Why do I keep getting so many males, so few females in my hatches?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Denninmi, Sep 17, 2010.

  1. Denninmi

    Denninmi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2009
    Something I'm doing wrong, or just dumb, bad luck.

    It seems like most of my hatches, I end up with a lot more males than females:

    Rouen Ducks hatched May 30-31 -- 5 total, 3 males, 2 hens

    Turkeys, hatched May 30-31 -- 6 total, I think it's going to be 4 males and 2 hens, not sure yet though.

    Button Quail hatched July 5-6 -- 7 total, 5 males, 2 hens.

    Coturnix Quail hatched July 30-31, 8 total, 5 males, 3 hens.

    Button Quail hatched August 2-3-4, 7 total, 5 males 2 hens (pretty sure, one is iffy due to coloration but I think its a rooster).

    Coturnix Quail hatched August 26-27, 30 total, can't tell yet. I am anxious to see what this ratio turns out like.

    Is there something about male eggs that make them tougher/easier to incubate than female eggs, resulting in more males hatching?

    I want MORE hens and fewer males, since I'm mostly after eggs.

    Now, the only major success in getting hens was in my Isa Browns -- 6 hens, 0 roosters. Of course, I BOUGHT those from the feed store!
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2010
  2. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    Because you are lucky...

    Really if you flipped a coin that many times (7 or 8) you would not often get 50/50 or better.

    because birds males are ZZ and females are ZW the females have a higher chance of having a bad copy of the information that is carried on the gene.

    This could make female fetus slightly more fragile.

    But you didn't mention a lot of unhatched eggs -
  3. Denninmi

    Denninmi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2009
    Quote:Actually, I did have pretty poor hatch rates:

    I started with about 24 duck eggs, but they had been held for up to a month, and some had been exposed to freezing outdoor temps, so not surprised with bad numbers there.

    All of the rest were shipped eggs, and I had between 25% and 50% hatch rates, although most of the batches were in the 25% to 30% range.

    So yes, there were a lot of bad eggs that didn't hatch.

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