You may be wondering what color are Guinea Hen Eggs before adding them to your flock. Guinea fowls lay creamy white eggs that can also be light brown. Their eggs usually have brown speckles or spots that can be dark or light in color. You can easily differentiate their eggs from those of chickens in several ways. Keep reading to learn more.
Brief History and Background of Guinea Fowls
Guineas are native to Africa and belong to the same family as turkeys. They are closely related to turkeys as compared to chickens which belong to a different family (pheasant family).\
The birds were brought to North America by early European settlers. Guineas have three varieties, with the most common one being helmeted guinea. Other varieties include crested guinea and vulturine guinea. However, if you consider the colors, there are about seven guinea fowls with different colors. The most common among keepers is the pearl guinea which is grey and has white dots.
Generally, guineas are smaller than turkeys but bigger than an average chicken. They can fly and like to travel in groups as they hunt together. They may even share egg nests.
Are Guinea Eggs Edible
Guinea eggs can be eaten and are very delicious. However, the only challenge is that their eggs are not commonly available like chicken eggs. It is very rare to find a farmer’s market or even a supermarket that sells guinea eggs.
Raising Guineas For Egg Production
Guinea fowl hens do not lay their eggs year-round. Mostly, they start laying eggs from April up to October. They will then take a break during the winter.
On average, a healthy guinea hen can lay about 100 eggs in a year. They prefer laying eggs on the ground. It can be challenging to keep them in a fenced yard. They can fly very well and may even sometimes fly out of the fence. However, if you manage to keep your guineas in a fenced section where they can not fly out, they will make a nest on the ground somewhere in the coop.
Some bird keepers consider keeping guinea fowls because they consume huge pests such as ticks and mice. They can clean your homestead very well, although you will have to let them free-range instead of keeping them in an enclosed or fenced section.
Since guinea fowls are free-range, their eggs are usually nutritious. However, it can be very challenging to find where they have laid their eggs. If you allow them to choose themselves, they will make their nest in an area with tall grass or bushes.
They mostly share nests with others and tend to stay for a long time before going broody. They can go even up to 40 eggs before they start sitting on the nest. You will therefore have to monitor them closely when they start laying and even go to the push to look for eggs if you allow them to free-range.
For how many years will guinea fowl hens lay eggs
Just like the chicken hens, a guinea fowl hen can lay eggs for about three to four years. Hens may still lay eggs after that, although the production will decrease drastically.
Feeding laying guinea hens
Feeding your guinea fowl hens will depend on how you keep them. If the hens are leaving in an area that is fenced and they can not fly out, you can provide them with the same laying feed given to chicken hens. The feed you be rich in proteins with at least 16% protein.
You will also have to feed your hens on calcium. This will help in the formation of the eggshells. If your birds are free-ranging, you can also supply them with extra laying feed. In addition, you will have to ensure a constant supply of clean water for your guinea hens.
Can guinea fowl hens lay eggs without a rooster?
Reproduction in guinea fowls is almost the same as that of chickens. Just like chicken hens, your guinea hens can lay eggs without a rooster. However, if you want fertile eggs that can hatch, you will need to have a rooster in your flock.
It can be very difficult to breed guineas. If you buy your guinea fowl keets from a local or online hatchery, you will probably get a mixture of female and male keets. This is because guinea fowl keets do not come to their gender until when they are about eight weeks old.
When your guineas get older, it will be easier to identify the female guineas from the male guineas. The best ratio when rearing them is one rooster for five or so hens. You should avoid keeping many roosters as they will likely fight each other most of the time. Just like chicken roosters, guinea fowl roosters are also aggressive.
The Guinea Eggs Appearance
Guinea eggs are brown and have faint freckles. They are usually smaller and pointier as compared to the normal chicken hen eggs. Besides, their eggs are very hard, like rocks.
Despite the eggs being smaller, the yolks insides are usually large, just like an average chicken yolk. The yolk/egg white ratio is thus very high, meaning guinea fowl eggs are rich in proteins and various nutrients.
How Are Guinea Eggs Similar or Different From Other Eggs
Here is a summary of a comparison of guinea fowl eggs and other eggs.
Their eggs are:
Guinea fowl eggs are generally smaller as compared to the regular chicken hen eggs.
Guinea fowl eggs usually have a tough shell. Having a hard eggshell will work for you in various ways. First, if you have very few helpers at the farm, the chances of eggs breaking while being taken to the kitchen will be less.
If you plan to sell your guinea fowl eggs, you will not worry about them breaking during transportation. The eggs have a hard shell than that of chickens, and they can not crack easily.
Guinea fowl eggs have the same taste like chicken eggs. It can be very difficult to differentiate the two by tasting if they are already prepared.
Their eggs have a very high yolk to egg-white ratio. This makes the guinea fowl eggs richer in nutrients as compared to chicken eggs.
Guinea fowls are good at free-ranging. If you are keeping them, you will have to create enough space for them to roam around. This allows them to hunt high-protein bags that usually make their eggs richer. You can quickly notice this by their deep orange yolk.
Used the same way as chicken eggs
You can use guinea fowl eggs in any recipe as long as it requires eggs. However, you will have to remember that the eggs are small; thus, you must use more.
Nutritional Value of Guinea Eggs
Their eggs are rich in protein and fat. They also have a high value of calcium and zinc but low carbohydrates. Generally, the eggs are very healthy and can be a great addition to any of your diets.
Can You Make Your Guineas Lay Longer By Providing Extra Light?
Yes, providing extra light will ensure that your guinea fowls lay eggs for long. This is a practice commonly done where guineas are raised for the commercial production of eggs. It helps in extending their laying period. Usually, light is added to the coop in the morning for the guineas to wake up early enough and feed.
The supplement light is usually added in the morning for the birds to wake up, rather than at night when they will be asleep. It can be an expensive and time-consuming exercise for an average backyard keeper. However, if you are really in need of guinea eggs, it is worth it.
Hatching Guinea Eggs
There are three main options that you can use if you want to hatch your fertile guinea eggs.
Collect the eggs and incubate
You can collect the laid guinea fowl eggs and incubate them at your home. It is easy to raise keets. Once they hatch, you will have to raise them the way chicks are raised. However, the only difference is that you will have to feed them on turkey starter instead of chicken starter feed.
Let the guinea fowl hens do the work
If you leave a guinea hen to lay eggs, she will go broody at some point once the eggs have piled up in the nest box. You will have to ensure that your guinea hens lay at one point instead of dropping eggs in the bush. Besides, you will have to understand that they are not good mothers and may sometimes leave the keets in the bush.
Add their eggs to the chicken nest
This is one of the easiest ways to hatch guinea fowl eggs. It can be done well if you have hens in your flock that go broody. All you will have to do is place your guinea fowl eggs under the brooding chicken and wait for her to hatch. It usually takes about 27 days for their eggs to hatch, and once they do, the hen will take care of the fleets alongside her chicks.
Guinea fowls lay light brown or creamy white eggs. Their eggs have a hard shell and are smaller than the average chicken eggs. The eggs are usually nutritious, making guinea fowl a worthy bird to keep.