Ways To Hatch Guinea Fowl Eggs

There are 3 ways to hatch guinea fowl eggs:

1) In an incubator.
2) Under a guinea fowl hen.
3) With a broody bantam hen.

I was reminded of this the other day when I had an email from anne saying that she was going to try all three methods.

Here are some things to consider.

With the eggs in the incubator watch the humidity levels as the egg shells are so hard that it makes it difficult for the guinea fowl to break through.

With the nesting guinea hen it’s making sure she sits in a place safe from predators and is not disturbed as guinea fowl can abandon nests.

With a broody bantam I know that this method produces good results as some friends have had guinea fowl eggs from me and their bantams and silkies have sat on the eggs, hatched them and raised the guinea fowl being excellent mothers to the keets. Once the hen has gone broody you can slip the guinea fowl eggs into her nest for her to sit on and hatch.

Front Cover Of Incubating, Hatching & Raising Guinea Fowl Keets An eBook

If you fancy having a go 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 (UK Spring and Summer months).

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How To Stop A Hen Being Broody

A broody hen is a hen that wants to sit on a nest of eggs so that they hatch out.

Broody Hen

Broody Hen

* If you do not want to let a hen sit on a nest, then it is a good idea to remove the hen from the nest as soon as possible (night time is a good time to do this).
* Sometimes it is necessary to put a broody hen in a broody coop.
* A broody coop is a small cage or box which has a wire or slatted bottom to discourage the hen from sitting in the coop as there is no material for nesting.
* A broody coop can be suspended from the ceiling of the poultry hut so that the hen is not removed from the other hens completely.
* Food and water must be provided in the coop.
* After a few days the broody hen can be returned to the rest of the flock.

How do you discourage your hens from being broody?

Broody Hen Bullied Off Nest But Chicks Still Hatched

I received an email about a broody hen that was bullied off her nest of eggs for about 5 hours. I sent a reply and corresponded with Kate and was delighted to hear that the hen managed to get back on the nest and the eggs hatched out. Here is our email correspondence tracking the events.

Not sure if you can help – my broody was bullied off her eggs by another hen she could have been off them for a maximum of 5 hours but hopefully far less – it was after about 10 days – do you think all are lost or do we still have a chance – she is a great mother otherwise! Kate

Hi Kate,

Thanks for visiting farmingfriends and leaving your question. I don’t
have much experience of broody hens. I am sorry to hear that your hen
was bullied off her nest. 5 hours doesn’t sound too long and as the
eggs will be warm it would take a while for the temperature to drop.
Hens do get off the nest when sitting so they can feed and drink
although it wouldn’t be for 5 hours.
If your hen is back sitting on her eggs but gets off to feed and drink
then I would be inclined to have a go at candling the eggs to see if
there is embryo and chick development in the eggs. Here is some info
about candling eggs. http://farmingfriends.com/candling-eggs/

I will add your question to the farmingfriends forum
http://farmingfriends.com/forums/ and see if anyone gives a reply that
know about broody hens.

I hope the eggs are ok. Let me know how they get on.

Kind regards

Sara @ farmingfriends

Dear Sara

Very many thanks for your kind reply.  She is otherwise a very good hen
and indeed tends to come off every other day – she tells me when she is
ready…I have to keep her penned in as it were to stop the bullies!

I have never done candling but may have a go!

Thanks for your advice.

Very best wishes


Dear Sara – 6 out of 7 have hatched!!  Very sweet as you can imagine-
they have yet to eat or drink but shall encourage them later this
morning – they all came late last night…



Hi Kate,

Am delighted to hear this. The chicks can go up to 24 hours without
food and water as they have absorbed the yolk sac but obviously the
sooner you train them to go for the feed and water the better.

May I post your story on my website – I will only mention your first
name. I think me readers would be intersted to hear your success story.

Keep me informed as to the progress of the chicks and hope your hen
enjoys being mother hen!

Kind regards

Sara @ farmingfriends

Sara of course you can – she survived to visits by the fox that
took/killed 8 of my hens in total.  She was also bullied by some new
arrivals and could have remained off her nest for up to 7 hours maximum
although I suspect it was less than this…I am very proud of her!
Thanks for the info – I won’t panic yet – they have just had a little
bit of chick crumb – will give them a break for a bit now!



It was great to hear from Kate and know that the chicks have hatched and are now eating. If you want advice about your hens then why not join the free farmingfriends hen forum where you can chat about your hens and get advice and tips on looking after your hens.

In fact I posted Kate’s initial email on the forum and was delighted to get a response from one of my regular members who said,

“I have asked my friend who has many hens and she is confident that the eggs will be ok at this time of year if it wasn’t a cold snap. She says that if the chicks hatch, they might also get picked on by the bully so suggested that pehaps she could have her own area for a while? Campbell Ridge

I was delighted to receive this email and photo this morning.

Hi Sara – they are indeed in their own space – do see pic attached!

Kate's hen and chicks

Kate's hen and chicks

They are a joy!

Thanks so much for all your advice and support!  And that of your

Best wishes


So join the farmingfriends hen forum today.

Broody Hens Can Feather Pick

Broody hens can feather pick when they are sitting on the nest so don’t be alarmed. They will sometimes pluck the feathers from their breast to line the nest and also to transfer their body heat to the egg more efficiently.

Broody Hen Deserts Eggs To Sit On Hatchling

Does anyone have any advice for Pauline whose broody hen has hatched on of the duck eggs and then dserted the rest to sit on the duckling?

Just found your site and it seems ideal. I have had 7 duck eggs under a broody hen and on Wednesday (the 28th day)the first hatched. Against all odds too, as its the second broody (the first deserted) and the eggs had gone very cold for a time. Unfortunately the hen again left the remaining eggs to sit on the duckling so I have just removed the 6 today unhatched. I am very disappointed and quite anxious as I duck will be lonely. Pauline

Hi Pauline,
Thanks for visiting and commenting. I am glad that you like the look of my website. Congratulations on your duckling hatching out but I am sorry that the hen deserted the eggs and the other eggs didn’t make it.
Maybe you could try incubating some eggs in an incubator and placing some pot eggs under the broody hen and then when the ducklings hatch in the incubator you can put them under the broody hen so that she will still adopt them. I know that Sallyanne has done this successfully with her silkies before so that might be worth a try. I hope that your duck doesn’t get too lonely.
Kind regards
Sara @ farmingfriends

Any advice about what to do when a broody hen deserts the eggs would be appreciated.

Broody Hen Or Incubator For Hatching Eggs?

“Why exactly do so many more people choose the broody hen over the incubator?”

This comment was left by Megan (thanks Megan) and I thought that it was an interesting question.

More people choose to use a broody hen because the success rate with the hen is usually better than with the incubator.

The broody hen instinctively creates the correct conditions for the eggs to hatch and even knows if the eggs are fertile as they will leave the unfertile eggs in the nest once the other eggs have hatched. There is also very little human involvement in this method except making sure that the hen has access to fresh water and feed, which is part of the daily routine of hen keeping anyway. The lack of human intervention in this method of incubation can make it favourable to some people.

It is more difficult hatching eggs in an incubator as you have to consider:
how long they were stored before incubation and whether they were at the correct temperature,
making sure that the eggs were turned regularly before going into the incubator and once in the incubator,
making sure that the temperature is correct in the incubator throughout the incubation period and
making sure the humidity is correct throughout the incubation period.

As you can see there are alot of variables and conditions that can effect the success of hatching eggs in an incubator. it also takes alot of human involvement and decision making.

Although it can be difficult to hatch eggs, it is not impossible and most incubators today have regulated temperatures making it easier to hatch the eggs. The incubators come with a set of instructions making the incubation process more manageable.

I have found that different types of birds eggs can also be easier to hatch. In my experience quail eggs are easier to hatch in an incubator than guinea fowl eggs.

The great thing about using an incubator is being able to observe the eggs as they start to pip and the chicks hatch out. It is amazing to watch. With a broody hen it is not always possible to watch the hatch.

It is my belief that both methods of hatching eggs have their advantages and disadvantages. It is for the individual poultry keeper to  look at their indiviual circumstances and decide which method is the most suitable. So which method do you prefer, the broody hen or the incubator?

Click on the image below to visit Amazon.co.uk to find out more about this book or visit one of the Farming Friends Bookshops.

Incubation: A Guide to Hatching and Rearing

Broody Hens

Broody Hen

Broody Hen

What is a Broody Hen?

  • A broody hen is a hen that has decided to sit on her nest (with or without eggs) and will not leave the nest at all.
  • The term broody means having maternal instincts that make the hen want to hatch her eggs.


  • Broody hens can, if left sitting in a nest box, suffer from a loss of body weight and egg production.
  • Location of the nest box is very important when a hen decides to sit because the other hens in the coop could attack the sitting hen or take over her nest.
  • Parasite control is important when a hen is sitting, so applying a parasite product to the hen is a good idea.

Brooding By A Hen

  • If you wish a hen to sit on a nest of eggs then make sure that the nest site is comfortable and away from other hens.
  • If the hen has to be resited, try to remove her from the nest as soon as possible, but preferably at night so that she has time to settle in the new site.
  • Sometimes it is necessary to use pot and plastic eggs to encourage a hen to sit.
  • A good site is a darkened, well ventilated nesting box where other hens cannot disturb the hen.
  • Food and water must be readily available and easy to access.

Discouraging Broodiness

  • If you do not want to let a hen sit on a nest, then it is a good idea to remove the hen from the nest as soon as possible (night time is a good time to do this).
  • Sometimes it is necessary to put a broody hen in a broody coop.
  • A broody coop is a small cage or box which has a wire or slatted bottom to discourage the hen from sitting in the coop.
  • A broody coop can be suspended from the ceiling of the poultry hut so that the hen is not removed from the other hens completely.
  • Food and water must be provided in the coop.
  • After a few days the broody hen can be returned to the rest of the flock.

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If you keep hens or are interested in keeping hens then visit the farmingfriends hen forum for the latest chat about hens and then check out the books shown below about keeping hens which are informative and excellent for the beginner and a handy reference for the more experienced hens keeper.

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