Thursday, June 5, 2014
These past few days my first batch of guinea keets have been hatching. It has been a rather strange hatch, since one hatched on Monday, Tuesday the majority hatched, Wednesday a few more, and this afternoon (Thursday) I found another egg that has just started pipping. Considering I set them all the same day in the same incubator, I have been a bit confused at the spread of the hatch, but I'll take it.
Tonight I pulled the eggs from the incubator that did not show any signs of development, using a flashlight shining through to illuminate the egg. Normally, I would have done this before I put them into the hatcher (a few days before the hatch), but because there were eggs starting to pip through early, I just wanted to get them in the hatcher.
So for my counting and math - I set 150 eggs, 45 did not show signs of development, and only a handful of the unhatched eggs left did show development to some degree. These appeared to have stopped developing partway through though. I had 92 chicks hatch, giving me a hatch rate of 87%. (If you are observant, you may have caught that 2 of the keets are a different color too.)
I'm pretty happy with the hatch rate, a little disappointed with the number of undeveloped eggs. We keep a rooster to hen ratio of about 1:5. Considering these guineas are not enclosed by any means, maybe that ratio needs to change a bit. I also held onto the eggs approximately 5 weeks before putting them into the incubator, which could have been a bit long to collect and hold onto them.
If you remember in my previous post, I was unsure of if my guineas would continue laying after I set this batch, as I was having trouble finding more eggs.
Well, they hadn't. They just changed locations.
While I was in the garden one afternoon, I heard a few guineas across the road and in some trees by the ditch. I had heard them here a few times so I decided to take a little walk.
I hopped on this guinea freeway, and it quickly led me to a new stash of eggs, which held over 60. It didn't take me long to have a new batch of over 150 eggs collected to put into the incubator, which were all under 3 weeks old when I put them in. (If I wasn't so far behind this spring, I would search to see if I could find another nest, but this one will do for now.)
I asked Ethan just how many guineas he wanted me to hatch this year, and it looks like I will continue collecting eggs!
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