Issues with hatching

Discussion in 'Quail' started by KittyKat3756, Jan 7, 2015.

  1. KittyKat3756

    KittyKat3756 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 16, 2014
    Norfolk, UK
    Hello all! 19 days ago, I set 24 quail eggs which were shipped to me. The five eggs piped on day 16, the first of which I successfully assisted on day 17 (it was hatching on the pointry end and couldn't complete the zip) and two hatched successfully on their own the same day.

    After an experience where we lost 10 ducklings who has pipped internally due to slow hatches, on day 18 we made air holes in all the remaining eggs. We found that of the 24 eggs:
    2 hatched without assistance (day 17)
    3 hatched with assistance (piped on the wrong end and couldn't get out, days 17 and 18)
    6 were infertile
    5 rotten (we had removed two much earlier)
    3 quitters (days 3, 6 and 10)
    1 dead after pipping externally

    Which currently leaves us with 4 eggs still in the incubator on day 19, one of which only just piped externally on the wrong end, for one of which is breathing but also facing the poiny end and making no attempt to break out, and two of which are fully developed chicks with a question mark status (one facing the wrong end, one facing the right end).

    Is it really this common to have over 50% of the chicks facing the wrong end and hatching complications as a result?

    The chicks which came out facing the wrong end all have crooked toes… will this generally fix itself or do they need braces?

    Thank you for any help in advance!
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2015
  2. Fat Daddy

    Fat Daddy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ks

    Hello kat,
    Its well known shipped eggs dont do as well as eggs from your your pens. But what you describe is more than just a shipped egg issue. I dont know where your eggs came from and it does not really matter. My first suggestion is, Find a new breeder. The eggs you got are either from stock you dont want, or from birds in very poor condition. Either is possible. In my humble opinion the upside down pipping, on this scale, is not a shipping or incubation issue. Its a parent bird issue.... A lot of folks will keep coturnix in a less than favorable condition and think its fine because they still wake up everyday and still lay eggs..... But this is what you see as a buyer. If he is not actually hatching a lot, the breeder may not have a clue there is anything wrong with his birds,eggs or husbandry....

    You will find that the crooked toes come along with the late hatching eggs. Its almost always the last of a group that have them. Often its caused by opening the incubator to retrieve or help other chicks, and losing humidity while eggs are pipping. Either way if it does not correct its self in a couple days, you need to use a bandaid or the like to straighten them. If you dont get it in the first 7 days or so the birds bones will set and it will be tougher to fix.

    I dont have a clue to your level of experience, but I would like to suggest....Find a new supplier of eggs.... You will have a better experience with better stock. Buy the colors you want and not from a "mixed pen".... a mixed pen produces mutts, no way around it....It will take generations of careful breeding before they will dependably breed true again.

    Check your incubator temp..... Put a cup of water, inside your bator. let it come up to temp and settle for a few hrs. then use a oral digital thermometer placed in the cup of water..... adjust it accordingly..... now take notice what the incubation thermo you use says and take note of the difference..... you will find many off by quite a bit..

    Try hatching in a up right position with a carton or tray. When you lock down your eggs, move them to a carton with small end down. I take mine out of the turners and like the paper cartons best if i have them for the right size eggs. plastic trays or cartons work too but as personal preference id rather have paper. Better footing for new chicks compared to slick plastic hatching trays or cartons. If you use plastic trays, watch for chicks laying in un natural positions as this will cause splay leg.

    Im not one to criticize you for helping chicks hatch, I do it too. Thou many will say its wrong. Just know that you can depend on about half not making it. Some will die on their own, some you will have to end, its hard with a chick....

    Good luck with your birds Kat
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2015
  3. KittyKat3756

    KittyKat3756 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 16, 2014
    Norfolk, UK
    Hi Bill, thank you for following up with me. I have come to the same conclusion about the seller but I will also be sure to inform them of the hatch results. I have incubated chickens and ducks before so not the first time for me and the incubator is obsessively calibrated before each go. It's due to go back into use next Friday again.

    I assume that shipped eggs will have a 50% hatch rate, but really expect 100% fertility with chickens and ducks so was quite dumbfounded when I got such bad results with this lot. I've never really had any issues with hatched bar one lot of ducks and this one…

    I had them hatching on the side this time, is in a tray considerably better? I've done that for ducks before, but that was the bad hatch so I've not had much experience hatching upright.

    I'm now at 2 hatched on their own and 4 with assistance, but I'm not sure if two of those will make it.
     
  4. KittyKat3756

    KittyKat3756 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Norfolk, UK
    We got 7 chicks in total now and that's the end of it. The last two had it pretty bad, but they seem to be improving. One of the earlier ones tends to stick its legs out straight behind it rather than keep them underneath itself, which is somewhat disturbing…
     
  5. KittyKat3756

    KittyKat3756 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 16, 2014
    Norfolk, UK
    We're now down to 6 and one of them has some sort of a problem where it refuses to bring its legs undearneath itself which means that it looks more like a (dead) hung chick than a ball of fuzz. I can move the legs into the right position, but it just kicks them out again at first opportunity. The rest are coming along ok although one of the last to hatch is still rather weak.

    I got in touch with the seller and they have responses very positively. They said that they hatch their own eggs too without problems and offered to send some replacements. If what they say is true, and I am inclined to trust them, then I just had an unfortunate run of bad luck here.
     
  6. Fat Daddy

    Fat Daddy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Glad to hear he responded positively.... The % of bottom pips concern me. I just dont see many of these. Try hatching with the eggs in a up right position.... It will nearly eliminate the drown in the shell. Alot of the three day lock down is to allow the chick to orient its self in the the shell to properly pip..... This will help... Good luck with your next hatch..... Bill
     
  7. KittyKat3756

    KittyKat3756 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I received the replacement eggs yesterday and they are considerably more "pointy" than the previous ones were which seems more in line with the expected. They're now set and should hopefully hatch in a few weeks. I will keep them upright for the hatching this time so hopefully the alignment will be overall better.
     
  8. Fat Daddy

    Fat Daddy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good to hear Kat! Hope it goes better this time round... Post how it works out.
     
  9. KittyKat3756

    KittyKat3756 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 16, 2014
    Norfolk, UK
    Currently on day 18 with 7 successful, interference-free hatches in the last 24 hours and one external pip. The chicks are way more active than they were last time!
     
  10. Fat Daddy

    Fat Daddy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How did your hatch come out Kat? [​IMG]
     

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