Do Silkies have low fertility?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by cozycritters, Jan 19, 2011.

  1. cozycritters

    cozycritters Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 64 silkie eggs (shipped) in my incubator right now and, if my candling last night is correct, I only have a few that were actually fertile (the others are candling clear). Do silkies have an exceptionally low fertility rate, or is something else going on? I have been very very careful and precise with my process, so only getting a few is not a good thing at all...
     
  2. babymakes6

    babymakes6 Gifted

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    First of all, where were they shipped from? Shipping is extremely hard on eggs. Here in Ohio we have been having a very cold winter, if your eggs got too cold, that will also have a negative effect on your hatch rate.
     
  3. acid_chipmunk

    acid_chipmunk Polish Silkies d'Uccles O my!

    Mar 29, 2010
    Agreed with above about the shipping. And, just because they are candling clear, doesn't mean they aren't or weren't fertile. No one knows FOR SURE that an egg is fertile unless it develops or you crack it open and see the bullseye.
     
  4. cozycritters

    cozycritters Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That being said, I'll crack some open in a week if no development and look for a bullseye [​IMG]

    I'm in AZ and they were shipped from Indiana and Pennsylvania... so I bet the chances of them freezing are pretty good. I suppose I should feel lucky that I have a few that are developing, but now I just mostly feel stupid for spending the money. [​IMG]
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    I don't do Silkies but there are many things that could be working. Fertility is not the only thing that can cause clear eggs. High or low temperatures and rough handling are a few that can especially affect shipped eggs. Those things are not in your control and not very much in control of the shipper. The reason I put a little responsibility on the shipper is the shipper controls how they are packaged. Other than packaging the shipper has no control over how they are handled during shipping or after you receive them.

    Sometimes some heavily feathered breeds, like Cochin and Orpington, can have a problem with fertility. The thick feathers can block the rooster's target or delivery system. It does not happen every time with every chicken in these breeds but it can happen. I believe Silkies fall in this category of heavily feathered. Some breeders get around this by what is called vent trimming. You either pluck out or trim the feathers around the vent that may be blocking the male from a successful attempt at mating.

    There are other things at work too, like health, nutrition, and age of a flock or age of the eggs, but these are not specifically Silkie related. They affect all breeds.

    I can't tell you what your problem is, just that there could be many causes. Shipped eggs are often harder.
     
  6. minihorse927

    minihorse927 Whipper snapper Premium Member

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    How far along in incubating are these eggs is my first question? If it is early on and you live or they were shipped from a cold climate, the eggs may take longer to show up the veins. I have had silkie eggs go as long as 12 days before they would show the veins in them. Those were shipped and got extremely cold when shipped.
    Typically frozen eggs crack open and spill everywhere.
     
  7. cozycritters

    cozycritters Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good to know! They are on day 10.

    I wasn't planning on giving up on any until day 17, anyway, so hopefully I'll get more action.

    This is my 'last chance' hatching, Dh is fed up with high energy bills and poor hatch rates (new incubator takes some getting used to, it's finicky). In the interest of World Peace, if I have another poor hatching I will probably have to sell the incubator.
     
  8. Kat'sChicks

    Kat'sChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Silkies aren't any more or less fertile than other breeds. Unfortunately, hatching shipped eggs is pretty much luck of the draw; you just don't know how those eggs are handled from the breeder to you so you take a chance when you buy them. I've had some great hatches - 85% - and I had a zero hatch rate in November, both with eggs from the same supplier. It's one of those things you deal with when eggs are shipped. I always wait until day 7 to candle and even then I give the "duds" a few more days just in case. There's always a chance that you'll get eggs that aren't fertile; that's nature. This last hatch I set 30 eggs (they took 6 days to get to me via priority USPS [​IMG]), 26 were viable, only 2 hatched and one of those died at 10 hours old. Will I do it again? You bet! If you want really good hatch rates it's best to either set your own eggs or drive to pick them up which can be tough to do when the eggs you want are several states away. I'll take my chances with shipped eggs from the breeders I've gotten to know just because I love the quality I get when they DO hatch...
    With any luck after this spring I'll have what I need to breed my own!
     
  9. minihorse927

    minihorse927 Whipper snapper Premium Member

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    Quote:What kind of incubator is yours? It can not be raising the electric bill that high. I have 2 40watt incubators running plus the fans on them and the turners. They may have raised my bill $10 a month and they have been running non stop since mid November.

    On and side note, I have had such luck with shipped eggs in cold weather I will not do it anymore. I had one batch shipped from Texas in the new foam during the winter this year just to see how things would go and so far all of them are definitely developing but one and it is just to dark to tell right now as they are only about 6 days along. I am holding off till March before I even think about shipping more eggs! If this foam works out good, I may order from people using the foam.
     
  10. cozycritters

    cozycritters Chillin' With My Peeps

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