Guinea Fowl TV
This series of guinea fowl videos is showcased below with the permission of the author.
To view additional videos created by the author, visit YouTube.com where you can "Follow the Flock."Guinea Fowl TV on YouTube
by Luci aka Montanafowl
Guinea Fowl TV is a series of short videos documenting the lives and behaviors of 30 pearl grey guinea fowl. Episode 1, Season 1 was filmed when the birds were just 3-day old keets, and still in their brooding box. The videos are primarily intended to show viewers guinea fowl behaviors and calls, both of keets and adults, in an entertaining manner.
Keeping guinea fowl is becoming more and more popular in North America. Along with this burgeoning popularity comes the thirst (and need) for knowledge and information about these amazing birds. The medium of video is ideal for showing how guinea fowl behave, how they sound, how they move, interact, dust bathe, sleep, and much more.
Guinea fowl are insect eaters of the first order. And nature has evolved them to be exceedingly proficient at finding and snaring their meals. The guinea fowl's insatiable appetite for insects, in fact, is responsible for their newfound popularity. An area regularly patrolled by guinea fowl will have a marked reduction in all insect populations. This includes the dreaded, disease laden tick, stinging insects and almost all garden pests. Organic gardeners love guinea fowl as they keep the garden bug-free without the use of pesticides. Guinea fowl also make excellent watchdogs as they become quite noisy when anything is amiss.
If you're new to keeping guinea fowl, the Guinea Fowl TV series will give you a real sense of what to look for and expect from your new flock of birds. Everything from the noises they make, to the way they congregate. Very young guinea fowl keets, for example, pack themselves more tightly together than older keets or adults. In their first week of life, their vocals are almost exclusively distress and alarm calls. This is nothing to worry about. It changes as the keets become more familiar with the world and their surroundings.
Guinea fowl are wild birds, but like all wild animals, they are susceptible to training with the use of food. In the video series you can watch as the young guinea fowl keets are first introduced to white proso millet - they move to it slowly and cautiously, barely tasting it. Then see a couple of weeks later when they have become 'addicted' to the delights of this guinea fowl favorite and attack the millet voraciously. Combine the guinea fowl's strong desire for millet with an audible call, such as "Guinea, Guinea, Guinea," and you can call your guinea fowl back to the coop at night. The vocal call is augmented with a cowbell for this flock of guinea fowl. They'll now respond to either or both.
Waterers, feeders, roosts and coop floor coverings are shown in the videos, but these are only our choices - there are many others. Our choices have served us well, but you may require smaller or larger units - or special roosting for your situation. Our systems are not at all your only options.
Guinea Fowl TV nicely fills a previously existent void in the guinea fowl information conduit.
Synopses of the Episodes
This episode was filmed less than a day after the keets arrived and were placed into their brooding box. They demonstrate very active, healthy behavior with lots of vocals. Note the marbles in the water dispenser, to prevent drowning. The temperature under the light was 95+°.
At 11 days of age, the Pearl Grey Guinea fowl were moved from their brooding box to their 8' x 6' nursery in the coop. This episode starts by showing the beginnings of millet training the Guinea fowl keets. The millet was placed onto a paper towel so that the keets could more easily see it. Note the difference in the vocals between episode 1 and 2. It's also easy to see that the Guinea fowl keets enjoy grouping tightly together in 'hiding places.'
The Guinea fowl keets were just starting to try out their new, rapidly growing wings at 14-days. This, we had to get on film! The birds don't get much lift, but they quickly learn that extending their wings and flapping fast speeds up their running, and helps them to leap over objects. Clearly, they are not yet used to their new size - when their wings are outstretched.
This episode was filmed when the Guinea fowl keets were 18-days old. This episode shows the progression of the keets' millet training - note the feeding frenzy. It also shows them starting to learn about roosting on the lowest roosts in the coop, which also provides some footage of the young Guinea fowl preening. Since the keets had become quite accustomed to the sight and sound of the video camera, we started doing some 'Guinea floor cam' shots at bird eye level. Clearly shown, also, is the change from their fur to feathers - check out the ridges on their backs.
The Guinea fowl keets are now 4-weeks old and are starting to venture outside the coop into their fenced yard, which also has a wire top on it. This is the first video that we added music to, and since it was so well received, we made it a regular part of the series. This video shows the keets learning to take dust baths, roost on their outdoor roost and generally play. The closing of this video shows the birds going in and out of their coop door - something they like to do repeatedly - as if practicing.
This episode was filmed just a few days after #5, on a day when the temperature was about 105°F. This video shows that Guinea fowl don't just scratch at the surface, but actually dig holes - both in and out of the coop. The large rock the birds scratch and peck is actually a big chunk of sandstone - great for sharpening nails and beaks as well as getting some extra grit in the crop.