Broody's eggs not hatching

Mtnboomer

Crowing
Mar 17, 2019
1,304
2,538
262
Southwest Virginia (mountains)
Hey guys, a little frustrated today. So we've been letting our broody hens hatch chicks in addition to our small hatches from the incubator for the last 2 yrs with really good results. This year has proven to be a complete failure. So far 3 broody sets (total of 32 eggs) have yeilded only 1 hatched chick.

The eggs are all fertile, begin to develop like normal by day 8-9 but hatch day comes ang goes with no chicks. After 4 days past hatch day, the eggs are in various stages from putrid and rotten to full developed dead baby birds.

The broody hens are placed in my outdoor brooders (3x5' or 3x8') with a 12"x12" box inside and their own water znd food. Our weather this year has been very typical with warm humid days (mid -upper 80s) afternoon t-storms with a few hotter or cooler mixed in. No real stressful events.
The hens are (2) 1 1/2 yr olds (both 1st time broodies) and a 2 yr old (veteran).

Any ideas why this year would be such a struggle?
 

Mtnboomer

Crowing
Mar 17, 2019
1,304
2,538
262
Southwest Virginia (mountains)
Is it possible that although your roo is fertile, maybe his genes aren't good?
I dont know but his father was a robust healthy male and our hens always are in peak condition. We butcher our birds often and obtain new roosters at least once a year to prevent inbreeding.

Our current rooster was hatched by us and allowed to live because he is a physical specimen of a rooster. He weighed 9lbs at 6mos old and stands about 28" tall now at 1 1/2 yrs.
 

Mtnboomer

Crowing
Mar 17, 2019
1,304
2,538
262
Southwest Virginia (mountains)
How hot is it? I've been having crappy luck lately with the heatwave.not all my mama's know to stand and let the eggs cool down more and will sit constantly and fully when it's 103+ outside
Not that hot! 😲 We are in the mountains so although we can get that hot, its only a few days a year. So far we have had a very typical summer. Highs in the mid 80s a few low 90s, heat indexes of mid 90s.

Two of the failed hatches were back in may-early june when we have very mild temps of upper 60-mid 70s.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
13 Years
Feb 2, 2009
29,513
27,280
997
Southeast Louisiana
The best I can do is send these links. These are more for commercial operations and incubators but you might see something that stands out.

Mississippi State Incubation Troubleshooting

http://extension.msstate.edu/content/trouble-shooting-failures-egg-incubation

Illinois Incubation troubleshooting

http://urbanext.illinois.edu/eggs/res24-00.html

The eggs are all fertile, begin to develop like normal by day 8-9 but hatch day comes ang goes with no chicks. After 4 days past hatch day, the eggs are in various stages from putrid and rotten to full developed dead baby birds.

Have you hatched any in your incubator? How has that gone?

You've been successful with broody hens before so the obvious question is "are you doing anything different"? Eggs are not going to be putrid and rotten if bacteria doesn't get inside. If the bloom is still intact and the eggs aren't dirty that should not happen, especially not consistently. So one thought, are you washing or sanding the eggs to clean them but removing the bloom? That still doesn't explain the fully developed chicks not hatching.
 

Mtnboomer

Crowing
Mar 17, 2019
1,304
2,538
262
Southwest Virginia (mountains)
The best I can do is send these links. These are more for commercial operations and incubators but you might see something that stands out.

Mississippi State Incubation Troubleshooting

http://extension.msstate.edu/content/trouble-shooting-failures-egg-incubation

Illinois Incubation troubleshooting

http://urbanext.illinois.edu/eggs/res24-00.html



Have you hatched any in your incubator? How has that gone?

You've been successful with broody hens before so the obvious question is "are you doing anything different"? Eggs are not going to be putrid and rotten if bacteria doesn't get inside. If the bloom is still intact and the eggs aren't dirty that should not happen, especially not consistently. So one thought, are you washing or sanding the eggs to clean them but removing the bloom? That still doesn't explain the fully developed chicks not hatching.
Thank you for the links. I will be sure to check them out.
Yes we also have a small 7 egg incubator. So far, out of 7, 4 hatch on avg but all chicks reach full development and seem to die at the last moment. We also have a friend with a large incubator hatch 2 doz of our eggs at a time. He gets 18-20 from each set with as high as 22.

As far as the broodys eggs in the past, i dont touch them except to move them with the hen from the coop to the brooder. This usually occurs on day 2-3 once ive noticed the hen not leaving the box. After that, they are all hers. In the beginning, i used to candle them between day 7-9 but they were always looking good so i started just letting nature take its course.
 

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