Gender Checking Guinea Fowl

When you Google sexing Guinea Fowl, everyone says it is HARD to tell the difference. It really is when they are young.

When they are fully mature, it is actually really easy to tell the difference, but not by the usual methods.

The usual advice is to consider three things:

1. Size of the helmet. The horn on top of the head. This is kinda useless, since there is often little if any discernable difference. The biggest difference is in very old males.

2. Size of the wattles. The wattles on males are larger (and curve more) it is true, but it is really hard to distinguish this except in old guineas. In a mixed flock of older and younger, this will only tell you which are old males. Many females have sizable wattles, and if you are trying to differentiate them when they are just beginning to mature, this feature may or may not be of value.

3. The vocal pattern. This is definitive in one direction only - you can tell that a female is a female, but you cannot tell that a male is a male. Both make a single syllable call, but only the females make a two syllable call. Fine, if you can actually SEE a female when she is making a two syllable call. That is surprisingly harder than you'd imagine. So this WORKS, but is of limited value.

So how do you tell?

In spite of those who say, "You cannot tell by looking at one.", you can!

As long as the birds are mature, the body shape tells you absolutely.

Females have a longer, narrower neck to tail shape. An elongated oval shape with a shallow breast and lightly curved back line.

Males have a sort of rounded square shape, with the neck on one corner, and the tail on the opposite corner, and the breast and back forming the other two corners. The body is deep, the breast is low, and the back is much higher than a female's back.

This difference is very distinctive, and once you see it, you'll never mistake mature males and females again!

One more note...

Do not think that you can keep a breeding flock with one or two males and a harem of females. Guinea fowl don't work that way.

Guinea Fowl are monogamous.

They pair up, one to one. And they may do so for life.

So careless culling may torpedo a breeding plan, either by taking out the ones you think look fatter, or thinner (depending on your goals), or by disrupting breeding pairs.

They are fun birds. Noisy, but fun to have around. And delicious.

Just cull carefully.