Do guinea hens hatch their own eggs?

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by MoMo15, Sep 12, 2011.

  1. MoMo15

    MoMo15 Hatching

    Sep 1, 2011
    I have heard that guineas don't hatch/brood their eggs. But I have also heard from some people and websites that they do hatch their eggs. I am very confused. Will I need an incubator or not? I need to know.[​IMG]
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Yes they do! My neighbor down the road has guineas that hatched out a few clutches of eggs.....
  3. MoMo15

    MoMo15 Hatching

    Sep 1, 2011
    Thanks. I am hopeing to start a small breeding business but it is hard figuring all this stuff out. I am new to any kind of poultry and appreciateany info I can get.[​IMG]
  4. GuineaLady93

    GuineaLady93 Songster

    Aug 7, 2011
    Cameron, NC
    My Coop
    Yes, they can hatch out their own eggs but that is one of the quickest ways to get rid of your hen. Guinea hens can't see anything at night and it is very very easy for something to get them. I let mine sit a couple of times and I will never do that again. The first time something broke up the nest and ate all 53 eggs! The second time, I didn't know she had started setting, she only had about 7 eggs. That night a coyote got her.

    If you do let a guinea hen set when and if she hatches them not as many of them will survive because when she leads them away for the nest a couple days later some of them can't keep up and a lot of the will drowned in the wet grass in the morning.

    BTW [​IMG]
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2011
  5. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Crowing

    Mar 28, 2011
    BFE, CA
    Guineas are horrible mothers, if allowed to free range they will choose to lay their eggs in hidden and unsafe places (usually out in the bushes or behind something) where the Hen and eggs usually get taken by predators. After laying 20some eggs they can and do sometimes lose interest in their clutch if disturbed, spooked, crowded by other Hens (and sometimes even for no reason at all), at any time while they are brooding. Guinea Hens in large flocks usually tend to share nests, so while one Hen has gone broody on the pile other Hens keep laying there, so not all the eggs will hatch at the same time. After the keets start hatching, the Hen brooding the nest (if she lives that long) leaves the nest and takes off with just the first few keets that hatch, leaving the other eggs to go cold and die. While out running around with the prized few keets that did hatch, she often loses the keets in the grass, gets them wet (and they die), and hawks, owls, foxes, raccoons, dogs, cat and any other predators pick them off one by one within a couple of days... and you have zero profit. NONE.

    If you want to make a business out of it, here's my suggestion (speaking from personal experience here because I'm doin' it, have been doin' it, and it works, lol):
    Build a huge coop and covered run, make it COMPLETELY predator proof. It's also a good idea to have fenced land and train your Guineas to stay within the fenceline when you let them out to free range too... (but that's a whole other topic there tho). Guineas are seasonal layers (Spring thru Fall), so come Springtime start your Hens' laying habits in the coop by keeping them in until they lay their eggs for the day (it's best to not even let them start the habit of laying outdoors, EVER), collect the eggs 2-3X a day, then INCUBATE them yourself in a good quality, stable incubator, raise the keets in a brooder and sell them ASAP so you have minimal cost invested. You can occasionally get lucky and have a Hen or 2 brood a clutch in the coop for you, BUT... even then they can abandon the nest or the other adult Guineas can quickly kill the keets before you collect them.
  6. cgmccary

    cgmccary Songster

    Sep 14, 2007
    NE Alabama
    One of my Guinea hens hatched a clutch of twelve in early August (she had her nest outside in my pumpkin patch & with my dogs, she was safe from predators). Two newly hatched keets crawled out from under her early and died (leaving her ten). I took the 4-5 eggs she left, put them in an incubator and had one more to hatch. I let her have the 10 keets for one day. I kept an eye on her all day because it was a Saturday. Though the Guinea mother never ventured out of my sight with them (I used binoculars once however), she managed to lose 2! I found one keet body but not the other. After that, I confiscated her remaing eight keets and added the one I finished hatching in the incubator. More than a month later, I still have all nine and they are penned outside & look good.

    And the Guinea hen wasn't having to run through tall grass and watching her, she proceeded slowly and methodically. IMHO, newly hatched keets are more fragile than chickens (chicks). I have seen a mother chicken hen out in freezing weather with newly hatched chicks and not lose a one (and free ranging). I had a chicken hen lose a couple keets on colder mornings (and she was penned with them). Once they are through the first week or two, they seem to be real hardy though. Just my take.

    Also, another Guinea hen I had this summer sat on a clutch of eggs and failed to hatch any.
  7. mitchell3006

    mitchell3006 In the Brooder

    Sep 18, 2009
    Remember they are basically sub-Saharan in origin so they are from a much drier climate than most of the US. The morning dew is tough on the keets. They definitey don't do well. A wet keet is a dead keet.

  8. casuarius

    casuarius Songster

    Dec 21, 2009
    I agree with everything the others have said. The hens will either get eaten while sitting on the eggs, or the chicks will die from morning dew or rain. They are dry climate birds by nature, even though they are domesticated. If a hen successfully hatches keets without being eaten, then you should get them up as soon as possible and raise them yourself. The hens are bad for stepping on them and killing them in a pen. The best way is to stick the eggs under a brooding chicken hen, i've used silkie hens with great success. Chicken mothers are excellent, and will raise the Guinea keets without any problems. If you are looking to get into breeding them as a business, then you need to invest in a incubator...a good one. I would recommend a large Cabinet GQF incubator which will hold 354 Guinea eggs. Here is a link to one. For mass production, the small styrofoam incubators arent going to cut it. And you cant control the humidity correctly. Of course if you are looking to do this for profit, then you probably won't make much on Guineas, unless you breed only the rare colored varieties, or the exotic species.
  9. Cynth

    Cynth Songster

    Apr 13, 2011
    Lyman, Maine
    Please remember to only give keets warm water to drink. I lost all 8 last year and after researching realized it was from cold water. Just had 10 hatch today in my incubator!!!
  10. doxies1

    doxies1 Chirping

    Nov 16, 2010
    West centeral Maryland
    They can hatch themselves but if you want a number of surviving keets , get an incubator.

    I just saw that you can now get State Of Janoel New 48 egg incubator with automatic egg turner + Bonus from California. I have different incubators and this is my favorite. For those who want a hard plastic bator, this is the way to go. Far better than brinsea IMHO. Two hundred dollars inc shipping.
    Do your self a favor and look at this bator.. The most for your money.

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