Guinea Fowl vs Chicken: What Are The Differences?

Helmeted Guineafowl, Numida meleagris, Kruger National Park, South Africa
© Peter Fodor/Shutterstock.com

Written by Kyle Glatz

Updated: July 10, 2022

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Whether you have a farm or a homestead, having some sort of ground-feeding land fowl is a good idea. Not only are they great at providing eggs and meat, but some of them can also aid in the control of pests, like ticks. Chickens are one of the most popular birds that people like to raise on their land. However, new bird breeds are gaining some traction as well, like the guinea fowl from Africa. Today, we’re going to compare the guinea fowl vs chicken and show you what makes them so unique.

Come learn about the five key differences in these birds, and you’ll have an easier time deciding which bird is right for you.

Comparing a Guinea Fowl and a Chicken

Guinea fowls and chickens belong to separate families.
Guinea FowlChicken
SizeWeight: 1. 7lbs – 3.5 lbs
Height: 1.7 ft to 1.9 ft
Length: 15 in to 30 in
Weight: 2.2 lbs to 6.6 lbs
Height: 2 ft to 2.5 ft
Length: 11.8 in to 17.7 in
Egg Size– 1.5-2 inches in length
– 1.29 inches in diameter
– 1.48 oz in weight
80-160 eggs per year
– Yolk roughly the same size as that of a chicken’s
– Harder, thicker shells
– Brown with freckles
– 2.0 inches in length
– 1.5 inches in diameter
– 1.7 oz in weight
– Up to 300 eggs per year
– Larger chicken breeds can produce even larger eggs
– Can be white, brown, and blue in solid colors
Domestication– Tend to range quite far
– May fight amongst themselves a lot
– Will harass some small predators like foxes and snakes
– Often perch in high places at night  
– Don’t range too far from home
–  Establish a pecking order by fighting amongst themselves
– Fights don’t occur too often when order is settled, the rooster is not causing problems, and they have provisions
– Prefer to roost inside a coop
Meat– Lean, even leaner than chicken
– Can be gamey
– Darker meat than chickens
– Lean, but still fattier than guinea fowl
– Somewhat gamey, but less so than guinea fowl
FamilyNumididaePhasianidae

The 5 Key Differences Between a Guinea Fowl vs Chicken

Buff Orpington chickens hens roosters

Chickens tend to be taller and heavier than guinea fowls.

©Racheal Carpenter/Shutterstock.com

The greatest differences between guinea fowls and chickens lie in their size, domestication, and meat. Chickens are larger than guinea fowl, weighing up to 6.6 lbs, standing 2.5 ft tall, measuring 17 inches in length, and more orderly while producing lean and healthy meat. Guinea fowls measure up to 3.5 lbs, stand 1.9 ft tall, and grow 30 inches in length while producing gamey, leaner, darker meat than chickens and being notorious for fighting amongst themselves.

This overview is not a complete look at the difference between these animals, though. In fact, we’re painting both creatures with a broad brush. That’s why we must look closer at the five key differences between these creatures in terms of size, egg size, domestication, meat, and family.

Guinea Fowl vs Chicken: Size

The average chicken is larger than a guinea fowl. An average-sized chicken breed will weigh anywhere from 2.2 lbs to 6.6 lbs, stand 2.5 ft tall, and grow 17.7 inches in length. The guinea fowl will weigh about 3.5 lbs, stand 1.9 ft tall, and measure 30 inches in length, the only measure it exceeds a chicken.

Some breeds of modern chickens have been bred to produce the most eggs and meat, so it’s only natural that they exceed the measures of a species that is not so widely farmed.

Guinea Fowl vs Chicken: Egg Size

chicken eggs

Chicken eggs have the same yolk size as guinea fowl eggs despite their size disparity.

©ANEK SANGKAMANEE/Shutterstock.com

An average chicken egg is about 2 inches in length, 1.5 inches in diameter, and weighs about 1.7 ounces. Some chickens can lay upwards of 300 eggs annually, and the eggs chickens produce are larger than guinea fowl eggs. Chicken eggs are brown, white, and blue in most cases, and they come in solid colors.

The eggs of a guinea fowl are between 1.5 and 2 inches long, 1.3 inches in diameter, and about 1.48 ounces in weight. On average, they are about one-third smaller than chicken eggs. Still, the yolks in these eggs are the same size as those in chicken eggs. The eggs are thicker and harder than chicken eggs, and they are brown with freckles of color. Also, they tend to be pointier than chicken eggs.  

Guinea Fowl vs Chicken: Domestication

Chickens are known for being well-suited to domestication. They will fight when trying to establish a pecking order or when harassed by roosters. For the most part, though, chickens don’t get into long-lasting fights. Also, chickens are known for staying close to home and returning to roost in a coop.

Guinea fowls tend to range a lot farther than chickens which can help with pest control. They also tend to fight amongst themselves more often. You will also find that they prefer to perch up in a high place at night instead of going into a coop. Guinea fowls are much louder than chickens, and they can call with a nerve-grating annoyance that is unmatched by many farm animals.

Still, they are great for eating ticks and scaring away some predators like foxes and snakes. Chickens also eat ticks, but they do not clear as large an area as the guinea fowls because they don’t range as far.

Guinea Fowl vs Chicken: Meat

Flock of guinea fowl at water hole

Guinea fowl meat is leaner and has a gamey flavor.

©EcoPrint/Shutterstock.com

Chicken meat is lean, a little fattier than the kind you get from guinea fowl, and only a little gamey. Guinea fowl meat is darker, gamier, and even leaner than chicken meat. The meat is more difficult to properly cook, and its flavor does not appeal to everyone.

Guinea Fowl vs Chicken: Family

A major difference between guinea fowls and chickens is that they do not belong to the same family of birds. Although both chickens and guinea fowl descend from the same scientific order, Galliformes, they each have their own family and species. Specifically, chickens are members of the Phasianidae family, and guinea fowls belong to the Numididae family.

Guinea Fowl vs Chicken: Which Makes the Better Farm Animal or Pet?

Do Birds Pee

Chickens are easier to raise and keep than guinea fowls.

©iStock.com/-101PHOTO-

Chickens are better farm animals than guinea fowls. For one thing, chickens require less land to live upon. Also, chickens are far less noisy and agreeable for the most part. Moreover, they do not fight as often, and they produce tastier eggs and meat.

Guinea fowls are very noisy animals that like to range far, sometimes off of your property completely. They may not all come home, either. Although they are useful at keeping the flock safe from some predators, their meat and eggs aren’t particularly better than chickens.


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About the Author

Kyle Glatz is a writer at A-Z-Animals where his primary focus is on geography and mammals. Kyle has been writing for researching and writing about animals and numerous other topics for 10 years, and he holds a Bachelor's Degree in English and Education from Rowan University. A resident of New Jersey, Kyle enjoys reading, writing, and playing video games.

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