Fertile Chicken Egg Hatchability Problems
Broody Hen on her Eggs - She is not amused
Part II Problems with Hatching Chicken Eggs
A number of specific issues may arise that can cause chicken egg hatchability problems. Below are some potential problems and pointers on correcting them.
Problem: An embryo that's full-term and not pipped, with a yolk sac that's large, possibly with residual albumen and/or not enclosed by the abdominal wall.
Causes: This issue can be caused by not being turned enough, diseases in the breeder flock, heredity, nutrient deficiencies, improper humidity and/or temperatures, and from being stored too long.
Problem: A dead embryo that's full-term and pipped.
Causes: Improper temperature, ventilation, and/or humidity, nutrient deficiencies, diseases in the breeder flock, not being turned enough, poor handling during transfer, or being stored too long.
Problem: An embryo that's alive or dead, with a shell that's partially pipped.
Causes: This problem shares many of the above causes, but can also be causes by excessive fumigation, or the eggs being set with the small end up rather than down.
Problem: Chicks hatching early; thin and noisy.
Causes: Improper temperature and/or humidity, small eggs, or simply differences between breeds.
Problem: Chicks hatching late.
Causes: This can be caused by large eggs, being stored for too long, old breeders, inbreeding, weak embryos, or incubators being too cold or too humid.
Problem: Slow, prolonged hatching.
Causes: This can be a sign of a number of problems in the incubator, such as a mix of eggs stored for different lengths of time, a mix of eggs from young and old breeders, a mix of large and small eggs, hot or cold spots, or improper overall temperature. There may also be a ventilation issue. Also check that eggs are being handled properly.
Problem: Inconsistent hatch or chick quality in the trays.
Causes: As with the above issue, this can be affected by the mix of eggs. It can also be indicative of disease in one or more of the breeder flocks, or variation in egg storage procedures.
Problem: Chicks that are sticky or smeared with albumen.
Causes: Low incubation temperature, high humidity, improper turning, or old and/or very large eggs.
Problem: Chicks stuck in shell or with shell fragments stuck to them.
Causes: Incorrect humidity levels, improper turning, or cracked/bad shells.
Problem: Premature hatching; bloody navels.
Causes: This problem is caused by temperatures in the incubator or hatcher that are too high.
Causes: This issue is frequently caused by unclean conditions, all the way from the next to handling and storage.
Problem: Malformations, crooked toes, spraddled legs, short and/or wiry down.
Causes: These can all be caused by improper temperature in the incubator and nutritional deficiencies.
Problem: A crossed or twisted beak.
Causes: This is a hereditary issue.
Problem: Exposed brain, missing eye or eyes, or other eye problems.
Causes: This can be caused by temperature in the incubator being too high, and/or oxygen level being too low during days one through three.
Problem: Short or missing beak or other face abnormalities.
Causes: This can result from incubator temperature being too high, heredity, or by a niacin deficiency..
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