Fertile Chicken Egg Hatchability Problems Part III

Hen & Chicks

Am I cute or what?
Am I cute or what?

Many of the problems you may encounter with chicken egg hatchability have to do with nutrient deficiencies. This is an extremely important part of healthy breeding that needs to be given special consideration, especially when problems in hatchability occur. The following list should help give you an idea of how important these vitamins and minerals are to the success of your eggs, as well as a guide to what nutrients might need to be increased in the breeder flock's diet should specific abnormalities become an issue. Many nutrient deficiencies will result in embryonic mortality.

Vitamin A is crucial to proper circulatory system development. Too little vitamin A can result in improper skeletal development, particularly for the skull and spine, as well as embryonic mortality. However, too much vitamin A can also become a problem, so proper diet is key.

Not enough Vitamin D3 can stunt growth, cause rickets, and lead to embryonic mortality.

Vitamin E is also very important to healthy circulatory system development. Problems with the eye, muscle weakness, and embryonic mortality can all be caused by too little vitamin E.

Too little vitamin K can lead to hemorrhages in the embryo and membranes.

A thiamin deficiency can result in polyneuritis, which is an inflammation of the nerves or general nervous system. Thiamin deficiency can lead to a high mortality rate.

Riboflavin is another nutrient critical to proper development of the circulatory system. Riboflavin deficiency can also lead to deformed growth of the legs, toes, and down, as well as anemia and micromelia.

Lack of adequate Niacin can stunt the growth of skeletal muscles, cause edema, and create problems with the nervous and vascular system.

Vitamin B6 is important for early embryonic growth, and lack of vitamin B6 can also be a factor in embryonic mortality issues.

Without enough pantothenic acid, chicks may suffer from subcutaneous hemorrhages, edema, and hydrocephalus. They may not feather properly, and may have deformed legs.

Biotin deficiency can result in skeletal deformations as well as a malformed beak. It can also cause webbed toes.

Inadequate folic acid can lead to a large number of physical defects, such as webbed toes, a flattened skull, small eyes, misshapen beak, stunted growth, and even exposed viscera.

Vitamin B12 deficiency can also lead to several physical deformities, as well as edema, hemorrhages, and liver and thyroid problems.

Manganese deficiency can lead to physical deformities, micromelia, edema, chondrodystrophy, and problems with the down feathers.

Insufficient zinc can cause skeletal defects. The chicks may be very weak and unable to stand up, eat or drink. Mortality is a serious problem.

Too much or too little calcium can cause problems. Providing a balanced amount is important.

Too little magnesium can cause tremors, difficulties breathing, and convulsions at hatching.

Too much or too little iodine can lead to greater incubation periods, stunted growth, and a higher mortality rate.

A copper deficiency can cause circulatory problems.

Not enough phosphorous can contribute to skeletal deformities. 

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