How Do I Know When They'll Hatch

The Menagerie

6 Years
Sep 25, 2013
I'm new to the site and I'm fairly new to guineas, I've only had mine for less than a year and of my original batch only two remain. I also know nothing about incubating eggs, but I have a hen that had gone missing, and has since turned up at a neighbors on a nest of 22 eggs, but she's abandoned them. I candled them and it looks like there are babies in there. We went out and bought a forced air incubator, with an egg turner and have put all of the eggs in there at 95 degrees and 65% humidity, but I have no idea how long she'd been sitting so I don't know when to expect them to hatch. I don't know if all of the eggs are hers or if they could be from my remaining other hen.

Please help me! I'd really like to increase my flock!
It takes about 28 days for guinea eggs to hatch. How long was your guinea hen missing? Take the number of days she was missing and subtract that from the days it takes guinea eggs to hatch and go from there . Also, did you have a guinea cock or were your hens exposed to one? If not, then the eggs are not fertile. If so, then go for hatching them! I hope that helps and you will soon have lots of cute little guinea keets running around! : )
How long had the Hen abandoned the eggs before you put them in the incubator? If she was off the nest and the eggs were cold then they may all be dead. Were they still warm when you found them and were you seeing any movement in the eggs when you candled them?

If you are positive you have eggs with live embryos in them then you'll need to bump up the incubator temp to 99.5 degrees, 95 degrees is too low and may cause your keets to hatch with deformities and other issues. I would quickly candle the eggs every few days and check for any internal pipping (when the keet has pecked thru the air cell membrane and you can see the shape/shadow of the beak in the actual air cell area)... and when you see plenty of internal pips happening (or any external pips, where the keet actually cracks/chips the shell) then stop candling the eggs, stop opening the incubator and keep the humidity and temp stable and just let them hatch.

It's possible that not all of the eggs may be developing at the same rate so you may have a drawn out staggered hatch, but if you have to open the incubator to take out any fluffed and fully dried keets be sure to do it quickly, and maybe even drape a warm moist towel over the incubator to help hold the heat and moisture in while you open the lid just enough to grab the dry keets. Cold dry air rushing into the incubator can shrink-wrap the inner membranes down over the un-hatched keets and they can die trying to hatch (they can't move and will expire struggling to pip and hatch).

Newly hatched keets will do fine left in the incubator for up to 48 hours, so if you see any pipping and hatching going on try to wait and pull out the fluffed, dry keets when there isn't any hatching action going on. And if you get one lone keet that hatches out first and is making a ton of noise... I highly suggest leaving him in there (up to 48 hrs) to stimulate the other keets to start hatching (believe me, it helps).

Best of luck
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Thank you PeepsCA! She had only gotten off of the nest when the neighbors approached it and they were worried she wouldn't come back so we went right over and scooped them up; they were still warm when we put them in the incubator.

I have one more probably really dumb question - because my incubator has an egg turner in it should I take that out and hand turn them or will the keets be OK if they hatch out in the turner holes?

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