Friday, February 7, 2014

Raising Quail, Peacocks and Guinea Fowl

In addition to some of the more common birds, there are several other types that can be raised on a homestead, including peafowl, quail and guinea fowl. Quail can be kept for eggs and meat. Peafowl are generally raised for their beautiful feathers and majestic presence. Guinea hens are tremendous for eating bugs and getting rid of ticks, as well as for producing eggs.

Benefits of Quail

 • Can be raised for eggs and meat
• Require less space than other backyard birds
• May be raised strictly for ornamental reasons

Benefits of Peafowl

 • Are generally considered ornamental
• Can provide feathers for selling
• Can serve as a good watch animal

Benefits of Guinea Hens

 • Provide excellent bug and tick control
• Produce eggs
• Won't scratch up the plants as much as other birds
• Can serve as a good watch animal

 • Both guinea hens and peafowl are noisy
• Guinea hens can be very timid with humans and aggressive with other birds such as chickens
• If you are raising quail for meat, they are much smaller than other birds and take more birds to get the same meat as a larger fowl
• Peafowl may be difficult to confine since they fly out of many enclosures

Quail: Quail can be kept in relatively small cages such as a rabbit hutch and fed chicken or turkey feed or special quail food.

Peafowl: Pens for peafowl must be tall and include a place for the birds to escape wet and snowy weather. Peafowl can be kept in a run or be allowed to free range. Although peafowl are larger and less likely to fall prey to predators they still need a safe place to sleep.

Guinea Fowl: These birds require an indoor space similar to a chicken that keeps them out of the elements, but they need more run space than chickens. Guinea hens are a great bird to allow to free range since they scratch less than chickens and are noisy enough to keep some predators away.

Resources for raising Backyard Birds

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