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 Post subject: Sexing Guinea Fowl
PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 11:12 am 
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Wise One
Wise One

Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:36 pm
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The most accurate & reliable way for the layman to sex Guineas, or more correctly, to identify female Guineas, is by the two syllable "buck-wheat" or "come-back" call (unless you see them in process of laying). Particularly so for young birds from approx six weeks of age, & for those not so familiar with Guinea Fowl & their behaviors. Sometimes females aren't as accommodating with their "come-back" call when we would like them to be. I have found that separating/penning birds individually will usually see the females calling within a short time.

There are other traits/behaviors that can also be used to help identify between the sexes. Wattles tend often to be smaller &/or flat against the face in females, but not always. This trait may vary between birds, & groups of birds. Females also tend to show more "cushion" over rump area. They don't appear as "hunch-backed" as the males, look to be shorter in the leg, don't "parade" (wings up like sails, side-ways stance, chasing each other, charging the females) to the same degree, & often more focused on feeding/searching with heads down.

Helmets size/shape, although variable, does tend to differ generally between the sexes also. Males often have a taller, more upright helmet with "squarer" front/top line angle. Females will often have a finer, more hooked back, pointier looking helmet. Helmet size/shape may change with age/injury.

The males "cere" (fleshy red tissue @ bridge of upper beak) is often larger than that of the female, but not always. In the male the cere has a tendency to be quite high, while in the female it is often quite flattish. Cere size & shape can change with age. Some birds may have a "warty" looking cere.

Head size/structure is often larger, coarser, & stronger looking in the adult male than in the female. For males, the head when viewed from the top (including beak) will appear broader, longer, heavier browed, with deeper depression between the helmet & cere. From the side it will appear longer, deeper, with helmet & cere as described above.

Size generally isn't a useful way to differentiate between the sexes. Males are said to be slightly larger although average weight (in some flocks @ least) reported as 1.48kg for both sexes (Guinea Fowl Production; A guide for domestic & wild guinea fowl enthusiasts, Dr.'s Ross Gordon Cooper & Shahram Golzer Adabi, 2012, p. 43).

From a pen of five second-year birds, one lavender male & two pearl females weighed. Both pearl females & the lavender male were each found to weigh 1.6kg (Rollyard, 2013).

Male birds may appear larger/taller than females due to the way they carry themselves when moving, particularly when wings elevated. Females when standing upright & calling can appear larger @ times too. Some strains have been selected for size, eg, the so called Jumbo French Guinea Fowl developed as a meat variety.

A young Lavender Guinea female sounding the female only two syllable "come-back", or "buck-wheat" call. Males do not sound this call. Some hens will start @ around six weeks of age.


Lavender male Guineas exhibiting some typical behaviors (wings up like sails, side-ways stance, chasing each other, charging the females).


Below a young Silver male Guineas front, left, & right head shots. Note the different wattle shape on the one bird, ie, left side is cupped, right side is flat. He has a well raised cere already, & not so "swept back" helmet.
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A second season Pearl Grey Pied hen follows. Again, inconsistent wattles. Hence, one of the reasons why wattles cannot be relied on to sex birds. A more refined head though, with a more hooked, or rear swept helmet, & flatter cere.
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A second season Lavender male. Even, large cupped, thick wattles. Broader, stronger looking head. Deeper depression between helmet & cere. Cere more prominant, raised. Helmet more upright, less swept to rear, larger than the same age female above.
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A young Cinnamon male. Again, heavier, broader looking head. More upright helmet. Prominent cere with some early papillae development evident. Large, low hanging, thick wattles.
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A young Cinnamon female. Note that she has cupped wattles but they aren't as large nor as thick as the same age young Cinnamon male above. More refined head. Less prominent cere with less depression between cere & helmet. Helmet smaller & more swept to the rear.
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 Post subject: Re: Sexing Guinea Fowl
PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 12:23 pm 
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Assist Admin
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Love the pics Rollyard!
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder I guess. :biggrin:

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 Post subject: Re: Sexing Guinea Fowl
PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 2:12 pm 
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Assist Admin
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Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2005 1:11 am
Posts: 21522
Location: Gold Coast, QLD, AUSTRALIA
A very informative post , thanks Rollyard.

I've put a pointer post in What is This?:

Link to thread on Sexing Guinea Fowl
We still get the odd non-chicken enquiry but by & large they end up in the dedicated breed forums. :-)

It is now more than a year since the Index there has been updated & I don't know whether or not it will be picked up again.

At the moment the only two threads related to this forum in the What is This ? Index are as follows:
Quote:
Other poultry Quail, peacock

viewtopic.php?t=7962377 - Quail Age not stated -Male silver King, agreement BUT female - Brown or Jap - difference of opinion not resolved B,G
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=7975322 chicken X guinea fowl

Codes used:
  • B=Breed enquiry
  • G= Gender enquiry

:-)
PS - I'll fix up those links later if I can. D. ;-)


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 Post subject: Re: Sexing Guinea Fowl
PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 2:45 pm 
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Golden Swan
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Location: Albany, Western Australia
Great photos! I will add it to the Guinea Index.

NellyG

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 Post subject: Re: Sexing Guinea Fowl
PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 5:57 pm 
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Wise One
Wise One

Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:36 pm
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:th


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 Post subject: Re: Sexing Guinea Fowl
PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 7:04 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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Wow Rollyard, you have gone into a lot of detail. This is a really good topic to help people with Guinea Fowl. Also the pictures are great!


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 Post subject: Re: Sexing Guinea Fowl
PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 8:08 pm 
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Wise Wyandotte
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 8:44 pm
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Great photps and post. As a guinea fowl judge who has judged at the royals I can testify to the fact I have seen strains of guinea fowl where both male and female have the same wattles and I have several here with both male and female with cup wattles.

As you said the only way to tell the sexes is by call. An excellent post and photos.

auctioneer

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 Post subject: Re: Sexing Guinea Fowl
PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:08 pm 
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Golden Phoenix
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Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2007 10:39 am
Posts: 10113
Location: Tarago, near Goulburn
Thank you for this!! I'll need it eventually ...


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 Post subject: Re: Sexing Guinea Fowl
PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:25 am 
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Wise One
Wise One

Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:36 pm
Posts: 2721
Hopefully it will be of some help. Thanks for comments :-)


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