Trouble hatching Ameraucanas

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by MI chickens, Jun 4, 2012.

  1. MI chickens

    MI chickens In the Brooder

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    29
    Apr 21, 2011
    Zeeland, Michigan
    I got a problem, and I wonder if anyone has any ideas of whats wrong.

    I've just got done with my third hatch, I did them one after another in my homebuilt incubator. Each time I was hatching brown eggs from my flock of assorted birds and blue eggs from my pair of wheaton ameraucanas. This year is the first year I've used this incubator so each hatch I tried to improve on what I did previous. In the last hatch I kept close track of everything charting my numbers.

    1. Temperature: 99-100.5. I checked with two digital thermometers and a pill bottle with water in that I check with a medical thermometer.

    2. Humidity: Days 1-18 I dry hatched, 29% to 43%, with 33% being the usual number. Days 19-21 60%-70%. I calibrated the gauge to make sure its right.

    3. Air cell: By the time I was ready to lockdown the air cell was good sized, like I see in the charts.

    4. Air circulation and Oxygen: This last hatch I added another vent hole in the incubator just to make sure and I have a fan so temps are even through out the incubator. I also went from using egg cartons to hold the eggs to tray made of hardware cloth so there would be better air circulation around the eggs.

    5. Turning the eggs: I did this by hand at least five times a day, trying to keep the round(top) side of the higher than the other (pointed side). Around the sides I wrote S -W -N -E so they were all turned the same, and I wouldn't forget to turn any.

    The results in this last hatch were like the previous two-

    BROWN eggs well over 50% hatch, they pip, zip, pop out, and are on their feet in no time.

    BLUE eggs out of ten eggs there was one egg not fertile. Eight fully formed, yolk fully or near fully absorbed, and dead.

    One that pipped, gave up, after awhile I carefully helped him out he finally made it and he's doing ok, though he obviously wouldn't have made it if I hadn't have helped.

    They seemed to be stuck like they're to big for the shell. They can't seen to get they're head up to pip and move.

    With all three hatches the brown eggs did great Between all three hatches, I had over 25 blue eggs, the two chicks that lived couldn't make it out of their shell on their own. All the other blue eggs the great majority of those dead in the shell.

    I don't know what to do, is it something hereditary in my Ameraucanas? I got them from someone I consider a reputable breeder, they're healthy and well fed. Maybe I need to get some Ameraucana eggs from somebody else and see if I can have better.luck. I don't know. Any ideas? It so frustrating.
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

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    As a guess and nothing more than that - perhaps your Ameraucanas are from an inbred family. I once had a friend who had a HEAVILY inbred family of WCB Polish. I hatched a lot of eggs for him. % hatch was always very low, and I had to help a lot of chicks out of the shell. He tolerated these problems because the type on the few birds that he managed to raise was outstanding and he won many shows. One of my dog raising friends has a saying, "The more you tolerate in a family of dogs/chickens, the more you will have to tolerate."
     
  3. MI chickens

    MI chickens In the Brooder

    77
    0
    29
    Apr 21, 2011
    Zeeland, Michigan
    Thinking along those lines then some eggs from a different breeder, maybe from a different area of the country might be a good idea.
     
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

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    You might consider contacting the person from whom you got your birds. Explain the problems you are having and ask if they have any suggestions/solutions.
     
  5. MI chickens

    MI chickens In the Brooder

    77
    0
    29
    Apr 21, 2011
    Zeeland, Michigan
    It helps to hear that I'm not the only one to have a similar problem with hatch rates.
     

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