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

| March 14, 2016

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In northern Ghana, nine out 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 find their own food and sleep in trees around houses.

Guinea fowl meat and eggs are in high demand. People in rural and suburban households in northern Ghana typically raise five guinea fowl and one guinea cock. Families sell their guinea fowl first to meet immediate needs such as farm inputs, or to buy food during the June to August lean season.

Poor farmers sell their birds early, while better-off farmers retain their guinea fowl longer, then harvest eggs until October or November, and then replace their birds with new stock.

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

Farmers face a number of challenges when raising guinea fowl, including: high keet mortality (young guinea fowl are called “keets”), lack of supplementary feeding, and differentiating between male and female keets. Our Script of the week is a four-episode drama that deals with how farmers tackle the challenges of feeding guinea fowl.