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Can trauma/fright affect future hatch rate?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I have noticed something very odd this spring. Last October, neighbor's dogs nearly wiped out my entire flock. I came home from work to a nightmare...carnage everywhere and out of almost 50 chickens, I only have 6 hens and a couple of roosters left. This spring, I've been hatching (or trying to, anyway) eggs to rebuild my flock. What I have found is that for last month's hatch and the current one, which is hatching now, the eggs from the traumatized survivors have a horrible hatch rate. They are in with other eggs from unaffected chickens...I hatch out eggs for my neighbor and I have some D'Uccles that were not affected...and those have been hatching at 95-100% hatch rate while the traumatized hens' eggs are either not developing or dying around lockdown. Last month I only got 2 chicks out of 18, and right now it looks like I'll get 4 or 5 out of 34. The D'uccle eggs in this batch have already hatched, btw...100% hatch on those. I used to get super hatches out of my big girls before the trauma, but this is heartbreaking and frustrating. I was hoping to rebuild my flock from my stock which I have been working on for several years, but that's hard to do when they won't hatch. Has anyone ever had something like this happen? I'm afraid I'm going to have to start over completely.
post #2 of 4
Following. I'm interested in the answer also.

Every day is a gift... enjoy it...

 
White & Buff Ameraucanas, & also Bantam Lavender/Self Blue Ameraucanas
 

2 kids, 1 cat, and lots of chickens (mostly Ameraucanas)

 

 

Reply

Every day is a gift... enjoy it...

 
White & Buff Ameraucanas, & also Bantam Lavender/Self Blue Ameraucanas
 

2 kids, 1 cat, and lots of chickens (mostly Ameraucanas)

 

 

Reply
post #3 of 4
I'm fairly certain the answer is no, but I figured I'd ask the question anyway.
I know most Dorking breeds are auto sexing, but I'm getting a bunch of whites soon. Are they auto sexing also?
My guess is that since they're white, that no, they aren't auto sexing.

Every day is a gift... enjoy it...

 
White & Buff Ameraucanas, & also Bantam Lavender/Self Blue Ameraucanas
 

2 kids, 1 cat, and lots of chickens (mostly Ameraucanas)

 

 

Reply

Every day is a gift... enjoy it...

 
White & Buff Ameraucanas, & also Bantam Lavender/Self Blue Ameraucanas
 

2 kids, 1 cat, and lots of chickens (mostly Ameraucanas)

 

 

Reply
post #4 of 4

I don't have any formal knowledge about this, but do you think your hens were being mated by one or more of your rooster(s) who was killed? Are the ones that are left less fertile? That being said, it certainly seems possible that trauma could make a difference to fertility. I am so so sorry that your flock was decimated like that, and I hope your hatch rate picks up so you can rebuild.

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