Hi, I would be grateful for some advice. For the first time after many years I have had a disastrous breeding season. After excellent candling results, with no clear eggs and only three not fully developed out of the first sixty three eggs, only six chicks have hatched. I have noticed that the eggs we use for eating, especially boiled, have very tough membranes and hard shells. The partly hatched chicks do seem to be wrapped up in the membrane. 5 days before the due hatching date I replace the bedding with damp turves of lawn, and after the first hatch failed I lightly sprayed the next four clutches with water. I am half way through hatching, and realise it is probably too late to remedy the problem this year but would really wish to avoid the same happening in future. The breeders are very healthy, very active with bright red faces and glossy plumage. All eggs are set under broodies that have sat well previously and have been excellent mothers over the years.
Thank you for any suggestions.