So you want to hatch some Guinea Fowl eggs? Before you even start the incubation process, there are things you need to do.
Guinea Fowl eggs can be stored for up to 7 days, but, when storing guinea fowl eggs to incubate, make sure that they are kept at a constant temperature of 64.5-68 degrees Fahrenheit.We store our eggs on an automatic egg turner in our basement until we are ready to put them in the incubator.
If you don’t have an automatic egg turner, you will need to make sure the stored guinea fowl eggs are turned at least three times daily before they are incubated.
Don’t even think about incubating the guinea fowl eggs until you make sure that the incubator is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Clean incubator thoroughly using water and a mild disinfectant soap. Allow to dry completely while disassembled before proceeding.
Begin preparation of the incubator one or two days prior to setting the eggs, to ensure correct temperature and humidity levels are maintained.
Always put the incubator in a room with a constant temperature. Drafty rooms will cause the heat in the incubator to fluctuate. The ideal place is a low-traffic room, free of direct sunlight and drafts. Steer clear of heat sources and air vents.
It is good to keep the incubator on a table or other stable, elevated surface. There will be water in it, so it has to be level. Always fill the water trough as directed by the incubator’s instructions and check that the incubator is in working order before adding the guinea fowl eggs.
Place the mesh floor in the incubator, followed by the turner, if you are using one.
Place the thermometer/hygrometer in a location where the reader will be level with the yoke of the eggs. Make sure it can be easily read from the outside. place it close to the center of the incubator, but away from the heating element. A wet/dry bulb thermometer should have its wick in the water, but be kept out of the way of the turner.
Place the lid on the incubator, making sure all seals and windows are airtight. Plug in the power cord.
Calibrate the incubator until the internal temperature remains at 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit (101.5 if using a still-air model) and relative humidity is at 58-65% .
Allow the incubator to warm up and settle at the correct temperature and humidity before adding the guinea fowl eggs.
Place eggs in incubator with the small end facing down.
The incubation period for a guinea fowl egg to hatch is 28 days. The length of the incubation period can vary between 26 and 30 days, if the temperature or humidity is off a bit in the incubator.
The correct temperature in an incubator with a fan is 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit, decreasing to 98.5 degrees Fahrenheit during the final three days of incubation. If you have a still air incubator, set it at 101.5 degrees and decrease to 100.5 the last three days. Keep careful track of temperature and humidity throughout the incubation process, as a variance of a single degree can be problematic for the eggs.
The correct humidity for hatching Guinea Fowl eggs is 65% until day 25 and then rising it to 80% until day 28. You can raise humidity by adding water in the water troughs at the bottom of the incubator. You need to be sure that the water troughs are filled with water at all times.
Keep ventilation holes open. Good ventilation is essential for a successful hatching. Eggs are living and breathing things.
The guinea fowl eggs will need to be turned daily and this can either be done by hand, or by using an automatic egg turner. Automatic egg turners will turn the eggs every 4 hours. Make sure eggs are turned 4-6 times each day. If not using a turner, make a small mark on each side of the egg to avoid confusion during hand turning. X on one side O on the other.
On day 25, the eggs no longer need to be turned. The automatic egg timer can be removed, if you are using one. Add clean water to all the troughs to raise the humidity. Put a sponge soaked in warm water directly below the vent holes. That way you can add water to raise the humidity without opening the incubator. We use a turkey baster inserted in the vent hole to add warm water to the sponge.
Increase relative humidity to approximately 90 degrees Fahrenheit for the last three days of incubation. Keep air vents open.
It’s also a good idea to keep a daily record of what’s going on with every incubator hatch.
When the guinea fowl eggs start to pip, allow 24-48 hours for the hatch to finish. Most guinea fowl eggs will hatch within a day or so, but sometimes weaker guinea fowl chicks (keets) may hatch a day or two later.
Don’t remove the keets from the incubator until they are dry. Then move the keets to a brooder with water and chick crumbs as soon as possible.
Discard any unhatched guinea fowl eggs after four days.
Always remember to thoroughly clean and disinfect the incubator after each set of eggs have hatched.
Here is a nice COLOR CHART to see what colors of Guinea and Keets you might have.