While more people have decided to raise guinea fowl, those new to the game seem to be having increasing difficulty when it comes to determining their sex. You may think it doesn’t matter if they are male or female, but it does. This is especially true for those who hope to keep breeding maintained and avoid unwanted numbers of keets each season.

If you’re new to the world of guinea fowl, or simply struggle when it comes to sexing those on your property, we’re here to help. We’ll take a look at the best ways to determine the sex of your guinea fowl, both physically and audibly, so you can control your population and learn more about these amazing birds.

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The Vocalization of the Guinea Fowl

helmeted guinea fowl
Image Credit: Pixabay

Guineas are one of the loudest animals you can have on your farm. Are your neighbors complaining about your rooster crowing every morning? Show them what a bird can do by bringing a couple of guinea fowl home. Guineas don’t start vocalizing until they are 8 to 10 weeks old. This is when you determine their sex. Luckily, all the noise guineas make helps you tell. Male and female guineas have distinct vocalizations, the tricky part is determining which of these mouthy birds is yelling.

A male guinea’s call is a single syllable. Many of those who raise guinea fowl claim the noise is similar to the word “wheat” or the sound “chi”. When you hear the male guineas erupt, you can decide what word you think they’re yelling to their ladies. The important thing to notice is the syllables.

When it comes to the hens, they are just as loud and obnoxious as their male counterparts, but their call has a different ring to it. If you’re attempting to single out the females of your flock, listen for two-syllable calls. Some breeders and farmers feel like the hens call out, “buckwheat” in answer to the males, “wheat” call.

One thing to keep in mind, however, when it comes to the hens is they aren’t always going to make the long call when they vocalize. They can copy their male counterparts. However, the cocks cannot make the two-syllable sound the ladies make. If you’re planning on sexing your guinea fowl using this method, watch and listen for a few days. This will help you avoid misgendering your birds.

Sexing Guineas by Physical Appearance

Determining the sex of guinea fowl using their physical appearance is much harder than applying the vocalization method. That’s not to say it can’t be done, but there is more of a window for mix-ups with this sexting method.

Like with several animals, male guineas have a slightly different appearance than females. Normally, the cocks are bigger when compared to the hens. You’ll also notice a more pronounced head dressing and a larger wattle on the males.

guinea fowls walking on the grass
Image Credit: Piqsels

Another physical trait some farmers use for recognizing the sex of guineas is a tail hump some females get. This hump isn’t on every female you see, but only females get it. The hump can be found on a hen’s back just above the tail. It’s a small lift or hump, but can easily be noticed when a female is near a male.

Using physical appearances to sex your guinea fowl should be used as a way of double-checking the sex of your birds. The quinea vocalization method is easily the best route to go when it comes to learning how many males and females are running around your backyard.

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In Conclusion

As you can see, the guinea fowl is one of the most difficult birds to sex. If you have decided to make guinea fowl part of your life, be prepared to wait. Guineas cannot be sexed at birth. It isn’t until they are 8 to 10 weeks of age that the vocalization and physical characteristics truly begin to develop. When your keets are big enough, you’ll get to spend hours listening to the calls in hopes of picking out the males from the females. Have fun!


Featured Image Credit: JaycePhoto, Shutterstock