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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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.

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Humidity Levels – Should You Dry Hatch Guinea Fowl Eggs?

I have been asked about hatching guinea fowl eggs,

“The only query I have is that the man who sold me the eggs said that he “dry hatches” by which I presume he does not put any water in the reservoir – what do you think?  Lesley”

My response was:

Hi Lesley,

I have always added water when I incubated guinea fowl eggs but the hatch rates have varied. The eBook talks about what the incubator normally recommends. I know that it is recommended that you don’t add too much water when incubating quail eggs until the last few days. I recently incubated quail eggs and only put a small amount of water in throughout the incubation period until 3 days before hatch when I topped up the trays and I had 30 out of 42 hatch successfully within minutes of each other. I realise this isn’t guinea fowl but just wanted to pass on the info & experiences I’ve had.

I would recommend keeping a record of water added so that you can look back and see when and how much water was added and then if the hatch is successful you can repeat this but if the hatch is not so successful you have a record of what you did so that you can think about changes.

Guinea fowl eggs have very hard shells so I think I would ask the man who sold you them if he adds water at all or just at the end of the incubation. I thought that the humidity is important in the latter stages of the hatch as this helps the guinea fowl to break through the shell and keep the membrane from drying against the guinea fowl as it starts to hatch.

I will ask about this on my forum and see if anyone has advice about it as well.

I live in the UK and was only introduced to guinea fowl about 5 years ago. I think they are beautiful birds and am always amazed at how they respond to my voice when I want them to go in the hut at night so that the fox doesn’t get them. Their eggs are also delicious.

Good luck with your hatch.

Kind regards

Sara @ farmingfriends

Lesley then asked,

Hi Sara,

Thanks for the information.  The guy I bought the eggs from said that he only adds water at the end of the incubation period.   Do you know what your humidity levels were for the successful hatch that you had?  I find it hard to know what to do.
Thanks again.
Lesley

Hi Lesley, Unfortunately I have not kept records of the water added to the incubator when hatching guinea fowl eggs. I will have to listem more carefully to what I am recommend to others!! In the Guinea Fowl Past And Present book written by Michael Roberts it says have the humidity at 65% until day 25 and then up to day 28 have it increase to 80%.

I also have Gardening With Guineas by Jeanette S Ferguson

and she says to keep the water reservoirs water levels maintained throughout incubation and keep them filled to full capacity during the final days.

My incubator has two trays and it says to just fill one throughout the incubation and then for the last three days to fill both.

I have just read Incubation At Home by Michael Roberts

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and he says when an egg is incubating it needs to lose 14% of it’s weight and this is done by losing moisture so it’s important not to put too much water in the incubator. He suggests putting half a cup in at setting and then add no more until the day before hatching and then fill the trays.

I agree it is confusing and I think it is confusing when different sites or people suggest different things. I would look at the instructions on the incubator you have as each incubator is different.

I would also definately try to keep a record. This is something I will do next time so I can look back at what I did!   Hope this information is useful.

Kind regards

Sara @ farmingfriends

Any advice about humidity levels and amount of water to put in the incuabtor when hatching guinea fowl eggs would be great or if you follow the dry hatch method I would like to hear from you about how successful you have found it when hatching guinea fowl eggs.

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.

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.

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

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.

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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Should You Help Hatch Out A Guinea Fowl Keet?

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.

Customer’s Guinea Fowl Eggs Hatch

I was delighted to receive an email at the weekend from Maria, one of my farmingfriends customers who ordered some guinea fowl eggs for hatching, telling me that her guinea fowl eggs had started to hatch.

Hi Sara,
 
Just wanted to say that the eggs started hatching and so far we have 3 x grey and 1 x white keets…all very happy and healthy….fingers are crossed that maybe a few more will hatch but if not we are very happy with the result and the keets are real  little poppets!  ….I’ve been trying to get hold of guinea fowl eggs for several years with no success, so thank you so much, also for the ebook….very handy !
I’ll keep you posted.
 
Many thanks and kind regards Maria

I am always pleased to hear that the hatching eggs have successfully hatched.

Why not checkout the Incubating, Hatching and Raising Guinea Fowl Keets eBook sales page and the guinea fowl eggs for hatching sales page.

Advice About Guinea Fowl Sitting & Hatching Eggs

I am often asked advice about guinea fowl sitting and hatching guinea fowl eggs,

Broody Guinea Fowl Sitting On Nest Of Guinea Fowl Eggs

Broody Guinea Fowl Sitting On Nest Of Guinea Fowl Eggs

“I have a guinea sitting on eggs. How many days does it take to hatch and should i let her set instead of trying to incubate as i don’t know for sure how long she has been on nest.Do they throw babies out of nest at hatching? some one said you have to be there when they hatch. She has 25 eggs. Is this a lot of eggs for one guinea? Thank you for any info as i am new at this. Thelma”

Hi Thelma,

Guinea fowl eggs take 28 days to hatch. In the wild they will usually sit on about 12 eggs per clutch. You may decide, if you can get any of the eggs that you leave half under your guinea hen and put half in the incubator or under a broody hen. I have read that in the wild guinea fowl make great parents. They don’t like to sit on eggs in an aviary or a hut and I know from experience that if I try to put a run over my sitting guinea hen to protect her from predators she normally gets off the eggs. Guinea fowl should sit if they feel secure and hidden away. My advice if you want your guinea hen to continue to sit is to try not to disturb her but make sure that she is well hidden and protected from predators.
A couple of farmingfriends have hatched my guinea fowl eggs under broody hens who looked after the keets very well but I am not sure if the guinea hen throws the keets out of the nest. I imagine that if a guinea hen goes to the trouble of sitting on the eggs until they have hatched then she will look after the keets as well.I have only ever managed to hatch guinea fowl out using an incubator. When my guinea hens start to sit outside and I place a run over them it usually disturbs them and they get off the nest. This has happened 3 times this Summer already.
I hope this information is useful for you. Let me know how you get on.
Sara @ farmingfriends

If anyone has any advice for Thelma regarding guinea fowl sitting and hatching guinea fowl eggs then please leave a comment.

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.

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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Hatching Guinea Fowl Eggs

Guinea fowl eggs take approximately 28 days to hatch.

Hi,
A dog recently found where our guinea fowl was sitting on her nest, scared her away and broke a few of the eggs.  Three of the remaining eggs we put in our incubator and the rest we put under a neighbours broody chicken.

A week last sunday one of the eggs in the incubator hatched and we now have a small week old keet in the brooder, who appears to be thriving.

None of the other eggs however, have hatched.  We’ve left them in the incubator and under the chicken.  They have been their for 20 days now.  Is it likely that we’re only going to get one lonely keet from these eggs or is there a chance that others may hatch in the next few days?

If we do only have the one keet, although we have 5 other guinea fowl, will they shun it and he/she will just be very lonely?

Thank you!
Gill

Hi Gill,

Thanks for your enquiry. I hope that your guinea fowl keet is doing well. The incubation period for a guinea fowl egg is 28 days but it could be up to a week later and is sometimes earlier depending on the conditions in the incubator.

If you only have the one keet the others may ignore it as I have noticed that my guinea fowl often hang around in their age related groups, that is until the males pair off with the females. It could also depend on the number of females and males in your group. Guinea fowl tend to pair off or go around in a small group so if you have more than one male then the dominant or subordinate male may adopt the new guinea fowl as his own when she is old enough, that is assuming the keet is a female. Male guinea fowl tend to have a ritual of chasing each other in front of the females to win their attention, so if it is a male it could pair off with one of the females in your group of 5!

You may consider getting some day old keets or hatching some more in your incubator if you think that the keet may be lonely, or you could chance it with the group as guinea fowl aregenerally social creatures and like to hang around in a group.

I hope that more of your eggs do hatch off and that your keet does well. Let me know how
you get on.

Best Wishes

Sara @ farmingfriends

if you have any experience of hatching guinea fowl eggs then I would love to hear from you, so please leave a comment.