Needed: guinea hatching advice!

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by Youknowmyname57, Aug 13, 2013.

  1. Youknowmyname57

    Youknowmyname57 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 25, 2013
    My d'uccle hen went broody on a dozen guinea eggs two and a half weeks ago. I think there may also be one of hers in there--I thought so at first but today when I checked I wasn't so sure. All of the eggs show veins, movement, even heartbeats except for one egg which showed a hairline crack. There is a baby in there but I don't know if it's alive or not but I'm leaving it. Anyways, now for the questions:

    1.) If there is indeed a chicken egg in there and it hatches at the end of this week and the hen abandons the guinea eggs I do plan to incubate. I've never incubated before and will be borrowing a Little Giant styrofoam bater. How do I add enough humidity to it for the guinea eggs?

    2.) If they keets successfully hatch can I put them in with the d'uccle and her chick? They share a large coop and adjoining pen with a silkie roo and his other 2 girls and 3 adult guineas.

    3.) If I do have to incubate them (if there is no chick egg I'm hoping the d'uccle will finish the job) what can I do to make sure everything goes okay? How long does it take them to hatch after they start to pip? How long do I leave them in the bater after they hatch and how long after I take them out do they start to eat and drink? Should I put food and water out right away?

    4.) If I don't end up incubating them and the hen hatches them will she just naturally care for and protect them, even in the coop/pen with the others? Will they be safe? She is very protective of the nest right now; won't this carry on towards the babies? If she does hatch the keets and mothers them what will happen when they get older and realize they're guineas and not chickens--or will they?

    I'm sure I'll have more questions but for now these are all I can think of. Thanks!
     
  2. kitty928

    kitty928 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 2, 2007
    Haslett, MI
    Hi there,
    Chickens make much better moms than guinea hens. She will take care of them and protect them fiercely. They will stay with her for a long time, most likely until they get close to maturity at which point they will most likely abandon her and flock with the other guineas.

    Not sure how mama hen and keets will do with your other chickens at first. I would keep a close eye as you may be better off keeping them separate for a while. Wouldn't take much to kill a day old keet they are so small. I usually fence mine off so they can see but not touch. Just make sure the wire is small enough as keets will fit right through chicken wire.

    If you need to use an incubator, you can add humidity by putting a wet sponge inside. Most incubators also have a water trough in he bottom.

    Seems like it takes about 24-72 hours from pip to hatch. Best to only open the incubator once a day to pull out keets that are dry. Do offer food and water right away, but just sprinkle food on paper towel. Don't put them in pine shavings until they get a little older and learn what is food or they will eat the shavings. Also make sure water is shallow or use chick waterer and put pebbles in it so they don't fall in and drown. (Same applies if the hen hatches out for you. She will take them to food and water, but they need to be able to reach it safely) Best to dip their beaks in the water initially to help them figure it out.

    Of course if mama hen hatches its much easier. Personally I would be inclined to just remove the chicken egg so that there would be no chance of her leaving the other eggs.

    Anyway, good luck! Keets are loads of fun, much more active than chicks. :)
     
  3. Youknowmyname57

    Youknowmyname57 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 25, 2013
    Thanks Kitty for all the great info!I have raised guineas and chicks before but never hatched them myself and I want to do this right. If I do remove the chicken egg and it hatches will the mom accept it back after the keets hatch? Also--I don't have a hygrometer but am going to try to find one locally. The incubator I have does have 2 places to put the water; the instructions say to keep only trough A filled until 2-3 days before the hatch and then to fill both troughs A and B. Will that be enough humidity for the keets or should I squirt them too?

    One other question--I live in NYS and it's been getting cold nights, even though it's only August. Will Momma keep the babies warm enough?

    Thanks so much!!!
     
  4. kitty928

    kitty928 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 2, 2007
    Haslett, MI
    She might accept it, might not. I would sneak it in under her at night after all the others hatch for the best chance. If she does accept it, it will probably work out well that the chick is a few days older as keets move so much faster than chicks. Will be hard on that chick however to be alone for those first few days. :(

    You should be able to find a digital thermometer with percent humidity on it at meijer or a similar store I would think. I just bought one from amazon for $8 the other day. Depending on the humidity in your house will determine how much water you need in the bator. I fill all the water slots in mine plus add sponges to get it where it needs to be.

    Not sure how cold you are getting at night, but mama hen is good at keeping chicks warm assuming she is big enough to cover them. I assume your coop has decent protection from the weather?
     
  5. Youknowmyname57

    Youknowmyname57 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 25, 2013
    Thanks--I brought 2 eggs in last night. They are both pale cream where the guinea eggs are brown, so I'm hoping they're both banty eggs but I'm having a hard time telling. At first I thought one was just a pale guinea egg but my boyfriend seems to think both are chicken eggs. I have them incubating now. One has a hairline crack in it you can only see when candling but there is something in there so I'll give it a shot. If they're chicken eggs they're due to hatch tomorrow but I figured I could incubate them till Tuesday and then put them under her. I thought for sure only one was a chicken egg but now both pale ones look pointy to me for some reason.

    This morning when I went to the barn Vick the broody hen had knocked 3 eggs out off her nest. They were cold but I just stuck them back under her and will hope for the best. She's a little hen and there are a 10 eggs under her but this is the first time this has happened.

    Yes, my coop is a redone horse stall and is very tight and secure. During the day I open the door to a very large pen and they get to wander around there, and if I'm out to keep them safe I let them free range.

    I'm going to pick up a hygrometer today. Thanks!!!
     
  6. kitty928

    kitty928 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 2, 2007
    Haslett, MI
    Good luck! Hope your hatch goes well. :)
     
  7. Youknowmyname57

    Youknowmyname57 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 25, 2013
    I came home today to find 4 fluffy little keets and a proud little hen. More are pipping. The others are leaving them alone and I set up a partition where they are hatching. Nervous and excited!!!!
     

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