How did they all die?


May 22, 2020
Santa Barbara, CA
I decided I wanted to breed my Cochin mix and Cochin pullet/hen to a Frizzled Cochin last month, and put them together for a week. I ended up with only one egg from the pure Cochin hen and four from the Cochin mix. I’ve never hatched any from the mixed pullet as she started laying a month prior. However, three weeks after all five eggs were placed in the incubator, the only egg to hatch was from the pure cochin hen. Apparently the frizzled cockerel never bred her as the chick is a splash (all pure Cochins we have are black). I gave the other four eggs two days until I candles them, and all four we’re completely full/close to hatching. I gave them another day and canceled again to see one of the air sacs in one of the eggs did not look right. I have not seen any movement in any of them either, so I decided to dissect the suspicious egg. When I did, I made a hole in the air side to make sure that if it is alive, it would still be able to survive. However, the chick was probably around day 17 of developement, only taking up about half of the egg. It was very dead. The membrane was normal and all seemed fine, but the other three eggs all look very similar to that one from candling. I’m planning on giving the rest another day (till day 25) and then dissecting the rest. The hen that layed the eggs tends to lay with quite a bit of bloom (usually doesn’t seem to affect with hatching for me). I did a dry hatch since I was out of town when the eggs were first put in the incubator and the person who put them in forgot to add any water. I have not lost many chicks the last 8 years I’ve been hatching, let alone four. Is there a reason the eggs laid by a particular hen all died at around the same time? Is it something with the hen?

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