What Is the Difference Between Male and Female Guinea Birds?

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Increasingly popular with backyard breeders, guinea fowl provide eggs and meat for the table while serving as alarms and as insect pest eradicators. Males and females usually pair up monogamously throughout life. Male and female guinea birds look remarkably similar. A few unique characteristics of each breed will tip you off to your guineas' genders.

Sounds

Guinea offspring -- known as keets -- look identical in the earliest weeks of life. At about 8 weeks old, male and female keets will begin making vocalizations unique to their sexes. The sole sound emanating from the males will be a monosyllabic chirp or yelp repeated at varying intervals. While females can also make this same sound, they will also make a two-syllable vocalization that sounds like "buckwheat, buckwheat."

Physical Characteristics

As keets grow, males will develop larger wattles and larger casques on their heads, as well as larger bodies than the females. Females will have larger vents -- the openings under their tails -- once they begin laying eggs.

Behavior

At sexual maturity, males will begin running at one another with lowered heads and upraised wings in visual displays of dominance. A female will respond to the dominant male's display by lowering herself to the ground to submit to mating. A female will find secluded areas in the brush to lay her eggs, not returning to the enclosure at night when she is sitting on eggs.

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Author

A former world-class swimmer, J.T. O'Connell shares her love of adventure travel, extreme sports and pets through thousands of published articles. O'Connell studied journalism at Grand Canyon University, and brings professional experience as a tour guide and travel consultant. She authors the blog, Traveling With Large Dogs.