Meat Guineas?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by BettyR, Mar 31, 2009.

  1. BettyR

    BettyR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 1, 2008
    Texas Gulf Coast
    I have a female guinea sitting on a pile of eggs in my hen house...*IF* these eggs hatch there is no way the chicks will be able to follow their mother in and out of the hen house as it is about 3 feet up off the ground. (Our weather is subtropical and we get a serious rainy season...so we built the house well up off the ground for that reason.)

    I was planning on putting the chicks inside a brooder inside the hen house with access for mom if she chooses to stay with them. I don't want a super flock of guineas so I was thinking about putting the chicks in the freezer when they were old enough.

    Does anyone out there raise guineas for meat...and if so can you tell me when is the best time to do the deed?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Brunty_Farms

    Brunty_Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They are sort of like pheasants when it comes to meat so it's going to take them about 14-20 weeks depending on how big you want them. Feed them about a 28% protein diet as they are big bug eaters as I'm sure your aware of. But they are easy to raise for meat you shouldn't have any problems raising them.

    Also keep in mind the mom probably will want to stay with them 24/7 and she will be quite protective of her keets. So try designing something where she can be with them all the time. After about 2 weeks they fly pretty well and will be able to get in and out of the coop, however beware of wet weather as guineas are poor mothers when it comes to rain and water. You have to figure they came from a place that usually sees rain once a year so if your not carefull she will lead the chicks right through wet grass.... and right out in the rain.

    Good luck...

    ETA: *IF*...... if you have a male guinea it's not going to be a big *IF*..... more like *WHEN* as their eggs are extremely fertile... especially if both parents are over a year old. However if these are her first eggs you may get only a 50% hatch. How many eggs are under her? Normaly they don't set until they have at least 30-40 eggs.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2009
  3. swampducks

    swampducks Overrun With Guineas

    Feb 29, 2008
    Barton City, MI
    We actually butchered a bunch of ours around 3-4 months old. They weren't very large but sure are tasty. Then again we didn't feed them on 28% protein either, the most I get around here is 21-24%.

    I second keeping them out of the wet 'cause that'll kill keets really fast.

    Good luck, I just puut 42 guinea eggs in the bator because they're laying like mad and it's way too cold to allow the hens to try to hatch any outside up here yet.
     
  4. SportTees

    SportTees Chillin' With My Peeps

    You can eat Guineas?? What do they taste like?? Chicken??
     
  5. swampducks

    swampducks Overrun With Guineas

    Feb 29, 2008
    Barton City, MI
    Quote:Heck yeah, I tell my neighbors they're African chickens. DH says they taste a little like chicken dark meat, though the meat doesn't look as dark as chicken dark meat.

    Ms Prissy raises a giant strain I think called French Pearls for meat. Mine are just regular old guineas. [​IMG]
     
  6. BettyR

    BettyR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is my first time raising guineas...they will be a year old in May. I think the majority of the flock is male. Out of 7 guineas I think only 3 are female...it's really hard to tell. There is only one female sitting the "nest" that she made on the floor of the hen house. It's easy to tell her apart from the other birds as she is a small white hen and very feminine looking.

    When they first started laying there were eggs all over the place...outside on the ground and all over the floor in the hen house. I was picking up the single eggs that I found for a while but when the eggs started accumulating in a makeshift nest on the hen house floor I left them alone.

    I haven't counted the eggs, the mom gets upset when I get too close so I try not to "invade" her space. This will be a learning experience for me.

    I appreciate your help...I have a basic wooden frame that has hardware cloth around it that sits in my hen house...when I have chicks I put them inside the frame with food and water. There is no lid so the mothering hen can come and go as she pleases but the chicks stay in the frame until they are old enough to fly out on their own.

    It seems to work well as non of the other chickens ever try to enter the brooder when mom isn't there...once the babies are mobile enough to follow mom non of the other hens bother the babies or mom would get them.

    Once mom has abandoned the young ones they roost on the edge of the brooder frame at night until the are old enough to establish their "spot" in the flock and join the older chickens on the regular roosts.

    That's how the guineas I have now were raised.
     
  7. PoultryPotts

    PoultryPotts Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have some and my grandpa says he is going to eat one. I don't mind because he bought me nine. I started out with four this year but he bought me more.Now I have 15. Also I have heard of people turning them loose and hunting them.
     
  8. Brunty_Farms

    Brunty_Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ohio
    Ok, I understand what your doing. That's a good idea as it keeps them pretty well contained until they are old enough. I doubt the mother will leave her keets, is it big enough for her too? It won't take them long to figure out how to get out.


    You can eat Guineas?? What do they taste like?? Chicken??

    I think they taste more like pheasant... good but dry if you over cook it. I wrap mine in baccon and grill it, I havn't had guinea in about two years and I'm drooling thinking about them. They taste good but I can't handle the noise!​
     
  9. jvls1942

    jvls1942 Overrun With Chickens

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    first of all, guinea hens are lousy mothers.. you will be lucky if she raises 3 out of a dozen to adulthood.. ost of them will be gone in the first week due to her taking them thrugh wet grass and then not sitting on them to warm them up. and keets(babies) are very independent and will not stay with the mother anyhow.. and a keet can run and hide and you may think you saw it go under a certain leaf, you will most likely not find it..

    my advice is to take all the babies and raise them in a brooder with a good cover on it.. they will fly out in a matter of days.. and the holes in the fencing has to be less than 3/4" or they will squeeze through..

    you will have to catch the babies before they leave the nest.. the best way to do this is to make a small circle fence around the nest before they hatch,, . that is if you ever do find the nest..

    do not worry about the mother feeling sad if you take all her babies.. she will get over it in about15 minutes..
     
  10. SportTees

    SportTees Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sounds like guinea taste like Quail then- Dark meat chicken?
     

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