The Guinea Fowl Color Genetics
Though guinea fowl are divided into 3 varieties, there are actually more varieties of guinea fowl if we consider from the guinea fowl colors terms. The guinea fowl color genetics has not been researched further by the scientists. Nevertheless, it is said that the different colors come because of the combination of a few different genes.
Brown Guineas fowl are birds within the order of Galliformes, which also includes such birds as turkey, grouse, chickens, quail and pheasant, along with a few others. They are native to Africa and the most common of the Guinea fowl, the “helmeted Guinea fowl” have been introduced in many other countries around the world including the US. Here in the US, the helmeted Guinea fowl can be found in many of the warmer states of the central and southern regions. Some people raise Guinea fowl for food or for their eggs, but others keep them as their farm “watch birds”.
The helmeted Guinea fowl is about the size of a large chicken. They have a round body and a small head for their size. Their head is featherless with a crest on the top and bright red “waddles” around its beak. It has dark grey or black plumage with obvious white spots. If you can overlook their rather ugly head, they are really rather beautiful birds.
Guineas are known for being “seasonal” layers. Their eggs are a bit smaller than the average chicken egg and are very hard shelled. The guinea hen will lay eggs in a secluded nest on the ground. In season, they may lay one egg each day until they have a clutch of 20 to 30 eggs inside a deep, tapering nest. They like to hide their nest and will sometimes share the nest with other hens until they have accumulated a large clutch. The incubation period is about 26 to 28 days. They are also known for NOT being good mothers. Once the chicks, which are called “keets”, hatch, they are pretty much on their own. The mother may lead her keets out into tall grass and basically ignore them and many won’t return as they are highly susceptible to wet grass and can dry from the dampness.