In the wild, guinea fowl and other members of the Galliformes family feed on insects and vegetation and have evolved beaks and feeding patterns to match the geographic regions in which they are found. For example, the Crested Guineafowl breed has evolved to forage in decomposed wood for insects such as grubs, ants, termites and small rodents like mice.
In domestic poultry situtations such as commercial guinea farms and the casual backyard, individuals should take proper steps to feed guinea fowl the right guinea feed. Guineas need differing types of guinea feed depending on their age.
Feeding Keets: Baby guineas, commonly called keets, need a high protein poultry feed with a protein percentage of 24-26%. This helps ensure proper growth and development in the young birds. If you do not have specialized guinea feed at your disposal at the local farm feed store, you may feed the keets a starter feed for other types of poultry species (e.g. turkey starter). For best results when feeding keets, do not use medicated poultry starter feed.
Baby guineas must always be given warm water to drink. Do not give keets cold water.
Adjust the guinea feed as the guinea fowl approach maturity. When the keets reach two months of age, reduce the protein percentages to 18%. Once the keets reach maturity, you may transition them to an adult guinea fowl feeding regimen.
Feeding Adult Guinea Fowl:Feed guineas standard poultry layer mash with a protein percentage around 16%. You may choose to use chicken feed or feed intended for other types of poultry species, as some feed stores may not carry specialized gamebird feed. However, guinea fowl must be fed a high protein diet. At all times, provide your guineas with clean, fresh drinking water. This is especially crucial in hot summer seasons.
Free Range Guineas: In the wild, guineas eat seeds and bugs. Thus, your guinea fowl will benefit from being allowed to roam a pasture or fenced poultry yard. This way, they may feed on certain ingredients that are a natural part of their diet. Train the guinea fowl to feed close to home by providing a regular diet of grains and poultry feed near your poultry coop or poultry house. Guinea fowl enjoy being fed all sorts of mixed grains, including wheat and millet. Remember to also provide a high-protein poultry feed. Additionally, provide drinking water even if your free range guineas are near a lake or pond.
Learn more about raising guineas with our free Guinea Fowl Articles.