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Hatching eggs

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farmgal
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Re: Hatching eggs

Postby farmgal » Mon Mar 28, 2016 12:59 pm

very interesting, I love how everyone does things their own way :) I never dry hatch, I run a wet temp an a heat temp and I crank my humidity right into the high zone, this year so far, I have done two batches, both with the wash, soak and spray so no way to compare not doing it, I have a 88 successs in the first batch an a 82 in the second

what a rain storm we are having, thanks so much for sharing what is working for you.. I am going to be setting a different breed of fowl soon and will be interested to see how that effects things.. I will let you know
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Re: Hatching eggs

Postby OddDuck » Mon Mar 28, 2016 7:30 pm

This is a tough subject to be very accurate on. We all have different incubators sitting in different houses with different ambient temperatures. We all get our eggs from different places or use our own and the who knows if the eggs are worth beans before we even set them. I was collecting my hatching eggs from a cold barn trying to get them before they froze solid so my hatch rates were kind of so so. Also, it was a bit early and the roosters weren't getting it on.

I have been trying very unsuccessfully to hatch black copper marans. These eggs were the source of most of my hatch failures. I hatched from bought eggs last year and picked up a small flock of older hens. Out of dozens of eggs this year I only got one BCM chick. One of my broody hens has had the best luck with them. She managed to hatch four out of twelve. She is raising the five chicks and still sitting on eggs. I cannot break her of broody. If I don't leave her some eggs to sit on she leaves the chicks and goes to find some. So, you cannot fight city hall and she has six more BCM eggs to sit on while her chicks are busy running around with a heat lamp over the nest giving them some heat to go get some food and water while mom sits like a lump.
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Re: Hatching eggs

Postby farmgal » Tue Mar 29, 2016 1:46 pm

I hear ya, but speaking of the maren, I had a girlfriend work with them for a few years and yes, she said very poor hatch rates, breed, age of the birds, and so much more factor in. that's crazy on your broody hen, I have had broody but never, I will leave my chicks broody.. wild. she is worth her weight in gold for being able to make her a nest and let her go..

I have one pair of speckled sussex that I have high hopes for this year, we will see
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Re: Hatching eggs

Postby OddDuck » Wed Mar 30, 2016 2:00 pm

My experience is that the heritage breed populations have gotten too small and they have also been managed poorly. Since most are being hatched and raised by newbie backyard chicken enthusiasts, the eggs are not being collected from only the "best" and many people are selling pullet eggs as hatching eggs. Also, many people are buying trios and they all come from the same few farms further restricting the gene pool.

Personally, I like eggs from 2-3 year old hens for hatching. You know at that point what the good and bad is as far as the hens are concerned, plus the egg size is larger. There is also a definite aversion to culling so the poor quality birds are being used extensively for reproduction as well.

I have a hatch just popping out this morning. The crossed eggs are hatching like popcorn kernels. This hatch, I have maran crosses. Maran roosters crossed with chanteclers, meaty hens, americaunas, and some regular brown laying hens. I feel that if a breed is failing as much as the marans seem to be, it is time to bring in new genetics and make a new breed. Since the reason people want marans is for the chocolate brown color of the eggs, it makes sense to take a huge mutt flock and start selecting for the desired egg color in the future generations. Every year, at least one or two of the crosses should lay the desired egg colour and crossing back to a full maran will lock it in. The meaty hens will add size and faster growth and they really are decent layers as well. They make excellent hybrid outcrosses.

One can get too tied up in preserving breed integrity for showing. I don't get into showing so I want production, as an eating bird, egg colours for selling, and adequate laying rates along with decent hatch rates. People lose sight of the fact that many breeds of poultry or other livestock came about to get something better. Since time has lessened the genetic pool, we need to establish new breeds. Landrace for chickens I suppose.
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Re: Hatching eggs

Postby farmgal » Thu Mar 31, 2016 3:40 pm

O odddick, you are so right, sometimes saving the rare breeds can mean so much inbreeding that its not health for them at all.. I love it, landrace is right.. and yes for sure you can outcross an then breed back to the standard.. good for you..

I smiled at your comment, hatching like popcorn kernels.. now that is just what we hope for.. and as you said, its amazing how much we can all do things a touch different and yet the results speak for themselves!

You are correct as well that in the current market, that the color of the eggs can be a selling point for sure..

Its like my big meat ducks, I have working on my own lines for a while, I was giving some young boys the eye at a different place and said, where is the daddy, and the man pointed at a male the same size and I looked at him and said.. no really, where is the big male, and he goes.. but is typical.. I shook my head and said, what is the weight on them? three to six pounds lighter then my big drakes at full size..

Wanted the color and the hens were very nice, but dang, its going to take me a few gens to breed them back up to the size I want them at.. part of the issue, Is I had that breed when I was 17 to 20 (and that was a while ago) and I remember the size on those birds, we have allowed folks saying.. but they are not to be to big to be ok, because that is what they see..

For me, when it come to a young male, nothing under ten pounds is allowed to be used and as a mature two year old male (they are not a fast maturing bird) nothing under 12 and I prefer 14 and up in size.. and yes, as my hubby sighs, that means I will grow out my best two to four drakes for two years to eval them. this is not a breed you can make that judgement call at on their first year of life.

Always love reading your posts..
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Re: Hatching eggs

Postby RachelM » Tue Apr 26, 2016 8:43 pm

I've got some questions I'm sure some you guys and gals could help me with. I'm having only mediocre chick hatch rates (around maybe 50%, sometimes more or less), but among those that hatch there always seems to be a few who pip and start, but die before they actually finish hatching. Some hatch or start up to 7 days after they should have. The weak hatchers are pretty evenly dispersed among those that are both late or on time. After the hatch stops, I usually break the remaining eggs to see inside. I just cleaned up my latest hatch and found that of the 50% that didn't hatch I have about half that are just blanks, and the other half have died at some point. A few died almost fully formed, but most seemed less than half way developed or decomposed so that I couldn't tell how old they were. Two of those eggs were duck eggs (One toxic sludge, and one was actually fully formed and moving a bit after I cracked it, but at over a week past due he was incredibly weak and hadn't even tried to hatch. Also his yolk didn't seem to be absorbed). My ducks eggs worked out better than chickens, with 6 live hatched to 3 not (Although the 3rd was blank when I candled and I removed it before hatching).

What can I do to help boost my fertility as well as my hatch rates? I've got a fair sized flock that averages about 4 to 5 hens per rooster. The roos and many hens are copper marans, but I also have some mixed heavy breed hens and a few sex links we just keep for eating egg production. Unfortunately right now all our turkeys, ducks, and chickens are all together while we wait for our paddock to dry up so we can build them all seperate runs. The turkey eggs are due to start around Thursday so I will keep a better record of how they do. I've noticed the occasional fluctuation in incubator temp but it's never been longer than 12 hours before it gets corrected, and was never more than 2 degrees. I've got a pet store humidity gauge and I keep it around 55% but our house air is very dry so I find myself adding water often and it fluctuates, especially when I try to keep it higher for hatching. Due to the drawn out nature of my hatches I also have trouble going into 'lockdown'. When they only hatch one or two at a time I often find myself opening the incubator more than I should so that the chicks can be moved into our little brooder box while others are still hatching. I try to wait it out but it seems there is never more than one or two who are dried off and ready to move and also within 48 hours of hatching. I'm hoping if I can at least tighten up the hatching times to within a few days of each other I can cut out some of the other problems.
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Re: Hatching eggs

Postby farmgal » Fri Apr 29, 2016 9:44 pm

hi, well for me.. I would say three things, first its always much riskier to run batches will different hatching times, I personally will not do it.. I hatch one kind per setting.

Two, you gave a classic to me case of the issues on tends to have when dry hatching, which sounds like a combo of low humid, opening the equipment when lockdown and shrink issues of the membrane which again is related to those listed above

three.. are you having trouble finding your bad eggs at the mid way check-candle point and removing them
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