Feed your birds right: How the King of guinea fowl farmers won his crown

| December 8, 2019

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This week’s Farmer story from Ghana talks about the potential of guinea fowl to improve soil fertility and manage pests. Our Script of the week talks further about guinea fowl and in particular, how to feed them right.

In northern Ghana, nine of ten households raise guinea fowl, and the birds play a significant role in ensuring that households have enough to eat and earn a little income. Most farmers let guinea fowl forage freely. The birds forage for their own food and sleep in trees around houses.

There is high demand for both guinea fowl meat and eggs. For families in northern Ghana, guinea fowl are the first item they sell to meet immediate needs such as farm inputs, or for food during the June to August lean season.

Rural and suburban households in northern Ghana typically raise five guinea fowl and one guinea cock. Poor households sell their stock early, while better-off households retain their birds longer, then harvest eggs until October or November and replace their birds with new stock.

In most of northern Ghana, both men and women can own guinea fowl.

There are a number or challenges to raising guinea fowl, including: high keet mortality, lack of supplementary feeding, and differentiating between male and female keets. This four-episode drama deals with the challenges of feeding guinea fowl.

You might choose to present this drama as part of your regular farming program, using voice actors to represent the speakers. You could also use this drama as inspiration to research and develop a radio program on guinea fowls in your own country.

If you choose to use this item as inspiration for creating your own program about guinea fowl, you could talk to extension agents and farmers in your area, and ask the following questions:

  • Are guinea fowl raised in your area?
  • Do farmers use free-range systems, or do they confine their birds for part or all of their lives?
  • What are the major challenges to raising guinea fowl in your area? What solutions have been found for these challenges?
  • What feeds are given to guinea fowl in your area?

Apart from speaking directly to farmers and other key players in the local agriculture sector, you could use these questions as the basis for a phone-in or text-in program.

Estimated running time for this item is 20-25 minutes, including intro and outro.