Changes in guinea fowl fertility and hatching traits over a 4-month laying season with long-term egg storage conditions
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This study was conducted to determine the effect of age on different reproductive traits of guinea fowl. A total of 350 female and 150 male guinea fowl were reared in a semi-intensive system. The birds were naturally mated, and eggs were collected for incubation in 6 batches beginning at 40 weeks. A total of 8,123 eggs were incubated between 40-52 weeks of age. The incubation period was 28 days. As a result of this study, the overall mean egg weight was 39.98 g, and the mean keet weight was 25.00 g. The mean fertility rate was 58.46%, the hatching rate was 80.53%, and the incubation yield was 47.01%. Fertility, hatching rate and incubation yield varied significantly by age (P<0.01). Evaluation of embryonic mortalities in unhatched eggs showed that late-period embryonic mortality increased with age (P<0.01). The overall rate of injured and dead keets per hatch basket was 1.93%, with a significantly higher rate (4.44%) in the eggs collected between 50-52 weeks. (P<0.01).