small pearls, which increase in size toward the tail. The tail and coverts are light gray, showing well rounded pearls. The breast and lower body are lavender with good-sized and well rounded pearls throughout. The wing primaries have light gray webs that are marked with parallel wavy bars of white. The shanks and toes are light gray.
Lavender keets are very active. The top of the head is dark gray with light brown streaks. The back is made up of alternating gray and light gray streaks running down the entire length of the back. The wing tips, throat, chest and abdomen are light gray. Their beak, clean feet and legs are orange. They do not have a comb.
Guineas are better “watch dogs” than dogs. Since they like to roost high in trees, they have an excellent view of their owner’s property and make a loud screeching warning sound when any strange activity occurs. This same screeching sound irritates snakes, therefore it is unusual to find snakes anywhere in the vicinity of a flock of guineas.
They are native to the dry areas of Africa and were domesticated, in Africa, more than 4000 years ago. The ancient Greeks and Romans acquired domesticated Guineas from both the east and west coasts of Africa and blended the two. They spread Guinea Fowl across Europe, but with the fall of the Roman Empire, they appear to have disappeared from northern and western Europe. In the 15th Century, Portuguese traders introduced wild Guinea Fowl from West Africa into Europe and Guineas were again domesticated. As of 2002, guineas had not been admitted to the Standard but an effort is underway to have the Pearl, White and Lavender varieties admitted to the Standard.
The plumage of Pearl Guineas is blue-gray throughout, generously and regularly marked with pearl-like white spots or wavy bars of white, depending on the section of the bird in question. The largest and most circular pearls on the bird appear in the fluff feathers at the rear of the bird. The general impression is one of a spotted gray bird. The legs and toes are dark slate, mottled with dusky orange.
Pearl Guinea keets are very active. The back and top of the head is dark brown with light brown streaks running from the top of the head to the tail. The wing tips, throat, chest and abdomen are light brown. Their beak, clean legs and feet are orange. They do not have a comb.