I cleaned out the incubator yesterday. I still had a dozen eggs in there, but I just couldn't risk it anymore. Risk what you say? Well as I was removing a dead keet that didn't make it out of it's shell I bumped another egg. It seemed like it was stuck to the bottom of the incubator. I nudged it; it exploded! Scared the hell out of me, and then just disgusted me as parts of partially formed guinea keet oozed out with blood and puss. Imagine rotten eggs plus dead animals times two. I regained my composure and went to get it out and when i bumped the incubator a goose egg exploded. It sounded like a .22 rifle, and launched bits of shell and rotten egg goop all through the air. This egg had no forming chick in it, just a mixture of what looked like rotten scrambled eggs with spinach that had been thrown up by someone. And holy hell.... the smell. Like nothing ever to grace my nostrils. Thankfully from my days changing diapers I have developed the ability to just shut off my sense of smell and breath through my mouth so I was able to not suffer that too much, except for the fact that the smell invaded my nose and I kept smelling it for the rest of the day even though it wasn't on my clothes or anything.
I gave up on what was left of the current batch of eggs. It might have had a couple of about to hatch geese in there, who knows, but I just couldn't take it. I had to clean the incubator out, and didn't feel like putting some "ruirnt" (Southern way of saying "Ruined") eggs in there only to pop right after I cleaned it out. That batch of poultry was a pretty large failure. I haven't had much success with the goose eggs yet, and I think I'll stick to what has had the best hatch rate so far: a momma goose sitting on the eggs. The guinea eggs that I had in there (12) were a gift and had already been washed for eating when I got them, so I wasn't expecting a whole lot out of them. They ended up hatching 4 keets out of 12 eggs. There were at least 2 more that pipped but didn't make it out. Two of the 4 keets that hatched perished for different reasons. One got soaked in the waterer and could not recover, and the other got smothered or trampled by my other chicks (not sure which). From the 1.5 dozen goose eggs I tried in there I had 4 hatch successfully, but two of them died the same as the keets. They are about 1 to 2 weeks different in age though.
I needed to clean it out anyway since I am getting my quail and barred rock eggs in the next few days. I'm gearing up for the quail. I am putting together a smaller brooder box to put them in away from the bigger chicks. I searched hard for some plans for a quail brooder box online, but found nothing other than commercial brooder building plans. Maybe someone will get something from my simple plans for building a quail brooder, which I'll publish on here once I'm sure it works well etc.