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Guineafowl: Helmeted guineafowl

Numida meleagris
Bird

IUCN Status
In the wild this species adapts well to human development (often living in modern developed suburbs) and is considered of “least concern”.



Diet

Guineafowl like chickens can scratch at the dirt with their claws dislodging insects, plants, seeds, snails, worms, insects & small vertebrates etc.

Habitat

Native to Africa (south of the Sahara) this is the most well-known bird of the guineafowl family as it regularly occurs in captivity and can be considered domesticated!

Behaviour

A typical communal flock bird (usually 25-30 birds) outside of the breeding season. Roosting together. A terrestrial species preferring to run rather than fly!

Breeding

Nests can contain 25-30 eggs or more from 2 or 3 egg laying females. Incubation lasts about 27days and the precocial chicks called “keets” run around after their mother.

Fun Facts

Purported to taste better than chicken they are considered a luxury food item on menus.

Often kept as guards because of their ability to give high pitched and loud alarm calls when danger is noticed.

At The Zoo

Our helmeted guineafowl are kept free range within the zoo. They seldom leave the confines of the zoo perimeter and provide a useful night time natural alarm!