What is the Difference Between Guineafowl and Chicken?

Difference Between Guineafowl and Chicken

Chickens are among the most popular birds people like to raise on land. However, to know the differences between Guineafowl and chicken, you need to know about these two lovely birds individually. 

These birds are domesticated animals used as watchdogs at house farms against insects and rodents. So whether you have a farm or a homestead, having some ground-feeding land fowl is a good idea. 

They are excellent at providing eggs and meat, but some can also aid in controlling pests, like ticks. The difference between Guineafowl and chicken has been carefully outlined in this post. Kindly continue reading to get more insight.

Guineafowl

Another name for a Guineafowl is Numididae, and it belongs to the same family as quail, pheasants, peacocks, turkeys, and chickens. Guineafowl is mainly seen in Africa and can be domesticated like chickens. 

This is a resilient and ailment-free bird; despite its magnificent nature, it cannot be readily trained. The only species in the genus Numida is the Helmeted Guineafowl (Numida meleagris), which is the most well-known of the Numididae family of Guineafowl birds. 

This was the only Guineafowl species that was tamable and used as a source of food and income. You should also know that there are other subspecies of the helmet Guineafowl, and each has a distinct personality and domestic values. 

A fun fact about this bird is its ability to go a long time without water. The Guineafowl practically eats anything; plants and animals are delicacies for this bird. This feature makes the Helmet Guineafowl an excellent household pest controller.

Farmers have different reasons for keeping Guineafowls. This bird isn’t only kept to control pests; they are also used as watchdogs. So you should expect it to make loud sounds when a predator is spotted. 

Besides humans eating its meat, the Guineafowl has other potential predators, including snakes, leopards, and other big cats. This bird is an easy target, as they don’t have the means to defend themselves. 

Chicken

When you hear chicken, the first thing that comes to mind is the delicious taste of its meat. Chickens are raised domestically for egg production and used as a source of income. Amazingly, some humans even keep this bird as a pet. 

Chicken is the most domesticated and widespread bird in the world. As a result, there are hundreds of chicken breeds and classifications. They are distinguished by their place of origin, skin color, size, comb, and egg coloring. 

Chickens usually scratch the ground with their beaks, looking for food. They feed on insects, grains, byproducts, fruits, and vegetables. However, sometimes they feed on larger animals like mice, lizards, and other rodents. 

This bird is also used for security on farmlands. They make noises and become restless when there is an intruder in sight.

Unfortunately, they might end up devoured by bigger predators like birds of prey, coyotes, snakes, skunks, and rodents due to their inability to fly.

Despite being members of the bird family, chickens cannot fly very far or very high. In addition, since chickens are highly vulnerable to prey when they’re asleep, they prefer to sleep on trees or fences to prevent getting attacked.

Difference Between Guineafowl and Chicken

Chickens and Guineafowl have much in common. Nonetheless, even with these similarities, they each still have their uniqueness. Guineafowl and chicken are suitable for food but also help control pests. 

If you have a farmhouse, raising these birds will not be a bad idea to beef up farm security. The following are some of the characteristics that distinguish Guineafowl and chicken:

Size

Guineafowl may be smaller than an average-sized chicken. For instance, your average chicken breed weighs 2.2 pounds to 6.6 pounds, stands 2.5 feet tall, and grows 17.7 inches in length.

On the other hand, Guineafowl can weigh around 3.5 pounds, stand 1.9 feet tall, and be 30 inches long.

One of the apparent difference between Guineafowl and chicken is their eggs. A chicken’s egg is larger than a Guineafowl’s egg, and your average chicken can lay up to 300 eggs in a year.

A chicken egg can weigh up to 1.7 ounces and grow 1.5 inches wide and 2 inches long. The most common hues of chicken eggs include brown, white, green, and blue.

The Guineafowl’s egg weighs 1.48 ounces, is 1.3 inches wide, and measures 1.5 inches in length. Its shells are brown with patches of color, and it is firmer and thicker than chicken eggs.

However, the differences between Guineafowl and chicken are pretty evident in the eggs they produce.

Behavior

Compared to Guineafowl, chickens are less aggressive. Guineafowls are naturally hostile to new flocks and can escape their enclosure if given the slightest chance. Chickens do indeed wander about too, but not to fly the coop. 

While these two birds can make great housemates, they shouldn’t be kept together in tight spaces. Guineafowl becomes quite unpleasant when locked in a small area.

Chickens are comfortable in any enclosure, but these two will do well together in an open space to be on the safe side. 

Due to their aggressive nature, Guineafowl become agitated and aggressive in cramped spaces, causing them to bully chickens.

Even though Guineafowls can be domesticated, they are still autonomous creatures enjoying foraging for food. Unlike Guineafowl, chickens are excellent parents and protect their offspring from cold and predators.

On the other hand, Guineafowls will abandon their babies immediately after hatching, leaving parenting responsibilities behind. These little hatchlings can become food for predators, get lost, or die of cold.

Meat Taste

You will see the difference between Guineafowl and chicken in the looks and texture of both types of meat. Guineafowl meat is somewhat thinner and a bit darker than chicken. To be safe, more care should be taken to avoid overcooking it. 

Guineafowl meat is even more delicious if paired with vegetables, fruits, or sweet potatoes. Also, the meat is more flavorful than that of a chicken.

Appearance

Guineafowls are roundish with small featherless heads. Its body is covered with gray feathers with tiny white patches. Domesticated species can come in various color combinations, including white, purple, yellow, and blue.

Others may have several combinations of colors, such as purple, yellow, and white. You’d also notice a red, fleshy wattle hanging down on each side of the beaks. Meanwhile, males might have more wattle than females. 

The domestic chicken comes in various shapes and colors, but they all have many similar physical characteristics. Its comb and pair of wattles are two features that set the chicken apart from other birds, and this feature is most noticeable in the male chicken.

Food

The difference between Guineafowl and chicken can be seen in what they consume. Guineafowls are ruthless and are not scared to take on other larger animals like snakes and mice. They play the role of pest controllers and are more carnivorous than chickens. 

Feeding Guineafowl may be a lot easier as they love to wander far in search of food, but the same can’t be said for chickens.

Best for Farms

Having Guineafowl in your farmhouse isn’t a bad idea, but chickens will be the best option if you have a small space.

Guineafowls tend to wander, and you wouldn’t want them disturbing your neighbors. Nevertheless, they might be a terrific addition if you have a larger space. 

Paraventure, you decided to raise a guineafowl; it is not advised to release them all at once in the yard. Instead, keep them confined in the yard so they can become comfortable and accustomed to it. They will gradually learn to get along with the other farm animals.

Conclusion

While there are several difference between Guineafowl and chicken, you can read up on some of the above. To better keep these birds, it is advised to have them together from infancy. Even though they share the same behavioral traits, each has distinctive characteristics. 

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