What are the differences between Jumbo Guinea Fowl and French Guinea Fowl?
Good question! The short answer is: none. The long answer: Guinea fowl are popular in France as a source of meat. So the French have done to the guinea what the Americans have done with the chicken: Refine and produce bloodlines of large guinea fowl specifically for meat production. Jumbo guineas and French guineas are, for all purposes, the same thing. The bloodlines may be different but weights and characteristics are nearly identical. In fact, the terms “French” and “Jumbo” are used interchangeably. There is an understandable tendency to equate the French Guinea with the Jumbo Cornish Cross – which is a fast growing, hybrid meat chicken with a reputation for being a freak of nature. After all, both breeds were bred to dominate their market with a faster growing bird. But the difference is the the French Guinea has retained it’s natural foraging instincts a
nd ability to reproduce. It’s just a bigger strain of guinea fowl.
There are many myths surrounding French Guineas, one of which is that they cannot reproduce naturally. This IS NOT true.
If kept in captivity, French Guineas may not reproduce well but if allowed to free range, French Guineas can thrive and reproduce naturally just as any other strain of guinea fowl.
There is another myth that French Guineas cannot fly because of their weight. Again, WRONG.
Below I have a video that a customer (thanks Robert for your great feedback) posted on our Facebook page of a flock of French Guineas roosting rather high in a tree. These are the exact same breed you will get if you purchase day old French guinea fowl keets from us.
In fact, French Guineas prefer the highest roosts they can find. You’ll find them on top of your barn or high in trees. They can begin flying as soon as 3 weeks of age! The myth that French Guineas cannot fly may come from the fact that many heavy ducks bred for meat cannot fly because of their weight. People assume since the French Guinea has been bred to produce meat it’s some sort of genetically modified freak that can’t function normally. However, this is faulty logic and isn’t true. French Guineas can absolutely fly. They are fantastic foragers and will reproduce if allowed to free range. They will produce “true” offspring.
I hope that helps clear some things up!
Yours in Poultry,
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