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peafowl fail to come out of egg.

Discussion in 'Peafowl' started by Silver pied, Mar 25, 2016.

  1. Silver pied

    Silver pied Out Of The Brooder

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    I have had problems with my chicks failing to hatch.
    They see to be fully developed but fail to break the air sac. fail to pip or fail to get out of the shell.
    The ones that I help out of the shell seem to have one or both feet that turn under.
    What advice can you give me.
     
  2. Garden Peas

    Garden Peas Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hatching peafowl is not necessarily easy. There is not as much latitude or tolerance for sub-optimal conditions. Many people choose to learn how to hatch chickens or other birds that are easier to hatch before trying peas.

    A partial list of suggestions:
    Buy a very good quality thermometer and make sure your incubator temps are correct. Check your incubator for cold and hot spots. Check your humidities. Try an automatic turner. Get ultra-serious about sanitation and bacterial contamination. Make sure your breeding stock is in prime health. Make sure your incubator is up to snuff and not experiencing temperature swings. Avoid wafer switch incubators. Make sure the incubator has adequate ventilation. Run your incubator for a few days with no eggs and monitor what it does.

    There's lots of good info on BYC, both for peas and for chickens and other fowl. Read... a lot! Go read big breeder websites and do searches for peafowl hatching. Read, read, read!

    Curled feet is answered on your other thread.
     
  3. Silver pied

    Silver pied Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 22, 2016
    What is the problem that occurs with the wafer switch incubators.
     
  4. Garden Peas

    Garden Peas Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Those older-style wafer switch incubators have two big problems. First, they don't "know" how hot or cold they are running, they don't "hold" a set temperature using a thermometer to check themselves -- it's more a relative temperature, so they tend to drift and not stay really stable. Second, the wafer switches tend to fail easily and often, and may become more unstable with time. Sometimes the response to the controls is weird and not linear.

    I've hatched with them, but it's harder. My hatches improved when I added thermal mass to help stabilize the temps and used 3 or 4 thermometers to monitor. And sat by the incubator and babysat it, and made sure the room temperature stayed as constant as I could -- no easy thing if you don't have perfect HVAC in the room with the bator. Adding clean, disinfected rocks increased the thermal mass and stabilized temps somewhat. I tried adding a fan, but it didn't help as much as I thought it would.

    Switching to a digital temperature controlled incubator helped me a lot, and adding an automatic egg turner (in addition to continued manual turning twice a day) also helped dramatically.

    It's not impossible to hatch with a wafer switch incubator, but it can be frustrating and difficult. Some folks do fine. Experience helps.
     
  5. Silver pied

    Silver pied Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 22, 2016
    Thank you again for your input.
     
  6. Birdrain92

    Birdrain92 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Did you crack the eggs open? Did you take pictures? If you did take pictures can you please post the pictures. That can help us help you the most.
     
  7. KsKingBee

    KsKingBee Overrun With Chickens

    The most likely cause of your problem is too high of humidity. If the egg does not lose ten to fifteen percent of its weight the chick will not have enough room in the egg to peck its way out. As Garden Peas said, the hen needs to be in top condition. Conditioning begins last fall with the moult. Care of proper diet all during the moult when the eggs are being formed is essential to chick viability. Without proper nutrition, the chick can be weak and not be able to get out of the egg.
     
  8. allbirds4me

    allbirds4me Chillin' With My Peeps

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  9. Garden Peas

    Garden Peas Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Not sure exactly what your procedure is for helping chicks out of the shell, but something that often happens during that process is that the peachick gets "shrink-wrapped" -- there is some moisture loss inside the membrane, or the outside of the membrane starts to dry out and cling to the chick. That makes it harder (or impossible) for the chick to turn inside the egg which it needs to do in order to hatch normally. The chick ends up stuck and spends longer inside the shell. Sometimes it's unavoidable, sometimes it just happens, and sometimes an improvement in or adjustment to the technique can head it off. When the chick is in the shell longer, the feet start to harden and then you have the curled foot (curled toes) issue to fix after the chick hatches.

    Everything we do in artificial incubation is an imitation of how it works with the peahen -- but peahens are optimized for making chicks, and frankly better at it. We are a distant second with our mechanical methods -- I doubt if any incubator made can maintain body temperature as accurately as a peahen.

    A certain number of artificially hatched chicks will fail regardless. Some will only hatch with intervention. Knowing when to intervene is difficult, and even well-meaning and/or necessary interventions come with their own risks and costs. Even the peahen will have some eggs which fail. Peafowl are more difficult to hatch than chickens!
     
  10. Garden Peas

    Garden Peas Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Note that the humidity during incubation (prior to hatching) needs to be somewhat lower than the humidity during hatching. As @KsKingBee says, the humidity must be low enough for the egg to lose the appropriate amount of moisture during the incubation process. Otherwise, the chick may drown or not have sufficient room.

    When the egg enters the phase just prior to hatching, most folks increase the humidity because of the problems with the membranes drying out and the chicks getting shrink-wrapped after pipping.

    So it is possible to have humidities out of tolerance in either direction at each stage... These are small details that can make a significant difference in hatch rates and outcomes for individual chicks. There's not as much latitude with peas -- they are just fussier and less tolerant of sub-optimal conditions. Humidity is just one of the factors that can affect hatching... it takes practice to figure out what works in your specific location.
     

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