Ever seen cicadas before? These rare insects mean different things for different people. For birds like guinea fowl, however, cicadas might just mean food.
Can guinea fowl eat cicadas? Is it safe? Guinea fowl can eat cicadas. In fact, guinea fowl should eat cicadas for optimum nutrition. Cicadas are safe for consumption, so you do not have to keep your guinea fowl away.
Guinea fowl should eat more cicadas and other insects. After reading this article, you will discover many reasons why guinea fowl should eat cicadas.
Benefits of Cicadas for Guinea Fowl
Cicada Nutritional Figures
The table below shows the composition of various nutrients in cicadas:
|Nutrient||Nutrient Composition Range (According to the phase of the insect)|
That’s a lot of protein if you ask me. Protein is a very important nutrient in raising animals because the growth of animals majorly depends on their protein intake.
To know if the consumption of cicadas meets the protein needs of guinea fowl, we need to know the protein need of guinea fowl.
Protein Needs of Guinea Fowl
Check out the table below to know the protein need of guinea fowl:
|Age of Guinea Fowl||Protein Need|
|Weeks 0-4 (Starter)||20%|
|Weeks 5-12 (Grower)||14%|
|Weeks 13 and beyond (Breeder)||12%|
As you can see from the table, guinea fowl need a crude protein of 12-20% according to their age. This means that every guinea fowl can eat cicadas and not lack protein, it does not matter their age.
As for fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and other nutrient needs of guinea fowl, they can easily get it from other food sources (including cicadas). Our major focus, however, is protein because of the cost and importance of proteins.
Can Cicadas Hurt Your Guinea Fowl?
Cicadas do not sting or bite. They do not even have vectors of any disease that can hurt guinea fowl. This means that consuming cicadas is completely safe for guinea fowl. What’s more? Guinea keets can consume cicadas if they are raised by their mother.
Reasons Guinea Fowl Should Eat Cicadas
- Nutrition: As you already know, cicadas are rich in proteins and other nutrients that guinea fowl need.
- High Cost of Feed: You know that feed is expensive. What you may not know is that feed is expensive because of the ratio of proteins in it. To reduce the amount you spend on feed, you should allow your guinea fowl to eat cicadas and other insects.
- Pest Control: Some people don’t like cicadas. Some people are entomophobes (i.e. they fear insects). If you do not want cicadas, guinea fowl, as well as other birds, are natural pest controls.
Other Insects (And Arachnids) That Guinea Fowl Eat
When you allow your guineas to forage for their food (i.e. during free-range), they come across and eat a lot of insects and arachnids. Some examples are:
Have you ever woken up one morning and discovered that some of your plants in your garden are missing their leaves or are dying? It could be because of grasshoppers in your garden.
To prevent grasshoppers from destroying your plants, why not employ guinea fowl?
What do mealworms, grub worms, and other similar larvae have in common? They metamorphose into beetles. While adult beetles look pretty and sweet, their young can cause havoc.
Well, just like mealworms, guinea fowl can eat the larvae of various beetle species.
3. Lice, Ticks, and Mites
Many homesteaders use guinea fowl to prevent and control lice, ticks, and mites in their farm animals. Guinea fowl are very effective in finding and eating these ectoparasites.
4. June Bugs
Just like cicadas, June bugs are seasonal insects that appear majorly around the month of June. You might find them fun to watch, but your guinea fowl will find them fun to eat.
Who likes mosquitoes? No one. Well, guinea fowl love mosquitoes and will eat whatever mosquito they can find.
As you can see, guinea fowl help control/prevent multiple types of pests.
What Else Can You Feed Guinea Fowl?
Aside from insects and Arachnids, what else can you feed your guinea fowl with?
1. Guinea Mix
Feed processed for guinea fowl is the best for them. According to their age, guinea fowl feed provides the exact amount of nutrients that your guinea fowl needs.
If guinea mix is not available, you can feed your guinea fowl with chicken/duck feed or gamebird feed.
Guinea fowl love grains. Grains such as wheat, rye, barley, sorghum, etc. also provide needed proteins and carbohydrates to your guinea fowl. Instead of always giving grains to guinea fowl, you can give them as treats.
If you want your guinea fowl to return to their coop quickly, you should train them and reward them with grains (they love grains a lot).
3. Fruits and Vegetables
Proteins and carbohydrates are not the only nutrients that guinea fowl need. Guinea fowl also need vitamins and minerals.
If you want to feed your guinea fowl with other types of feed aside from guinea mix (i.e. processed feed), you should look for a vitamin and mineral source for them.
Fruits such as apple, banana, kiwi, etc., and vegetables such as cabbage, kale, carrots, etc. can give your guinea fowl sufficient minerals and vitamins. If you like, you can hang a green piñata (just any vegetable that is hung) in the coop so that your guinea fowl can peck on it.
For more information on what guinea fowl eat, you may check this article.
Related Questions and Answers
1. What Other Animals Eat Cicadas?
Any animal that can eat insects can eat cicadas. Animals that can eat cicadas include:
Did you read “humans” correctly? Sure. If you can, eating cicadas is safe and cool for you.
2. When Next Will Cicadas Come?
Depending on the species, cicadas can appear every 2-17 years. This means that the rate at which cicadas appear is different according to the region (i.e. some species are in some regions).
3. Should You Feed Your Guinea Fowl with Dead Cicadas?
Allow your guinea fowl to eat live cicadas. Dead cicadas might’ve started to rot (i.e. decay) and contain harmful fungi and bacteria that can kill your guinea fowl.
You should also not feed your guinea fowl dead cicadas because you do not know if the cicada was killed by insecticides (which can harm your cicadas).
4. Can Guinea keets in a Brooder Box Eat Cicadas?
Guinea keets that you are raising yourself can eat cicadas. Cicadas are safe for guinea fowl (it does not matter their age or how they were raised).
5. Can You Raise Guinea Fowl and Chickens Together?
You can raise guinea fowl and chickens together. To raise both bird species without any issue, follow the tips below:
- Provide Enough Food: When there is enough food, guinea fowl and chickens will fight less often because they will not compete for food.
- Install Multiple Doors: Some guinea fowl and chicken males might become dominating and oppress weaker birds that try to pass where they are standing (usually close to a door). To avoid oppression, install multiple doors.
- Raise Fewer Males: When there are more females than males, there is usually less fighting and competition.
When you follow the tips above, you will raise both bird species successfully.
Guinea fowl can and should eat cicadas. Cicadas are safe for guinea fowl and can provide sufficient nutrients for the birds.
Remember to give your guinea fowl healthy grain treats and provide enough feed for them.