Brown eggs not developing, genetics or fertilization?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by mirandaleecon, Dec 4, 2015.

  1. mirandaleecon

    mirandaleecon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have been noticing in my hatches that there seems to be a pattern emerging. All of my blue/green eggs always hatch great while a majority of the brown eggs I set either never develop, perish sometime during incubation, or hatch late. I'm starting to wonder if there is some genetic incompatibility going on with my rooster and those hens. Or if he just doesn't like them as much. Here is who I'm getting my eggs from:

    Faverolle rooster
    3 Easter Eggers
    White Rock
    Barred Rock
    Gold Lace Wyandotte


    Of the hundred or so eggs I have incubated in the last couple months, I have gotten one Wyandotte chick, 7 barred rock chicks, and I don't believe any white rock chicks (she was also broody/raising chicks a good chunk of the time). All the rest are from the Easter Eggers.

    I just did my first candle on a batch of 36 eggs and probably 5-8 (didn't count) of the brown ones were clear, 2/3 had rings/looked like they were early death, and I don't think more than 1 or 2 of the blue ones were clear.

    Any studies out there show that some breeds are just not as compatible with each other? It would make sense that the Easter Eggers and Faverolles are more compatible because they have similar features and some common ancestors.

    Or could my rooster just not be getting the job done? Some of my hatches weren't in the best conditions (old styro bator was on the fritz, I now have a new bator) so that could explain some of the deaths...
     
  2. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    More than likely you have poor health and vigor in your brown egg laying flock or a poor diet. How old are the hens and roosters and are any or all of them fat as a pig? And do you have too many roosters?
     
  3. mirandaleecon

    mirandaleecon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, they are all free range so everyone gets the same diet. They are all less than two years and seem pretty healthy although not overweight. Only one mature rooster and 6 laying hens. I do have 4 more roosters just starting to mate and 15 hens that should lay any day now. I have seen the younger roosters mate the older hens cause the younger ones aren't really willing yet. They are about to get the block soon though cause there's a few too many. But that has just started in the last couple weeks...
     
  4. pa2chitown

    pa2chitown Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In my small scale incubations i have noticed the same thing. Potential reasons:
    -size of the eggs, smaller are more difficult
    -thickness and strength of the shell, effects hatch rate especially when conditions are not ideal. Rate of dessication, o2 obsorbtion, embryos sticking to membrane....
    -ee genetics are likely stronger do to mixing of genes, while pure breeds have weaker genetics, this can affect the egg and/or the bird
    -could have a recessive lethal gene (not likely the cause of all/any of the problems)
    -the death rate is definately due to incubator issues, IF your broody hens are able to hatch eggs from the same cross.

    Be sure the incubator is doing everything it should be:
    -constant uniform temp
    -you are turning the eggs
    -humidity will affect poorer eggs/embryos more than stronger
    -circulated air will usuallt do better than still air
    -dont handle the eggs any more than you have too.

    Hope this helps!

    I have three different hens but only two were laying when i started. I built 3 incubators. So far, small eggs have been very difficult to hatch. Im on day 5 with newest incubator: circulated air, constant unifirm temp, eggs are turned on tray so i dont have to open. I have 6 eggs, only one is consudered too small. I will see if having a better incubator makes a difference...
     
  5. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    Your larger girls have more feathering in the nether region. I wonder if you roo is having trouble hitting the target. But, that wouldn't explain the quitters. Is there a discrepancy in egg size, perhaps the brown eggs being larger? My experience is that the very large eggs don't hatch as well. Or do you place your eggs in the bator according to color, perhaps if so, the brown eggs are in a cool or warm spot. Even with a fan, my bator is not even temp throughout, so I rotate my eggs through all locations in the bator. What are you using for humidity? How do the aircells of your brown eggs compare to your EE eggs? If the aircells are comparatively smaller, you could have a wet chick issue with the brown eggs.
     
  6. pa2chitown

    pa2chitown Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In the name of science, I went to my lab and did an experiment (was yummy):

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Three hens each donated a fresh egg to experiment:
    1) Dominique: she is approx 8 months old, smaller egg, lightest shell, thinnest shell, smallest lightest yolk but more importantly, for hatching, small amnion (white). Would be difficult to hatch (but I'm trying, she also laid a larger egg of the two in the incubator)
    2) 2-3 year old BR, large brown egg, yolk dark flatter, amnion normal to slightly less than normal, shell normal. (currently incubating three eggs)
    3) EE (americauna?) 2-3 yr old, shell very strong (blue), yolk dark round, amnion perfect (currently incubating one egg).

    My "rush" to hatch Dom/Dom chicks is because I am always expecting a knock from animal control telling me I need to get rid of my rooster (mostly paranoia) and I originally wanted to have/keep my purebred stock, so if I had to get rid of the rooster, I'd have another in the works. :)
    ...but the eggs are too small, so far. She did lay her first large the other day. It was not in the nesting box, so I think she had trouble. So far, back to normal "smaller" eggs. ...i'm not as concerned about maintaining a pure stock, and I'm feeling more confident that my neighbors are not going to complain (my rooster wears a "crow collar" and is not very loud, even on his best attempts)

    I couldn't find any concise information on WHY you couldn't hatch a small egg?
    Here is what I found in order of importance:
    1) physics dictates that a smaller egg will be more sensitive to temp. change due to less volume and less surface area.
    2) Desiccation (drying out) is much more of a difficulty, and eggs need to be turned more often to prevent embryo's from sticking to shell.
    3) This relates directly to all items on the list, the amnion (white of the egg) is not sufficient to prevent desiccation and buffer the embryo from temp changes.
    4) Without enough amnion to buffer the chick, the ~2 week old chick/embryo can actually damage its own blood supply/vessels as it moves inside the egg
     
  7. pa2chitown

    pa2chitown Chillin' With My Peeps

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    not that it matters but i made a mistake ( EE = 3 in incubator, BR = 1)
     
  8. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    If you look at those 3 eggs, the BR egg has IMO the worst hatching quality. The way the yolk flattens out, leads me to believe that all of the membrane structures in her egg, including that surrounding the yolk are weak. I'd sooner set a smaller egg with good quality than a larger egg with looser structure inside.
     
  9. pa2chitown

    pa2chitown Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah, all the br yolks have been that way. Ill have more answers in a couple of weeks...or mire questions?
    I only put one of her eggs in the incubator. If im gonna crossbreed my chickens id rather have the EE mix....down the road, after a few more crosses, i will start to see some interesting colors, not just barring. I would like it if i get the little dom/dom eggs to hatch. I wont try incubating again for at least 6 months. At least not for myself...
     
  10. mirandaleecon

    mirandaleecon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hmm all of this has inspired me to do a study. I don't usually take notes on my incubations but I am going to start now. My white rock has decided to go broody again. So that will eliminate her eggs (I suspect hers are the clears, she is a bully and I don't think fully accepted our roo) and I'll just be getting brown from the barred rock and Wyandotte.

    As far as the size of the brown eggs that I get, they are a bit smaller than the blue but not much. All pretty average and consistent. Shells aren't as strong as the blues but the blues seem exceptionally hard. And I don't separate the blues from brown in incubator, placed in there randomly.

    Maybe we can enlist the help of everyone here who hatches mixed breeds to take notes on their incubations. Maybe we can hone in on some combinations that are lethal so people can be aware....
     

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