It seems like the larger the batch, the poorer the hatch rate.
When I did smaller batches of quail, 3-4 dozen, I had pretty good hatch rates, ranging from 60-80%. I recently started buying larger batches (100+ eggs) so I could sell some of the babies off to pay for the feed. My hatch rate has dropped to under 40%. This time (3rd large batch) I had 41/109 hatch. I immediately carefully opened 6 of the remaining to see what was in there. 1 was just yolk. 5 were fully developed except had not absorbed their organs and they were dead. The temperature must not be the problem or else they wouldn't have developed to that point. My guess is the humidity. I never opened it during lockdown.
How do I tell the difference between shrink-wrapped and drowned? When I opened the fat end of the egg where there's space between the shell and chick, the chick inside DID have a membrane covering it, but it didn't seem dry. When I peeled THAT back, it did seem slimy and wet, but I didn't have liquid dripping out either. Lockdown humidity was 55-65%, but when the chicks started hatching it went all the way up to 70%. Could that be the reason? What am I doing wrong? Thanks so much.
Edited by igotchickens - 4/15/12 at 1:59pm