Guinea fowl typically lay anywhere between 90-130 eggs a year. It’s largely dependent on the weather as they’re seasonal layers, producing most of their eggs in the summer months.
At What Age Do Guinea Fowl Start Laying Eggs?
They will typically start laying between the age of 15-20 weeks old. Although, it’s usually going to be in the first Spring after they hatched.
This is because Guinea are seasonal layers. As soon as the temperature starts picking up and daylight hours start increasing they’ll lay.
There are some things you can do to make it more likely they’ll lay, such as increasing the number of longer hours of light per day by adding artificial light. But it’s not as easy to encourage them to lay as it is with chickens.
Guineas are just not as prolific at laying eggs as chickens are. This is the main reason why they are rarely kept for eggs, they’re usually raised for their meat.
Where Do Guinea Fowl Nest and Lay Their Eggs?
This is one of the many interesting behaviors that Guineas have compared to chickens. They like to nest as they would in the wild - by finding somewhere secluded and safe from predators.
Even with a nice coop and some nesting boxes, they are much more likely to find a spot outdoors to make a nest.
A group of hens will share an area with several nesting spots, and a male will usually act as lookout for predators.
The clutch size varies depending on the species. For example, Helmeted guineafowl will usually go broody and sit on a clutch of 8-12 eggs. While Vulturines have much smaller clutches of 4-8 eggs.
If you’re keeping Guinea fowl you have to be a lot more vigilant about keeping an eye out and watching what they’re up to than you do with your chickens.
Find out where they’re nesting and collect those eggs daily if you want to use them so they don’t go broody and stop laying.
Related - What color are Guineafowl eggs?
How Many Eggs Does a Guinea Fowl Lay in a Year?
A Guinea hen will usually lay around 100 eggs a year.
Obviously, this can vary depending on environmental conditions, so I’d estimate a range of anywhere between 90-130.
As you’re probably aware, this is a lot less than you’d expect from a chicken hen. Some of the more prolific layers, like the Rhode Island Red or a Black Star, can lay in the region of 300 eggs a year.
As I mentioned earlier, they’re seasonal layers. What I mean by this is that their laying season typically starts in Spring when it’s warming up and daylight hours are extending.
Finishing around October when the opposite is happening, it’s getting colder and daylight hours are reducing.
During their laying season, you can expect an egg most days though. They don’t lay for as many years as chickens either, typically slowing down on production when they reach 5 years or so in age.
Related - Can you eat Guinea fowl eggs? What do they taste like?
How Long Do Guinea Fowl Live?
Guinea fowl live for approximately 10 to 15 years. They are happiest living in numbers, keeping one or two will reduce their lifespan as will any stressful conditions.
They’re known for being “hardy” though. There aren't a lot of known illnesses and I can’t find out much about owners having to deal with many health issues.
The common Helmeted Guinea fowl originates from Africa. So, as you can probably guess they have some good survival instincts in them.
They actually serve as great pest control. In the wild, they hang around groups of much larger animals and feed on ticks and other insects bothering them.
Guinea fowl aren’t commonly kept for their egg production in a commercial setting as they lay a lot fewer and smaller eggs than chickens.
It’s certainly one of the benefits of raising them in a backyard setting though.
If you keep Guineas you can expect around 100 eggs in a good year. They’ll lay throughout the Spring and Summer months.
Although their eggs taste the same as a chicken’s, there’s a novelty and fun factor to having them. Plus, there are plenty of other good reasons to raise Guinea fowl as I cover in more detail in this article - the pros and cons of raising Guineas and chickens.
Image credits - Header Image by Manuel de la Fuente, Guinea head image by Turgut Canbaş from Pixabay