All the books and research says that you shouldn’t help keets out of the shell and that opening the incubator can affect the rest of the eggs hatching. I have not had to help quail hatch as they managed to all hatch at the same time and relatively easily. I have however had to help many a guinea fowl and more recently ducks out of their shell with some success.
From experience I have found that if a keet has not hatched itself within a few hours then I have found that they often die in the shell as the heat in the incubator dries up the shell and membrane which sticks to the keet and makes it difficult for the chicks or keets to hatch.
If you do decide to help the keet out, remove the egg from the incubator quickly and cupping the egg in your hand to keep it warm carefully start to pick off the shell from where the egg has pipped as this is where the keets beak is. I have always had to work quickly although you have to be very careful that the blood vessels in the shell don’t bleed as this can kill the keet.
When I help a keet out I try to pick the shell off the head part first and work my way down. I never take all the shell off as the keet is attached to the shell at the base. I usually take the top off and try to make sure that the keets head, wings and body are free. It is important to make sure that the keet can move about because once it goes back in the incubator the membrane and shell dry out and can get stuck to the keet.
I then put the keet and attached shell back in the incubator and let the keet wriggle free in it’s own time.
Sometimes the guinea fowl keets have made it and sometimes they have still died.
Another thing to consider is once you have opened the incubator the temperature and humidity will be affected and this could stop other keets from hatching.
If you decide that you are going to open the incubator I would just check that you can see movement from the keet otherwise you will have affected the incubator conditions and the keet could already be dead.
If you have helped a guinea fowl keet out of it’s shell during the hatching process and have any tips then please let us know.
If you keep guinea fowl and want to ask a question to get some advice or just to chat about your guinea fowl then why not join the free farmingfriends guinea fowl forum.
If you fancy having ago at incubating, hatching and raising guinea fowl keets then check out my Incubating, Hatching & Raising guinea Fowl Keets eBook and if you are in the UK then I also have guinea fowl eggs for hatching for sale.