Any ideas on what causes an embryo to quit?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Kiwi Chicky, Jan 9, 2010.

  1. Kiwi Chicky

    Kiwi Chicky Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2009
    Te Awamutu, NZ
    I haven't had a problem with quitters before but the batch of eggs in my bator now has gone from 10 developing embryos to just 3 still growing.

    What causes them to stop?
    Did I do something wrong?
    Can I prevent this happening to the next batch of eggs?

    The eggs were given to me by a neighbour, I don't know the origins or breeds of her flock.
  2. MakNat

    MakNat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2008
    Bator issues, temp problems. Maybe.??...
  3. farmin'chick

    farmin'chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2009
    Rocky Mount VA
    Well, with "unknown gene pool" eggs, produced in someone else's hen house, these are some of the things I consider:

    Too small of a gene pool -- the birds have inbred to where they are too closely related and you are getting lethal genes.
    Bacterial infection from hen to chick, or from dirty egg

    Did I sterilize the incubator/hatcher before I used it? (I once got some contaminated eggs in, that contaminated my incubator. Lost $$$$ in chicks before I figured out I had to sterilize the upper part of the foam bator as well).
    Were the eggs fresh enough? Eggs over about 7 days old begin to lose their ability to develop/hatch chicks.
    Were the eggs kept at an appropriate temperature before hatch?

    Just some things to think about -- it's kind of my checklist for things gone wrong.
  4. Kiwi Chicky

    Kiwi Chicky Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2009
    Te Awamutu, NZ
    Thank you farmin' Chick Lots of things to consider.

    I will let the three still developing continue, they're due in 3 days.

    Then I'll disinfect and sterilize everything.

    Whats the best way to sterilize the bator?
  5. OwensMom

    OwensMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 4, 2009
    CO Western Slope
    Kiwi Chicky Don't know much about incubators but I do know that a 10o/o solution of clorox bleach should do the trick. I would take the bator apart and wipe down EVERYTHING with the bleach solution(unless the bleach would degrade any part of the bator). Then when everything is wiped down really well I would put the parts in the sun for a few hours. I think that if it were me I would do this every time you complete a hatch. There may be some nasty beast lurking that you do not suspect.
    And you are very right. NZ is a spectacular place. We were there about 5 yrs ago and loved not only the landscape but the people!! You all made sure we had a terrific time. Cheers, Lynn
  6. rosaline

    rosaline Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 14, 2009
    [​IMG] I have just finished a hatch. None of my eggs developed. It turned out that the temp was too low. On my next hatch I will use 2 thermometers just to make sure it dont happen again. It is interesting that three of yours is still doing well. You must be doing some thing right.

    Good luck with the hatch [​IMG]
  7. farmin'chick

    farmin'chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2009
    Rocky Mount VA
    Yes, a bleach solution at 10% works well to sterilize. You can also set your steam iron on "steam shot" if you have that type, and puff steam all over it on the inside for extra insurance. Don't touch the foam with the iron!
  8. smallbluejellybean

    smallbluejellybean Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 13, 2009
    Kings Park NSW Australia
    With all my inclosures and incubator I have a spray bottle with water and a large cap full of bleech and another of vinegar. I find adding the vinegar helps clean the droppings right off.
  9. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    If you know its not the bator, quitters are usually developmental defects occurring in the early embryo that catch up with it during growth. Depending on the defects, it may never develop, or may allow the chick to get up to hatch but fail to breathe.

    The cause of these defects... the parents giving the genes/nutrients to the egg, the treatment and maintenance of the DNA or DNA repair machinery in the egg during storage (ie, cold weather, shocks and so on can damage it).

    Unless the egg stinks (bacterial), or your bator varied too much... there is nothing you can do.

    I've personally never used soap/bleach on my little bator or the bators at work and hatched things out just fine. [​IMG]

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