by Gail Damerow

How do you tell male guinea fowl from the females? It’s a question I hear often from first-time guinea owners.

The lady guineas have a two-part call that sounds like “Good luck! Good luck! Good luck!”

Male guineas never make that sound. The male is slightly larger, has a larger, taller standing crest on top of his head, and the wattles under his chin are bigger and stick out farther than the female’s.

The hen’s crest is somewhat smaller and angled more toward the rear, and her wattles aren’t as large or as deeply cupped. Until they get pretty close to maturity, though, visually telling the difference can be difficult.

The best way to learn to distinguish the cocks from the hens is to try to identify the ones saying “Good luck!” and then study their crests and wattles to see how they differ from the guineas that are busy chasing each other – that’d be the males.