What do you do when eggs fail to hatch?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by dancingbear, Sep 3, 2008.

  1. dancingbear

    dancingbear Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm wondering if you break them open to try and determine what went wrong.

    What do you look for, if you do? Are there problems you can diagnose by looking at the ones that don't quite make it? I don't mean rotten or undeveloped eggs, but the ones that develop to pip, or almost to pip, then just die.

    In my last batch, I had some that had been refrigerated, some washed, some not. I forgot to mark which was which until it was too late and they were mixed up. So some probably had a pretty slim chance to begin with. I had 5 not hatch, out of 18, developed far enough that gave them extra time to hatch, in case they were just slow.

    By yesterday, I knew which ones were dead, because they wouldn't hold heat. They had cool spots even when in the 'bator. Live ones are uniformly warm, because the chick's body generates heat.
     
  2. kwynn's birds Alaska

    kwynn's birds Alaska Chillin' With My Peeps

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    what makes a chicken lay such a small egg?
    From left to right...standard, banty, and standard!?
    :eek:[​IMG]
     
  3. Heather J

    Heather J Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sometimes the egg bypasses the yolk in the process and so you get tiny little eggs like this one. It is called a fart egg if it doesn't have a yolk, and they aren't terribly common, but most people get one eventually. I had one earlier this summer.
     
  4. dancingbear

    dancingbear Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi Kwynn's birds Alaska, nice pic, but you really should've started your own thread, instead of hijacking mine with a completely different topic.

    I don't know if you've spent much of time on forums, it's considered rude to do that.

    Heather J, I'd heard the yolkless eggs called "wind eggs" before but I never related it to farts! I thought it was because you can't see wind, or something like that. How funny!

    Got any comments about trying to figure out why some eggs fail to hatch?
     
  5. kwynn's birds Alaska

    kwynn's birds Alaska Chillin' With My Peeps

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    OOPS!, i really didn't realize I posted in the wrong thread. i guess that's what I get for trying to multi task. How do i move it? I am new at this type of thing.
    [​IMG]
    i had a few that didn't hatch. one got cracked too early by a fiesty banty hatch. I saw it was alive, and you could see where it was breathing, then it stopped. i had another one that had a tiny chick in it, like it died early on...I cracked it, after it was well past due, and checked for anything obvious like deformities. it looked normal, just tiny. and the other was a rotten egg. It didn't smell, but it was a slimy goopy mess. I figured it was unfertil. Since I am new to this, I wonder if it was my incubator. maybe something in it?
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2008
  6. ChickenToes

    ChickenToes Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2008
    NE Wisconsin
    Dancingbear - some people do crack them open. I don't know of any other way to tell if they were just infertile or if the chick developed but just didn't make it. Sometimes if the chick developed but didn't pip it's because the humidity was too high.
     
  7. skeeter9

    skeeter9 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dancingbear, I crack mine open most of the time so I can learn from them. Several of the Universities have really nice trouble-shooting worksheets on their sites that help you figure out when an embryo/chick expired and the possible causes. It's really fascinating. . . at least to me????

    I'll try to find the websites I use when I get home and put them on here for you. In the meantime, I think University of Kansas has a good one (if I remember right).
     
  8. dancingbear

    dancingbear Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks to all, Skeeter, that's what I need! I'd like to be able o figure out what goes wrong so I can (maybe) correct the problem. When I candled these, the development was the same as the ones that hatched, as far along as I could tell, that is, to the point where you just see a dark mass with an air cell at the end. I had a couple that I heard peep, or could hear pecking inside the shell, but then they just petered out and died. This is trash night, so I went ahead and tossed the non-hatchers this time, but I'd appreciate the info for the next time.

    I seem to get a higher percentage of this than I should. Out of 18 eggs, (I posted the wrong number in another thread) I had 6 fail to hatch, that had shown what appeared to be normal development. Of the ones that hatched, 3 got squashed in the nests that I moved them to when I took them from 'bator to broody hens. The remaining 8 looked fine, all with a very happy and dedicated hen, now. The last two were slipped in with her tonight when I closed up the coop, as they hatched late, nearly 24 hours after the others.

    So I lost 1/3 of them. My last hatch before this was shipped eggs, 13 to start, 4 stayed clear, the others looked good up until about day 17. Then I think they stopped, all except one. She's fine, I call her my $21 chicken. Prior to that I had pretty good hatches. Out of 24 I'd lose maybe 3 or 4.

    I cleaned my bator, but I wonder if I didn't manage to kill everything, or if it's a temp or humidity problem. Now that I think about it a minute, I was having some humidity issues this time around. (Thanks, Chickentoes, that may be part of the problem.)
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2008
  9. dancingbear

    dancingbear Chillin' With My Peeps

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    kwynn's birds Alaska :

    OOPS!, i really didn't realize I posted in the wrong thread. i guess that's what I get for trying to multi task. How do i move it? I am new at this type of thing.
    [​IMG]

    I don't think there's a way to move it, but we got back on topic, no harm done. I thought you might be new. Everybody's new sometime.[​IMG]
     
  10. skeeter

    skeeter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    strange you get to day 17 and then they die,( did I read that right)maybe a unknown temp spike,
    humidity too low and chicks cant get thru the membrane,it gets real tuff
    and just because they are clear doesnt mean they arnt fertile ,they just didnt develope,and mother hen doesnt always hatch all her eggs
    my last hatch I had two that I might have killed ,but they were so weak,im sure in my case it was a temp or humidity issue,
    so many variables

    I always break my non hatchers open
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2008

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