Guinea fowls are a breed of birds that are different from chickens, ducks or even turkeys.
If you have been wondering if guinea fowls can fly then yes, guinea fowls can fly at an early age and are known to be strong fliers.
Guinea fowls, more popularly called guineas are usually kept by backyard flock keepers and farm owners one of the main reasons being that they can alert the farm owner to unusual doings around them.
If you have been thinking of raising guinea fowls with your poultry birds then you should know a few things about them and this article will answer some of your questions.
Will Guinea Fowls Fly Away?
If you are planning to raise a guinea fowl flock then you have to understand that they can fly unlike chickens which just jump and flap.
Guinea fowls can start at an early age and can fly a considerable distance at once. They also run pretty fast and prefer to even do that when running from predators such as snakes or cats.
Guinea are strong fliers and are notorious for flying away especially when they are not yet familiar with an environment.
Building a high walled coop would necessarily not keep them within as they are most likely able to fly over the walls.
Some poultry owners make use of a coop covered with a netted wire to ensure proper ventilation and at the same time keep the guinea fowls within the coop successfully.
Related: Here is an article I wrote on can guinea fowls live with geese?
How Far Can Guinea Fowls Fly?
Guinea fowls are known to be able to fly as far as 400 to 500 ft at once. This makes them one of the strong fliers and also makes it easy for them to fly away if they are not used to that particular environment.
Because of this ability to fly and their notoriousness for flying away, you cannot raise guineas the way you raise other poultry birds.
This also means keeping them in a fenced enclosure will almost be useless as they can scale the walls.
To make it easier, you should train the guineas to recognize the coop you have prepared for them so they come home to it at night.
Also raising them as keets instead of buying mature guinea fowls will make your work easier as they will grow to recognize their coop overtime.
At What Age Will A Guinea Fowl Start To Fly?
Guinea fowl keets are usually well feathered by 8 weeks of age and at this point most flock keepers let them out to habituate them to their environment and coop.
It is advisable for keepers to let the keets out in a covered run instead of just an open space to avoid fence jumping as they grow and also to reduce the risk of the keets getting confused and lost.
The keet flock is usually able to fly at four weeks, and you can use the next 3 to 4 weeks to train them on getting used to their coop.
An easy way to do this is to feed the guinea fowls at night.
Because guineas love food, feeding them in the coop at night makes it easy to impress on them the importance of the coop and as such ensure they always come back.
Also check out this article I wrote on do guinea fowls attack humans
Can All Breeds Of Guinea Fowls Fly?
There are various known guinea fowl breeds and sub-species in the world and they all fly.
Guinea fowl skins are made of feathers and this gives them the ability to fly for some distances even though they prefer running.
The Helmeted guinea fowl also known as the domesticated guinea fowl is the most commonly raised type of guinea and comes in different varieties such as lavender, pearl, white, royal-purple pied, chocolate to mention but a few.
Other known species of guinea fowls include:
- Plumed Guinea Fowl
- White-breasted Guinea Fowl
- Black Guinea Fowl
- Crested Guinea Fowl
- Vulturine Guinea Fowl
Why Do Guinea Fowls Fly?
Guinea fowls can fly with their feathers unlike other domesticated animals in their family of birds such as chickens, ducks and turkeys.
Even though guinea fowls prefer running and walking on foot, they also fly at intervals and if they are not accustomed to a particular environment, they will fly high and not return to the area again.
Because of this behavior, if you are not well grounded in keeping guinea fowls it is easy for you to lose them as they will all fly away and not come back.
There are advantages to keeping guinea fowls on your farm or with your poultry birds.
To ensure your guinea fowls don’t fly away without looking back, there are several things you can do to habituate them to the coop you have built for them and we will proceed to discuss these methods.
How Can You Stop Them From Flying?
Guinea fowls are very notorious for flying away from their owners’ coops mainly because they feel unfamiliar with the area.
Guinea fowls are naturally wild birds that roam free but are now kept indoors due to domestication, however the wild instinct can still be within them.
There are ways a flock keeper can prevent his guinea flock from flying away and they include:
- Covering Their Coop
By covering guinea fowl coops with a netted wire it helps to keep them from flying over it and leaving when they feel like it.
If you intend to use guinea fowls to reduce the bug population around you, then you’ll have to let the birds free range during the day and return to the coop at night where the covered top keeps them in.
- Start Raising Them At An Early Age
It is easier for a flock keeper to start training guinea fowls as keets. Keets are the babies of guinea fowls.
The keets grow to recognize the environment and flock keeper.
Compared to buying adult guineas who already have a mind of their own, raising keets is less stressful though you have to be careful to keep them protected during the early days.
- Confining Them For A Short Period
If you have already matured guinea fowls on your hands then keeping them within the coop temporarily will help them get used to nesting in a coop.
The act of them feeding and resting in the coop will help to impress on their mind that the coop is home.
However, you should only do this for a short while as guinea fowls are naturally free roaming birds.
- Raising The Keets With Chicks
Guinea fowls are not the best at raising their chicks as they are flighty and the chicks would be exposed in their care sometimes leading to their deaths.
Introducing the keets to a mother hen helps as she will take them with her brood and ensure their proper care.
It also helps the keets get used to having chickens around and recognizing them.
Raising them together would also reduce the stress you have to go through in training them as the keets are already used to the environment.
- Training Them To Enter Their Coop At Night
The easiest way to ensure guinea fowls recognize their coops is to feed them at night.
Guinea fowls love their food and when you repeatedly feed them in the coop location, they will have the back of their minds that food comes from that source.
This will ensure they return to the coop to nest every night. A little Pavlovian nudging is not bad for the birds
Utilizing one or more of these methods will enable the guinea fowls get familiar with their environment and keep them from running away.
Guinea fowls are an entertaining species of birds to keep and will also protect your farm and homestead in their little way while also getting rid of disease-causing bugs around you.
Being a first time keeper can be a little daunting at first as guinea fowls can be flighty and mindless and unlike chickens who have recognized home, will not hesitate to run off from you at the first opportunity.
We hope you enjoyed this read and can now successfully raise a flock of guinea flows.