Deformities of unhatched but developed chicks


8 Years
Nov 9, 2011
I hatched out nearly a dozen Sultans between yesterday and today. They were shipped eggs. 2 didnt hatch, but were fully developed and dead in shell. I broke open the eggs to see what may have went wrong. Sure thing, one chick had a shortened upper beak and half of his face looked like it was pushed in and badly malpositioned in its shell. The seconed chick, also had a shortened upper beak, sunken in eyes, the rest of him looked normal, but also malpositioned. This is not the first time I have encountered this, but the sencond chicks brain was completely OUTSIDE on the top of his head. Now that is very disturbing when I encounter the unhatched chicks with exposed brains. Does anyone know how and why this happens sometimes and how the chick can fully develop until pipping stage with his brain exposed? This deformity has got to begin within the first few days of incubation. However, I keep the incubator temps and humidity levels on target throughout incubation. So, I know that isnt a contributing factor.
You might check your thermometer (calibrate?) I believe this deformity is due to high temps like day 1-3? Do you rotate your eggs within the incubator? Could they have been in a hotter pocket? Since 2 in the same batch had this problem, there might also be a potential of a genetic cause?
Genetics was what came to my mind first. Where you had most of the batch hatch out perfectly, it makes me think it was a defect in the chicks themselves, and not anything you did/didn't do.
Thankyou for your replies. I hatch countless chicks in the same incubator and the majority tend to pop out in perfect condition. Its just a few that have had abnormalties. Prior to this incident, it always came from this one particular hen I owned and I ended up culling, and from this batch of shipped eggs. All of these Sultans, like some Silkies and Top hats very much have vaulted heads. I was just wondering regarding this particular batch, how genetics could play a role to actually completely exposeing this particular chicks brain. Does it have to do with inbreeding, old stock and what are the chances that the hatched siblings may carry , perhaps recessively, the same defect?

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