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What Is It?? Late embryo death w/yellow stuff - Pics added post #3

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by patandchickens, May 1, 2009.

  1. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    So, I am now on day 21. Of 5 fertile eggs, I have the following:

    1 died during 2nd wk of incubation
    1 chick hatched successfully but early (day 19), seems fine so far in brooder
    1 egg remaining in incubator looks plausibly ok
    2 eggs remaining in incubator were moving when candled on day 18 but one had yellowish area inside;
    I recandled them real quick when I removed live chick on day 20 and by then both had no visible
    veins and were all murky yellow everywhere that wasn't air cell or embryo

    I should add, though, that I've had a lot of trouble with temperatures ever since I removed them from the (GopherBoy style tipping-back-and-forth) turner on day 18, for various reasons that I *think* I can fix next time. There have been times that the temperature has run down to 97 F for at least a few hrs, possibly much of ovenight, or up to 101 F although only for brief periods AFAIK... *plus* brief excursions down as low as 93F after lid was opened to add water. (Yeah, I know. Sorry, eggs.)

    As I had to open the incubator anyhow this a.m. I removed one of the funny yellow-inside eggs, and as I was [correctly] convinced it was dead anyhow, took it outside and opened it up to see what the deal was.

    The embryo was indeed dead, I would guess day 18-19ish (head still under wing, seemed a little smaller than the one that hatched). There was still a considerable am't of yolk sac unabsorbed, which seemed intact. However the rest of the egg (inside of the membrane) was filled with a sort of murky mustardy yellowish fluid. I don't know if it was leaked yolk, or in consulting Chicken Health Handbook I notice that she lists colibacillosis (e coli) as a cause of embryo death around day 19-20 "with brownish-yellow fluid in shell".

    Since one of the other two remaining in the bator looked identical I assume that one is dead too. I dunno about the other one that still had ok-looking veins (tho no mvmt) when last candled.

    What does this sound like to you, what with the yellow stuff inside the eggs (very distinctive when candling)? Did the yolk sac somehow partially rupture? Does anyone have experience with colibacillosis in hatching eggs? Or what?

    All suggestions appreciated, as I am contemplating trying to turn things around quickly for another setting (otherwise I have to wait til late June, for various reasons).

    Thanks in advance,

    Pat
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2009
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Pat, I've never had that experience myself. Could be a rupture in the sac or bacteria, either one, though you'd think if it was really yellow rather than brown or green, that it was yolk. I knew someone who had an ecoli issue (breeder sent eggs from dirty nests, apparently) and it was greenish gunk inside the egg.
     
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Thank you Cyn! Have you had yolk sacks rupture late? What would the cause be - too hot, too fluctuating, embryo death, something else?

    Here, I opened up the other one that was all funny yellowy inside and took pics -- I have *tried* to get the color balance right but dunno. Basically the yellowy stuff looks pretty much like yolk but just a touch more brownish/mustardy... but not as brownish as the photo seems to represent it I think.

    The first two photos show how when the egg is cracked and the outer membrane broken open, all the yucky yellowy stuff runs out, but the chick and yolk sac are still tightly curled up sort of in their own separate nearly-clear membrane type thing:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And this photo shows my having picked apart the clearish membrane that bound the chick and yolk sac into a tidy package, so that the assemblage is now opened and strung out:

    [​IMG]

    Does ring a bell in any way, Cyn or anyone else?

    Thanks very much,

    Pat
     
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Hmm, that is sure brownish looking gunk, Pat. I cant really say that anything during incubation, per se, had anything to do with that, but could be that perhaps some bacteria just got into the egg through pores. I have never seen anything like that yet in all my hatches, though. Wish I could be more help!
     
  5. Dirt Road

    Dirt Road Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 9, 2008
    Southern Idaho
    I am NOT an expert, but here's my 2 bits worth. The embryo looks a bit less than 18 or 19 days to me. If you definitely saw movement at 18 days, my lack of expertise is verified, though I suppose it could have missed a day or two of growth if it was under attack. It looks like a bacterial invasion to me. I went through something like that years ago, and it was a real educational experience, in more ways than one. It seems that the incubator which I had loaned out, had not been cleaned out properly and in fact empty shells from the previous hatch had been left in it for nearly 2 months. When I got the machine back I was told it had been disinfected. It had in fact only been wiped out with a cloth which had been dipped in Nolvasan. Every single egg I put in it died, and looked much like your pictures. After the folks confessed to the oversight, I fumigated the thing and the problem ended. I would recommend that you thoroughly disinfect your incubator and the equipment you use with it before trying to hatch any more eggs. Again, I am no expert.

    Jim
     
  6. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    If the chick hatched on day 19, your temperatures are just a bit high. Other than that, I don't have anything to add.
     
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Well, the stuff isn't really *as* brownish looking as the photo represents it -- but definitely a little more brownish than regular yolk. There was no odor, btw.

    Jim, you are right, I rechecked my notes and in fact it was the other yellowy dead egg that I saw mvmt in on day 18, and that one had a somewhat larger embryo. This one was the one w/the first signs of yellowness visible on candling on day 18, and no mvmt.

    OK, so I am thinking I will try to disinfect the bejeebers out of the incubator once the last remaining egg is out of there, and try again. (after modifying some aspects, rechecking thermometer accuracy, and changing the wafer as it has gone MASSIVELY wacky in the last 2 days so that I'm sure the remaining egg is dead even if it isn't infected. Sigh). I've also changed all the nest box bedding and bleached the rack I was storing the eggs in before setting them, and will try wearing gloves when I handle the eggs.

    Very big thanks to everyone,

    Pat
     

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