Skip Navigation

University of Nebraska–Lincoln

UNL Extension in Lancaster County

4-H Embryology

"4-H teaches science and life skills at school, home and on the Web".

About Guinea Fowl


Guinea fowl originated in Africa and they look much like they did long ago.

The male and female guineas look almost alike. The male has a larger helmet (the top of his head) and thicker wattles. When the birds are old than 2 months of age, you can tell what sex the bird is by listening to its call. The female makes a two syllable call - it sounds like "buck-wheat" "buck-wheat". The male makes a one syllable shriek - "CHI CHi Chi chi...". When females are excited, they will also make a shrieking sound.

Guineas are helpful on a farmstead because they sound an alarm anytime danger threatens (or when visitors pull into the driveway). About 90% of the diet of an adult Guinea fowl is insects - including ticks. Guineas do not scratch the ground like chickens. Instead, they pick insects from the leaves of plants and off the ground without damaging the garden.

Guinea eggs are smaller than chicken eggs and take 26 to 28 days to hatch. The baby guineas are called "keets" and they are very handsome little birds. The keets remain with their mother until they are almost full grown. When they are about 2 months old, they begin to grow their helmet and wattles. Adult female Guineas are called "hens" and the males are called "cocks".

Adult Guinea fowl like to roost in trees at night where they continue their noisy cries and chatter.

When Keets Are Grown

The guinea fowl hatched on EGG Cam will be returned to a farm. In 2007, we will be following a Lancaster County 4-H'er who will raise the keets hatched on EGG Cam. Watch for his story on this site.

To learn more:



Lancaster County, Nebraska
4-H Embryology Resources


Contact Information

University of Nebraska-Lincoln
in Lancaster County
Web site: lancaster.unl.edu
444 Cherrycreek Road, Suite A,
Lincoln, NE 68528
| 402-441-7180