Author Topic: Hatching Issues  (Read 43 times)

Mitchell Taylor

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Hatching Issues
« on: February 15, 2021, 11:06:22 AM »
This is our 3rd/4th year hatching (second with the same cock bird and hens) and we've noticed that our chicks egg membranes are extremely thick almost a rubber texture or consistancy and several (30-40%) are having difficulty unzipping their eggs when hatching. We are wondering if it's something we are doing, genetics, or a combination.

We feed our hen's nutrena naturewise hearty hen pellets and sometimes mix in feather fixer or a 20% protein all flock if temperatures get below freezing for an extended time. They are supplied fresh water, grit, and free choice calcium at all times.

Our fertility rate is averaging between 80 - 90 % consistency but our hatch rates have only been in the 40 - 50 % range and we have lost as high as 20% at times that pip but don't hatch.

We have a nurture right 360 incubator and it holds a consistent temperature and we have checked it repeatedly for accuracy. We really pay attention to our humidity and maintain around 50% up to lockdown and then maintain 65 - 75% through the hatch. We now wait until lockdown to candle our eggs and other than that we leave the incubator closed up until we remove them from the incubator trying to remove as mainly outside factors as possible.

Any information or advice would be appreciated.

Thanks

Mitch

kkdossey

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Re: Hatching Issues
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2021, 08:59:45 AM »
Mitch,
I think you're doing a great job by really monitoring all your numbers and reducing your interaction with the eggs.  I know people that are using really high humidity and others really low.  I know that air circulation can be a problem as well.  Make sure they have good ventilation.  Where I am 50% humidity is on the high side.
 Maybe consider trying hatches at different humidity.  I also have had some success with weighing my hatching eggs to monitor weight loss to adjust humidity.  But in the end I'd lend more towards genetics on this one.  You may be able to mess with a few variables to improve some. But 50% hatch isn't considered bad in my opinion and may just be the best you can do with that group of hens.  If you have several hens together and aren't sure which laid which egg, it might be helpful if you could separate them to try to figure out if it's a hen or two that's having the problem and not all of them.  If you can't separate them, I'd look closely at the eggs and try to notice their differences. It seems that each hen usually lays a little different size/shape/color and I can somewhat tell the eggs that came from the same bird.  Also where are you located and what variety are these?
Kris Dossey

Mitchell Taylor

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Re: Hatching Issues
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2021, 09:40:18 AM »
We are located in Southeastern Indiana about 45 minutes outside Cincinnati Ohio. The variety we focus on are Blue,  Black, and Splash.

Definitely thinking about doing a small test hatch, dropping the humidity and see what happens. Also may try to better isolate of the trouble eggs / hens, but we'll start with the humidity and go from there.

Thank you for the information and tips.

Mitch

kkdossey

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Re: Hatching Issues
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2021, 04:45:28 PM »
If someone you know is in the same area, you might ask them about what humidity levels have worked best for them too.  Good luck!
Kris Dossey