Weird hatch situation on eggs I shipped...need some opinions/advice!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by bugladyleah, Jun 2, 2008.

  1. bugladyleah

    bugladyleah Songster

    Apr 7, 2008
    Hey all...Here's the deal. I shipped some eggs from PA to OR. All eggs arrived intact and seemingly OK. They were all less than 3 days old when they were shipped. It was a mix of bantams (silkies, Japs, cochins) and standard EE. Some eggs were incubated and some were put under a broody. The incubated eggs hatched before the broodies. Not sure of hatch rate, but I am under the impression it was pretty decent. All the bantams are fine and healthy. Buyer hatched 4 or so EE. One was fine, one had yolk sac issues, one had "no tail??", one had huge legs that stuck straight out behind it and one had deformed toes and a "hunched back". These were all incubated chicks. I am waiting to hear how the broodys' hatch went with these guys. Now...I have hatched gobs of EE from the same stock here, and out of probably 60+ chicks, I have had to cull 2-3 due to a crooked beak and leg issues. I also have to admit that I am one to "help" with hatching if they were having problems. I have also shipped EE to others and not had reports of these problems. Does anyone have a reasonable explanation for this? Why were the bantams eggs that were shipped in the same box OK and the EE not?? Just coincidence? Do I need to be worried a/b a genetic issue? I just feel terrible that this person is having to deal with all these mutant chicks. I don't want it to happen again if there is something I can do to prevent it. I'd appreciate any input.

    Last edited: Jun 2, 2008
  2. luvmychicknkids

    luvmychicknkids Canning Squirrel

    Mar 6, 2008
    Floresville, Texas
    Ummmm....well, I have no clue. Just wanted to say, HI!!!!! I just bought eggs from you on eBay. Not stressing (yet [​IMG] )over any possible mutations......just thought it was kinda cool I found you on here. [​IMG] Do you think it is possible that x-rays during shipping could have caused problems? I know it can cause serious deformities in the babies of pregnant women. Just a possibility.
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Depends on what it is, but genetic defects can happen, and the longer "less ideal" conditions that the eggs are kept, the increase in the possible birth defects that can occur. Too hot, too cold, too old, x rays, all can increase developmental "mistakes". Unless you are routenly getting a particular pair throwing deformed chicks, I'd not worry. But, if you're getting like 5-10% defective chicks from a particular pair, I'd consider removing them from the gene pool and making them a pet instead of breeder.
  4. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress

    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    I agree, maybe your girls need a new man. But I really can't discount the x-ray machines that they may have gone thru.
  5. bugladyleah

    bugladyleah Songster

    Apr 7, 2008
    Thanks for the replies. Nothing about this makes sense! Driving me nuts. The only variable really is the size of the egg...large vs. small. I also can't discount incubation errors, but I know some eggs were OK. From what I have read, temperature, temperature, temperature play a big role in develpomental errors.....but again, the buyer had eggs that were OK and all the info isn't in yet, but it seems to be isolated to this breed at this point. I have two "old" roos running with these guys and one new one that was just added to the pool this year. I was thinking about paring down to two anyway, so I think the new guy is gonna have to go, since I wanted two anyway. Anyway, thanks again. I just wanted to pick everyone's brain. I certainly don't want to be sending out anything that isn't healthy and vigorous!

  6. tiffanyh

    tiffanyh Songster

    Apr 8, 2007
    have you considered incubating a large batch yourself to see how it turns out. If you hatch say 24 eggs with no mutations, I would chalk it up to enviroment; either through shipping or incubating.

    If you hatch 24 chicks and a decent percentage have small mutations, then I would separate breeeding pair.

    This would answer questions for you, but also may reseult in letting chicks be born that are weak and may not thrive, you have to decide whether you are comfortable with that. If they were mine, I would di it with the promise to myslef to keep any mutated chicks and ensure the best quality life I could to them while placing the "normal" chicks.

    (I realize the possible ethical concern behind this--no attacks please!)
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2008
  7. cluckychick

    cluckychick Songster

    Mar 29, 2008
    South of KCMO
    Incubation hatches can cause crooked beaks and leg issues. If incubation was not maintained ideal to an actual mother hen setting then sometimes deformaties happen. High humidity, low humidity, temp regulations, all become factors when trying to do artificial hatchings. None of the issues you listed would tell me that it was genetic but more conditional inducing due to enviroment.
  8. seriousbill

    seriousbill Songster

    May 4, 2008
    Hmm, there are three main different causes of taillessness, I believe. And one manifests with spinal deformity. It's called "roachback" and can be genetic or it can be "accidental," caused by very rough handling or improper incubation:
    "No tail or tail feathers.
    No outward visible difference between complete genetic and accidental rumpless.
    Fused caudal vertabrae often bend downward and appear laterally compressed. Some birds show curvature of the spine and humped backs. "
  9. gumpsgirl

    gumpsgirl Crowing

    Mar 25, 2008
    I would say it was the long postal trip across the US. There's no telling how many x-rays those eggs went through or how rough they were handled. If there hasn't been any problems like this before, I would think it would have to be the shipping.
  10. sara

    sara Title Needed Here

    If you have any doubts at all, don't ship anymore until you do a test hatch for yourself. I'd try not to help any either. You want to get a feel for how healthy these eggs/birds are for incubation. It's probably the shipping/incubating, but you want to make sure. [​IMG]

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