Crested Guineafowl – Is Having It As a Pet a Bad Thing?

Recently we wrote an article about the more popular variety of guineafowl, the Helmeted guineafowl. Let’s introduce the Crested guineafowl now and give you a more in-depth picture of this bird.

On this page, we want to walk you through absolutely everything that you need to know about the Crested guineafowl.

Photo by Steve Garvie

Where Do Crested Guineafowl Come From?

The Crested Guineafowl is a bird species that is found in Africa. Specifically, it can only be found in Sub-Saharan Africa, and in recent years, the range of the bird has extended to Southern Africa. It mostly lives in woodland.

This bird is distinguished by the larger crest that it has on its forehead. This will be black. Their body size makes them one of the largest birds in Africa, weighing in at around 3.3 lbs. (1.5 kg).

They will be 20-inches in length. Their plumage will be black with a lot of white spots over them.

There are a few subspecies of the Crested Guineafowl that may look slightly different, but they pretty much all conform to this look.

What Does the Guineafowl Eat?

As with most guineafowl, the Crested guineafowl will pretty much eat anything it can. It will probably be focused on chowing down on plants, but it does love insects on occasion.

Photo by Derek Keats

One thing this guineafowl does regularly, and which isn’t observed in another guineafowl, is that they tend to search through the feces of other animals, particularly larger animals such as elephants.

This is because feces from larger animals always tend to be a decent source of food for undigested seeds, as well as a few insects.

This means that you will often find Crested guineafowl pretty close to where other animals are located.

Breeding the Crested Guineafowl

The Crested guineafowl is a bird that is completely monogamous. Once it has found a partner, that partner will remain with them for the rest of the mating season.

During the mating season, this guineafowl will lay around four eggs.

While the Crested guineafowl are known for traveling around in larger flocks, these flocks will start to break down during the mating system.

As the various birds start to pair off, they will incubate their eggs in direction locations. They may join up to search for food on occasion but, for the most part, it will just be the male and the female bird raising their own clutch of eggs.

When the newly hatched birds have grown up enough, the flock will join together again. It will take 2-3 months for egg-laying to the reformation of the flock.

That being said, this is a breed that can also follow a process known as ‘brood parasitism’.

This means that they may not always raise their own young. Instead, they will ‘secretly’ lay their eggs in the nest of other Crested guineafowl. This will introduce new genetic material to the various flocks of bird.

The Flight of the Guineafowl

This is a larger bird, which means that it will be spending most of its time walking around, just like other guineafowl species. However, it can fly if needed, although not for very long.

The maximum distance a Crested guineafowl can fly will be around 330 feet (100-meters). However, their flight action is immensely powerful and provides a great way to escape from predators.

Most of their flying is done to allow them to roost high up in trees at night.

Crested Guineafowl as a Pet

This is a bird that should never be raised as a pet. it is not domesticated. If you want a domesticated guineafowl, then you have the Helmeted guinea fowl out there.

While the Crested guineafowl can be raised in captivity, it is limited to those that are running show aviaries. This is a bird that you only really want to be handling if you know what you are doing.

As a Show Bird

Since this isn’t really a popular breed of animal. and because there has been no domestication of the bird, you will not see Crested guineafowl shows.

It is unlikely that you will ever see them either. It will never be that type of bird. The closest you will ever find this bird to being shown off is due to the fact that it is a staple bird breed at most zoos.

Crested Guineafowl Meat

Of course, the Crested guineafowl will not be raised as a food bird. At least not in the United States. However, in Africa, it will be hunted for food.

This isn’t surprising, really. This is a bird that has a huge amount of meat on it, and it can provide a decent meal.

There are probably some families that will try and domesticate the bird to provide them with a meat source, but this is something that rarely works out.

Personality of the Crested Guineafowl

The Crested Guineafowl is the quietest guineafowl, they do not make a sound unless they absolutely have to. The loud and irritating guineafowl sound and noise is more characteristic of the Helmeted guineafowl.

This is an incredibly aggressive breed, though. They are well-known for chasing anybody that comes close to them.

Photo by Derek Keats

This is probably the main reason as to why this guineafowl would never be raised as a pet.

Even if you form some sort of bond with this guineafowl, it is going to chase you away. You will never be able to get close to it.

That being said, it is only really aggressive towards humans. This is a bird that can live in mixed aviaries.

While there will be some birds that it doesn’t get along with, a lot of the time, it probably won’t pay much attention to them.

The Crested guineafowl will just need to have a lot of space available to it. If you do see the Crested guineafowl raised in captivity, then it is probably going to be alongside several other birds.

In the wild, it will often travel around in larger flocks for protected. It is very rare that you will see a Crested guineafowl flock under 20 birds.

What is interesting about this species is the fact that there may be other bird species in the flock. While the this guineafowl can be an aggressive bird, it is not territorial.

This means that in the wild, other birds will probably ‘hang’ around with it.

You might also want to read our recent article about the largest guineafowl in the world, or try to find Crested or Vulturine guineafowl for sale.

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