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Solve this and I'll love you forever

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by cemani, May 28, 2007.

  1. cemani

    cemani New Egg

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    May 28, 2007
    Greetings. I am British but living in Indonesia. My wife and I are trying to breed black Cemani chickens. The word cemani stems from the village where the breed was started. I've forgotten the name of the original breed. Anyway it is totally black including the toes and tongue. The problem is that the eggs hardly ever hatch...maybe 10 to 20% and even some of those I have to perform a caesarian on. I am using an incubator. (I am also trying a foster mother but they are not due til June 4th) To test the incubator I placed 6 common or garden chickens in there with them and got 100% hatching. Here are some of the problems:
    1. The chicks are fully formed but never pip
    2. They pip but never hatch
    3. They hatch but just lay on their side and kick, unable to stand.
    4. They hatch but get stuck in the egg and have a big red ball attached to their bottom.\\
    5. They hatch but after a few days there is a hard excretment attached to them and then they die ( I tried soaking them in warm water)

    As mentioned, a few hatch normally and are healthy.
    The eggs of course are turned three times a day.
    Any ideas are welcomed before we go crazy :)...Thanks
     
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

  3. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Hmmmmm, I dont know if I can help ya there. Sounds like a tough breed to hatch. Does the hen ever go broody? Is there a way to get a Buff Orpington hen? I know they go broody easily. Maybe you can get her to hatch a few for ya? Maybe the humidity was too low? Got pics of these chickens? Sounds BEAUTIFULL!! Good luck hatching.
     
  4. birdlover

    birdlover Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    Northern Va.
    Can't address the problem but, if you're using a broody hen, most likely you'll get much better results come June 4. Keeping my fingers crossed for you!![​IMG]

    Ellen
     
  5. wren

    wren Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 27, 2007
    St Augustine, FL
    Hi! [​IMG]

    I have had two chicks from different unrelated hatches born that failed to thrive after hatched. One laid on his back and kicked constantly. That chick died, despite my best efforts to retrain it to right itself. The other chick (which was a peel chick) lived a happy life, but had to be taught everything but to breathe and go to the bathroom. I fed it a highly nutrient-dense paste it's first week of life until it learned to eat. I made my father promise to never peel a chick again. When I was a teenager my second hatch from an incubator resulted in some of the chicks hatching with what appeared to be the yolk sack and red veins protruding from their rectums. My father gently, in a circular way, pushed the sack into the rectum on each chick and each one lived. I remember thinking "These chicks are dead, and There's no way this will work, and How will they poo?" but it worked. That was a long time ago, and I don't remember if they pasted up or not.

    It's my opinion that most of your problems with the hatch is the result of the parent stock being too closely related. Inbreeding can cause the first three problems you mentioned. It is probably difficult to obtain birds that aren't related. The other two issues are from too much moisture. Using a broody hen is a great idea. I did some reading and the locals there consider a 40% hatch rate as good with cemani's, so don't give up.

    The breed is beautiful and worth your efforts. Maybe try a sumatra rooster and keep the typey chicks. I wouldn't use any rooster with red in his comb. Please keep us posted.
     
  6. wren

    wren Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 27, 2007
    St Augustine, FL
    Me again. I am very interested in your dilema, and spoke with my sister who is a geneticist and she has the following opinions.

    If other chickens of yours are hatching well, then it is not environmental. To absolutely prove this, breed an unrelated rooster from an entirely different breed to your Cemani hens. If the chicks are okay then it's not the environment. My suggestion is to use a sumatra rooster because they are all black including the comb/wattles and might be a good cross that produces some keepers.

    Pinch the foot of the chicks - if they respond by moving she says they are neurologically okay. But may have a defficiency of a trace mineral- calcium, protein or on the other hand a sensitivity say for example to potassium.

    My sister's first thought is that because of the low hatch rate, this breed of chicken has an inherited metabolic disorder that has been made homozygous by inbreeding because of the gene pool. That being said, I am certain that you are doing your best, and it must be difficult to find a good looking bird with all the charateristics you want that isn't related.

    My sister is interested in hearing what happens when/if you breed your hens to a rooster from a different breed.

    good luck!
     
  7. marie_martin

    marie_martin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 21, 2007
    Grenada, MS
  8. cemani

    cemani New Egg

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    May 28, 2007
    Hi there. I just want to thank everyone for taking the trouble to reply. I am going to try a few of the suggestions but it will take a while to impliment them. Inasmuch as the orninary local chicks had no problem hatching, it seems to me that maybe Cemani need a slightly different envirement than normal and I will play with this for a while also. There is a good possibility that genetics is involved. We started with 5 mature females and 3 mature males as well as 4 teenagers (one of which is now starting to lay). We have no idea as to the history of these chickens. Then we obtained another mature female from a different source. I must say that most of the eggs from THIS hen have hatched (albeit with a little help sometimes) and are thriving. A few days ago, I took one egg that was more than 2 days overdue. Candling showed a live chick nodding it's head so I opened it. It did not seem to have the strenth to get it's head out so I assisted with that also. Against the odds it is now doing very well and running around with it's friends. These chickens can fetch over $100 each here so we are determined to persevere and improve the hatching rate...Cheers.
     
  9. iopele

    iopele Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 13, 2007
    Texas
    I've never heard of this breed, but they sound fascinating. I wonder how difficult it would be to find a breeder in the US? Good luck with your chicks!
     
  10. wren

    wren Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 27, 2007
    St Augustine, FL
    Hey I had another idea, (maybe you are already doing this) keep track of the ones that hatch out normally and use those as breeding stock rather than the peel-chicks. You'll be improving the breed!

    Keep in touch, send pics, and bully for you![​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

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