The Plumed Guinea Fowl (Guttera plumifera) is a game bird that is still little known in America. It is mainly found in Africa and is distinguished by its tuft of straight, brush-like feathers on its head. However, there is little information available on this large bird, given its shy demeanor and wilder nature than other guinea fowl species. Nevertheless, we have gathered the latest data in order to paint a fair picture of this rather mysterious guinea fowl.


Quick Facts about Plumed Guinea Fowl

Scientific Name:Guttera plumifera
Country of Origin:Central Africa
Uses:Game bird*
Size:17 inches high
Lifespan:10 to 15 years
Climate Tolerance:Warm climates
Egg Color:Pale buff with darkened pores
Clutch size:10 eggs
Flying Ability:Poor
Special Notes:Shy bird that remains hidden on the forest floor

This guinea fowl species is probably hunted for its meat by local populations in Central Africa, but there is no other data regarding its use and international trade.

Plumed Guinea Fowl Origins

Like all other species of wild guinea fowl, the Plumed Guinea Fowl was probably hunted by early African tribes and bred in captivity for their meat and eggs. These birds are said to have been bred in captivity for thousands of years. Indeed, archaeologists have discovered engravings and small statues of guinea fowl dating from ancient Egypt, more than 4,000 years ago.

However, due to the more discreet and shy nature of the Plumed Guinea Fowl, it is highly likely that it has never been fully domesticated, unlike other species of guinea fowl.

Plumed Guinea Fowl Characteristics

The Plumed Guinea Fowl is a large gamebird with black feathers, white markings, and an impressive large plume of black feathers on the top of the head. This large bird is nevertheless very shy and prefers to stay hidden in the lowlands of the tropical forests of Central Africa. Its range overlaps that of the Black Guinea Fowl, which has a bright red, crested head.

Little information is known about the vocalizations of the Plumed Guinea Fowl, but it seems to consist of low-pitched cackles and a series of “kak-kak-kak”.

Besides, all guinea fowl species live in sedentary groups when they do not reproduce and in monogamous pairs when they reproduce.


The Plumed Guinea Fowl is probably hunted for its meat by the local populations of Central Africa.

Appearance & Varieties

The Plumed Guinea Fowl is a large, plump bird measuring up to 17 inches tall. Its plumage is deep black and adorned with white spots. Its legs are long and plucked, like most guinea fowl. Its most distinctive feature is its large, well-tufted plumes of straight black feathers on the top of its head.


The Plumed Guinea Fowl is found in the forests, subtropical and tropical humid lowlands of Central Africa. It is present in Angola, Cameroon, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon, among others.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, the population of feathered guinea fowl is believed to be in decline due to continued habitat destruction and unsustainable hunting levels.

Are Plumed Guinea Fowls Good for Small-Scale Farming?

Guinea fowl are now found on farms around the world, where they are raised for their meat and eggs, just like chickens. However, little is known about breeding Plumed Guinea fowls in small-scale farming. So, if you are looking to raise guinea fowl in small flocks and backyards, you will have more success with the Helmeted variety (Numida meleagris).



In short, if your goal is to breed guinea fowl in your backyard, the Plumed Guinea Fowl may not be suitable for your needs. However, if you only want to learn more about this mysterious bird and observe it in its wild habitat, you may need to travel to the rainforests of Central Africa, as this species is almost impossible to find on the American continent.

See also:

Featured Image Credit: CatCav, Shutterstock