Rules for the winter keeping of guinea fowl
Guinea fowl are poultry with an exotic pedigree that attract attention not only with their beautiful bright plumage, but also with productive characteristics. Caring for the "royal bird" is not particularly difficult, but keeping guinea fowl in winter requires certain conditions to be met.
Guinea fowl content in winter
Since during this period there is a risk of loss of the offspring of birds or weakening of the physical condition of adult guinea fowl, the egg production of birds also weakens, which affects the profitability of the farm.
Guinea fowl features
These exotic birds look like turkeys and domestic chickens. Their homeland can be considered West and South Africa. In Russia, they appeared in the XVIII century. There are many breeds of guinea fowl. But they are all similar in their characteristics and methods of cultivation.
If guinea fowl were previously bred as decorative birds, now the main reason is tasty and healthy meat and nutritious eggs. The maintenance of this species of birds does not require high financial and labor costs. Another plus is high productivity. With proper care, the hen guinea fowl is able to produce 150 eggs per year. An amazing feature of the products obtained is that the guinea fowl egg can be stored for several years without losing its beneficial properties. The meat of these chickens is dietary, very tender, contains a lot of hemoglobin and vitamin A.
Guinea fowl rarely get sick, unlike other domestic birds, which makes it easier to care for them. They have a peaceful nature, which makes it possible for the breeder to put them in the same room with other birds. But you need to know that guinea fowls are very shy. When they are afraid, they begin to scream very loudly. Rats and mice, pets, and even strangers can be frightened, so it is important that only one owner feeds and cares for guinea fowl, otherwise they will become inactive, may stop laying eggs and even die. These birds are extremely devoted to their poultry breeder and establish a close emotional connection with him.
Proper care for guinea fowl in winter
One of the main features of guinea fowls is their adaptability to cold weather.
Every breeder knows that these unusual birds have great stamina and strong immunity. The body temperature of an adult is 42.5 ° C for almost the entire year, and in winter it drops to 40 ° C.
The winter content of guinea fowl has several nuances. Because of their characteristics, birds can even live in unheated rooms in winter, but it is imperative to protect the house from winds and drafts, as well as to perch, so that guinea fowls do not sit on a cold floor. This is done so that the birds do not catch a cold or get other diseases. Even despite the fact that young chicks hatching in the winter have high immunity, they are still not quite strong and, due to poor living conditions, can become ill or even die.
The main conditions for guinea fowl in winter:
- Convenient feeders. Proper nutrition is the key to a healthy bird, and therefore, delicious, harmless meat and a large number of eggs.
- The presence of a sufficient number of perches. They are needed so that guinea fowls have a place to rest and sleep. Moreover, each bird should have its own perch. Also, creating a comfortable living environment guarantees a high level of productivity in winter. The height of the crossbars should not be more than half a meter above the ground.
- Floor covering with natural materials: straw, dry peat or sawdust. In winter, this will help keep warm in the barn or cage. Cleaning the floor is easy enough: you can simply fill up the dirty coating layer with a clean one. This will not only help maintain cleanliness, but also increase heat.
- Ensuring adequate lighting, as guinea fowls rush only during the day when the room is light. Proper organization of additional lighting will help to increase the egg laying period, especially in winter, when the day is very short. The most suitable conditions are lighting up to 15 hours a day for an adult bird. An artificial source of light and heating will protect the guinea fowl from diseases due to freezing.
Also, the correct maintenance of guinea fowls involves maintaining a dry room in the winter. The shed or aviary should be slightly inclined so that mold does not form from accumulated moisture.
The increased level of humidity in the room leads to lower body temperature of guinea fowls and a low level of egg laying, which in turn negatively affects the financial profitability of the farm.
How to choose a temperature regime for guinea fowl in winter
These chickens can survive a 50-degree frost, but they will be carried much less, so in winter it is very important to keep guinea fowls warm. The room temperature should be at least 17 ° C.
Also, in order to maintain a high level of bird productivity, it is necessary to provide conditions not only for their comfort, but also for mating. To do this, the minimum area of the barn or cage should be 1 square. m for 2 guinea fowl indoors and not less than 30 square meters. m in open space.
Winter Feeding Rules
These poultry feed not only on plants and feed, but also on various insects. In winter, it is impossible to find fresh grass and small insects, so you need to create a diet for birds that provides them with all the necessary substances.
You can’t feed the birds only with food all winter, you need to give them sand and ash that will satisfy their physiological needs. Laying birds should be given feed with the addition of eggshells containing calcium, since during the gestation of eggs they quickly consume it.
What diet will be optimal for egg production
To enrich the diet of birds with useful substances, you can include ingredients such as:
- vegetable waste, skins of potatoes and carrots, which will compensate for the lack of greens;
- sour milk products and fish oil;
- silage, haylage or grain.
Before going to bed, you should feed the guinea fowl with compound feed in order to maintain the high body temperature of the birds and provide them with the necessary energy for an active life. Properly selected feed ration will help increase bird productivity in winter.