How to buy Guinea Fowl.

Where do you buy guinea fowl from? And what to look for when you buy.

There are three options open to someone who wants to start with guineas, you can:

1. Get hatching eggs and raise them your self.
2. Buy Young guineas fowl chicks or keets from a supplier.
3. Acquire adult birds or a breeding group and produce more of your own.

Guineas are not common birds and getting some may be hard work. they tend to be much more seasonal than chickens as well only generally being available for purchase from May to October or spring and summer. They are also often difficult to find and require planning.  Below is some guineas I bought, they will have to be kept in a covered run for months before being allowed out.
adult guineas in run
They are available from:

A. Small independent breeders
B. Auctions
C. Large hatcheries
D. Private individuals

 

What should I look for when buying Guinea fowl?

Look for birds that are active and moving around freely with no odd limps. Upright stance with straight necks and both sides of the body should be even about the middle line.

Guineas should have bright clear eyes, clean feathers and a clean vent. Parasites will make them scratch and restless and this is something you will likely have to observe from a distance as catching them is not the easiest thing to do.

Make sure the birds are not sneezing or hunched when they are stood about. Avoid quiet ones, Guineas make a lot of noise and most of the time as well.

Decide how you want to go about starting off with your guinea enterprise. I would always recommend The hatching egg or buying keets route as young birds are much easier to integrate into your existing structure.
 

How to transport guinea fowl:

Eggs should be well packaged even though they have strong shells, the membranes can still be damaged in transit and even a fertile one will not hatch with broken air pockets. If you are driving them around make sure they can not fall off a seat onto the floor or roll around. Place them in packaging or a box of straw to hold them in place.
keets shipped in the post
Keets are often posted in the US 20 keets to a box. They do OK but generally  don't travel as well as chicks and this should be avoided if you can. Transport chicks in a dark carrier or box with plenty of air holes and a heat source to keep them around 35C or 95F.

Adult or fully grown guinea fowl should be transported in a darkened crate and quite tightly packed. There should be straw or hay in the bottom and the guineas must not be able to run around. The very act of catching and holding a Guinea Fowl will send it into blind panic and they are not easy to hold at the best of times. If you use a cardboard box it will try to get out of the air holes by poking it's head through and kicking and screaming. Trust me when I tell you this is something to be avoided.

I have moved adult Guineas before and a chicken crate with 4 to 6 inches of straw in the bottom and a blanket to cover it is as close to ideal as you can get. Do not let them out into their new pen in the dark. Darkness will not stop them rushing head first into the nearest fence or wall and hurting themselves. Good luck with what will probably be more stressful than moving your home!
 

1. Get hatching eggs and raise them yourself:

Hatching eggs can be had from Facebook or forum groups, eBay auctions in some area's, poultry auctions and over the internet from various websites that sell them. Take a look at our Guineas for sale page.

You can check magazines or publications for adverts. Look for reputation from egg sellers. Check their feedback and comments and whether or not they give support.

Once your eggs arrive it is simply a matter of incubating the for 28 days and hatching them out.

The disadvantage with this method is you will end up with males in the batch.

 

2. Buy Young guineas fowl chicks or keets from a supplier:


This is probably the quickest, easiest and safest method of getting youngsters, the problem is they are almost always sold as straight run or unsexed so you will need a plan to deal with any surplus males.

there are many advantages to buying youngsters, they almost always settle in quicker and better and are more easily tamed and trained.

 

3. Acquire adult birds or a breeding group and produce more of your own.


The big advantage with buying a group of adults is you can see exactly what you are getting. The normal method is to buy a breeding trio or quad of your chosen type or a group of egg laying guinea hens and proceed as normal.

the disadvantage is that fully grown guineas will likely fly away the minute they are released, never to return. Adult guineas need at least 30 days confinement before being released to free range and even then it is a risk.
 

Where to find guineas for sale:

A. Small independent breeders - These are enthusiasts who keep guineas because they like having them around or they are useful to them. They probably only have a handful of types or a mixed flock. They are likely to be available only when in season and can be found on Facebook groups or local websites. Take a look at our for sale page for examples.

B. Auctions - These vary depending on where they are as to how useful they will be to you. Care will be needed as sellers often use auctions to dispose of old birds or surplus males so you will need to be sure of what you need before you go.
poultry auction
C. Large hatcheries - There is a specialist keet supplier in the US and a few other hatcheries sell more common types.

D. Private individuals - Found on forums and the like. Probably only carry one type or colour with very variable supply.

How much do Guinea fowl cost?

Hatching eggs for guinea fowl are between $1 and $3 and roughly the same in GB pounds £.

Keets cost between $3 and $6 or around £2.50 to £5.

Full grown guineas cost $15 to $25 in the US and £15 to £25 in the UK

Price depends on the type or colour you buy, how many you get and where they are from.