Today was the due date for our 31 guinea eggs. After the last candling, I didn't have any hope for the eggs, but I left them in the incubator for their entire 28 day cycle. I keep checking for signs of keets, but there were no signs. I listened for peeps coming from inside the eggs for the past several days, nothing. I knew they were not alive.
And so this evening I took them all outside, and brought my shovel.
I had to crack open each and every egg to see if maybe, just maybe, a keet had started to form. But every last one looked like this: egg yolk.
There were no signs of life whatsoever. Just egg yolk.
Funny thing, they didn't stink. I thought they'd smell awful like rotten eggs. But I didn't get down and smell them or anything.
It was all very clinical. I called out each egg's number, cracked it open, peered at it, buried it, and moved on to the next. It wasn't sad like I expected. I guess before I thought of the eggs as keets, as babies. But once I saw they were just egg yolk, I didn't think of them as babies anymore. Just eggs. And now they are no longer cooking in my living room.
I have no idea what went wrong with the guinea eggs. We incubated them just as we did with guinea eggs last year, but at the end last year we moved the eggs underneath broody chickens, where they hatched. This year's eggs never even started to grow into babies at all.
I really wonder if my guineas are doing the "barnyard shuffle" at all - possibly the eggs weren't viable to start with. And if we raise no keets this year, I am concerned about the future of the guinea flock. We need new guineas to keep the flock going.
So, what's next?
Hmmm, we just happen to have a big batch of chicken eggs that hasn't gone into the fridge....
And I know that rooster is having sex with the hens!