Raising and Caring for Guinea Fowl




Housing – a cardboard box or metal or plastic tub.  A 16×28 egg box works well for 15 keets.  A larger box will be needed as they grow.keet2



Bedding – clean pine shavings (NOT sawdust), textured shelf liner, hay or straw chopped fine, or artificial turf.  Do not use newspaper unless you cover it with paper towel.  A smooth surface like newspaper can cause spraddled legs.


Heat Lamp – heating bulb to clip onto box or hang over box


Thermometer – placed on floor of box to monitor temperature


Watering device – Mason jar waterer with metal or plastic base


Feeder – large flat tray in which they can run through to easily find and peck at the feed


Feed – turkey starter, wild game bird starter, or chick starter




Keets upon deliveryHave your box prepared with bedding and heat.  Guinea keets need to be kept very warm night and day.  The temperature in their box should be at 90-95 degrees the first week.  The temperature can be dropped about 5 degrees per week until they are 4 weeks old or totally feathered. 


Immediately upon arrival give the keets lukewarm water.  Sugar can be added to the water for quick energy.  In about 30 minutes, after they’ve had water, offer feed. 


Provide clean bedding as needed to keep the floor of the box dry.




Ready for delivery

When your keets are approximately 4 weeks old, pen them in a cage outside.  Guineas can fly, so be sure to have a high enough fence or a ceiling to cover the pen.  Guineas are susceptible to predators, so be sure your pen is secure. 


When they are about 2 months old, release 2-3 guineas from the pen.  They will stay close to the other guineas still in the pen.  If possible, pen up the released birds at night to keep them safe.  Continue to release more and more of the birds until all are released.  To lure them back into the pen at night, offer them food only in the evening in the pen. 


Guineas are territorial so they will remain in close proximity to the area  in which they were raised.  They tend to range well over about 5 acres and prefer open rather than wooded areas. 




guinea2Housing – Adults guineas can survive the winter if they have a roof to get under to stay dry.


Feed – Free ranging adults will consume insects and seeds.  If you want them to control the insect and tick population, do not feed them too heavily in the summer months.  During the winter months, you will need to supplement their diet with a layer feed.  Be sure they always have a water supply.





Official website of the Guinea Fowl International Association



Guinea Fowl for the Control of Lyme Carrying Ticks







28 Responses to Raising and Caring for Guinea Fowl

  • Sou Thao says:

    Please let me know if you have any baby keats Guinea chicks available for sale.

    Thank you.

  • Moses VB says:

    Hi. We are indeed of 5000 Guinea fowl chicks to be shipped to Sierra Leone.

    Can you help out…? We need them urgently.

    Thanks in advance.


  • Ola says:

    I guys ship to Hawaii

    • Joel Martin says:

      We can ship silkie bantams to Hawaii with a permit. Guineas can also be shipped but it is a bit more complicated. The customer needs to pick up the birds at the airport and transport them to the HI Department of Ag for inspection.

  • Jesse L. Lyon says:

    I brought 30 guineas, received 32, 30 of them lived and are doing great. Can eggs from them be eaten?
    Jesse Lyon

  • Kevin Knapp says:

    I never ordered chicks in the mail before and came across JM Hatchery. I ordered 100 Guineas and they sent me 103. Only 83 made it in the shipping box. I wasn’t mad I was kind of happy with those odds thinking of the bumpy ride and all the handling they got from point A to point B. I emailed JM Hatchery and asked them what was the normal rate of loss so I know in the future when I order more to get extra and they said 1% or less and that this was not normal and they had a couple other complaints which they feel that the USPS isn’t handling the boxes with care. And they offered either a refund or resend replacements to us. I was shocked! Never would have thought that. I thought the odd of what I got was good and now they strive for 100%. Wow!!! I’ll be ordering from them from now on. Thanks a million!

  • Christina Royster says:

    I learned i have been buying Guineas from JM Hatchery for several years now. I have never received anything but nice heathly keets that all my customers rave about. Not only do i get repeat customers but also customers who are willing to drive several hours just to get them. I try to provide guineas year round and JMH makes it possible. I always keep my own flock from the keets as I get orders in and definitely have no complaints.

  • Lonita says:

    We bought this pass spring 250 of these little Guineas. They were all good except only one didn’t survive the trip across the country to Oregon. Very pleased with your service too. Reason why I got good number wasn’t for eating but for a project I had for them. We was going to farm this year and last year we had a state ag inspector out here and said we had a major problem that we were infested with grasshoppers. It was so bad they said we probably lose everything ( crop). Which we did. We didn’t want to spray since we wanted organic. So we decided to to try Guineas this year and everyone thought problem wouldn’t go away. Wow they did wiped out the grass hoppers and seek them out. but we did lose some even when I house and lock them up at night. The Eagles, owls, coyotes, Bobcats, raccoons and even people had some tummy fillings with our birds but they sure pleased Us and surely we will get more.

  • Dennis Clark says:

    I took up the hobby of raising a few Guineas in my back yard this spring for local gardeners. I own a large farming operation and enjoy this as a hobby. I have got keets from three sources this spring. The keets I got from Joel are extremely healthly They grow faster and just seem more healthly than the others. I ordered 100 and they shipped me 102 all alive. I will order again.

  • David says:

    Greetings, just wanted to share this with people considering ordering from JM. This was my first time ordering and my first time raising guinea fowl. The service they provided was outstanding, 100 guinea shipped to Oregon, and I have had no problems with the birds. They are about 3 weeks old and doing exceptionally well. The guide they provide was also very helpful. Cheers, )>.

  • Danny van Cleeff says:

    I raised four Guineas from week-olds on a 50×100 lot. I handled them as much as I could, and three of them grew tame. Once released, they all stayed in the yard with the chickens and ducks. The furthest they went was on the roof of the shed.

  • joseph gayan says:

    I plan to purchase guinea chicks next spring…..can they be kept in a large pen rather than free range? thanks

  • Carl C. Lamb says:

    You might want to advise that their meat is all dark. Second: They make good watch dogs. A stranger cannot come onto your property, where they are are observed by these birds, as they will sure let it be known.

  • Martha Stracener says:

    Do you ever sell juvenile guineas? I had a beautiful pair, and one drowned in our watering tank for alpacas. The one I have left is silent, so I think it must be the female. One used to be so vocal when anything new showed up at the farm. I would like to find some older guineas to keep this one company.

  • Steve Rawson says:

    I live in the Salt Lake City, UT and I want to get Guinea fowl to help protect my garden from bugs. It is in the city .23 acres but I keep hearing the roam all over. Will I be able to keep them in my yard? Can I clip their wings? Any suggestions? Thank you in advance, Steve

    • Joel Martin says:

      Yes, guineas do roam over several acres. So I really can’t recommend that you have them in the city unless you keep them penned. We can clip one wing to keep them from flying, but they will still roam. I really would hate to have you jeopardize your relations with your neighbors.

  • Lonnie Faubion says:

    How do you tell the roosters from the hens?

    • Joel Martin says:

      Hello Lonnie,
      There is no one in the USA with the capability to sex the keets when they hatch. It is even difficult to tell the difference between the adult males and females. The males are generally larger and have longer wattles (those things that hang down from their head). Some people claim they can tell the difference in their chirping.

      JM Hatchery

  • Brenda says:

    I am looking for some laying hen chicks, can you recommend a hatchery?

  • Lois Hopper says:

    I live in Northern California…. Are there any regulations regarding Guinnies that prevent my purchasing them. This private location is buttressed into the Klamath National Forest. Thank you.

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