Guinea fowls are becoming quite popular among poultry keepers worldwide and one of the reasons for this is the fact that they serve as natural pest control.
Guinea fowls usually chase and eat rats, mice and other pests that might bother the poultry birds. They help to protect the other birds who are more docile from predators.
When guinea fowls encounter threats that are larger than them, they will gather together and keep screaming as loud as they can till someone comes to check on them.
There are quite some benefits from keeping guinea fowls and this article will set out to explain them, and how guinea fowls seek to reduce rat populations.
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Do Guinea Hens Attract Rats?
Rats are mainly attracted to chicken or bird coops because of their food, eggs and chicks.
The rats usually come around to steal their eggs or chicks and leave you with less eggs than you had the night before.
They contaminate the birds water and food and can cause disease outbreaks among the poultry.
While chicken hens will panic and squawk while their resources are being looted; a guinea hen is always ready to attack the rat.
Guinea hen coops can also attract rats, especially if there is spilled food that a rat can smell from a considerable distance.
A well prepared hen coop can however keep out the rat and result in less stress for the birds. It is not the coop in itself that attracts the rats but the smell of the coop.
If the coop is not well maintained, it will definitely attract the rats but a well maintained and designed cage will keep them out.
Proper maintenance methods include: cleaning the coop, sweeping spilled feed, properly covering feed and water troughs and packing produced eggs at night.
With these measures in place, the incidence of rats visiting your coops will definitely be reduced.
Related: Here is an article I wrote on how guinea fowls and dogs can live together.
What Are The Benefits of Guinea Fowl?
Apart from being entertaining to watch while carrying out their antics, guinea fowls are raised by poultry keepers and farm owners for various reasons including:
- Rich Meat Source
Roast guinea fowl is an excellent and rich source of food loved by many. The eggs of guinea fowls are also sweeter and more nutritious than chicken eggs.
- Pest Control
Guinea fowls are popular for being able to gobble up plant and animal pests around the yard and garden. They also do this without destroying their owners’ gardens. Guinea fowls will eat ants, mosquitoes, bugs, worms and other types of insects they see fit.
- Alarm Source
Guineas are loud and annoying and once they sense an intruder they are ready to scream at the top of their lungs. This way they are able to alert fam owners to the possibility of a predator that might prey on the defenseless animals.
Sometimes their screams are enough to scare the predators away.
- Cost Effective
Guinea fowls that are allowed to wild range get about 90% of their food from ranging and as such the owners only have to supplement with their feed.
They eat less than if they are cooped up making them easy to keep and raise.
- Strong and Hardy
Guinea fowls are less susceptible to diseases than chickens. They are naturally wild birds that have been domesticated and as such are stronger than other poultry birds.
Do Rats Bother Guinea Fowls?
Guinea fowls do not like rats and mice and will repeatedly chase them from their environment.
Once you introduce guinea fowls to your homestead or area, they set out to attack the bugs and pests around them by killing and eating them.
Rats are common pests that eat eggs and disturb poultry birds at night. However having guinea fowls around will prevent them from coming around.
Guinea fowl flock will regularly surround and kill a rat if they are able to kill it.
If they can’t kill it, they chase it and after doing this repeatedly the rats will stop coming around to bother the birds.
The guineas also share this aversion to mice and snakes and pests in general.
Also check out this article I wrote on do guinea fowls need a heat lamp
Can You Keep Rats and Guinea Fowls in The Same Room?
Keeping guinea fowls and rats in the same room means a lot of running around and killing.
Guinea fowls do not like rats as they are pests and will not hesitate to kill them.
That is like giving them a passport to kill the little buggers.
Naturally once guinea fowls are introduced to an environment, they will rid the area of bugs and pests which is why some poultry keepers raise them.
They are usually seen chasing mice and rats around the homestead and keeping them together will help make their work easier.
A few people keep pet rats and it is not advisable to have your favourite pet near the fowls as they will not recognise it as a pet.
Can a Rat Kill a Guinea Fowl?
Rats cannot kill adult guinea fowls because they are larger and will naturally try to kill the rats.
Guinea fowls are rats and pests predators and help to keep them away from causing harm on the homestead.
However baby guineas (keets) can be killed and eaten by large rats especially when the hen is not nearby.
If the coop is not well designed and protected to keep out rats, they can easily come in to cause damage and eat eggs and chicks.
Some poultry keepers come out in the morning to find missing chicks and keets from their flock.
To prevent this, design a coop that is rat proofed and will ensure the rats are kept out.
Also ensure your coop is well maintained and there are no spilled feed at night which can attract the rats.
Doing this will ensure your keets and other flock are well protected.
How Do You Rat Proof a Guinea Fowl Cage?
Rat proofing your guinea fowl cage is a preventive measure that will keep the brood safe from predators.
Cover your guinea fowl coop with sturdy wire mesh and ensure it is fitted firmly. Wire mesh is required as rats can chew through almost anything except it’s made from metal.
The birds nesting boxes should be placed high up on their perches. It is easy for the birds to fly up, but once the rats don’t have a climb hold they will not be able to access the eggs
Strong locks on the coops also ensures the rats are not able to push them aside and enter the coop at night.
Sturdy and high quality wood should be used in designing the coop to ensure the rats do not chew through the wood.
This coop will help in keeping out the rats and make your birds, eggs and chicks safe enough.
Guinea fowls are a wonderful addition to any farm and have a wide range of benefits to both the farm animals and the poultry keepers.
Rats are annoying pests who will eat your eggs and chicks and spread diseases among the flock.
The guinea fowls help to keep them away and you can also help the guineas by ensuring their coop is safe at night.