Hatching first eggs from young hen.

Discussion in 'Incubation & Hatching' started by Roger, Nov 21, 2019.

  1. Roger

    Roger New Member

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    I have 2 young white leghorn hens that recently started laying. Has anyone had issues with the first few eggs hatching? The first chic hatched ok but the rest have had a problem cracking to shell enough to get out. Only 3 out of maybe 10 eggs completely hatched. The others died before they could get out. I use to get my eggs from Texas A&M and never had a problem hatching eggs. Any thought?
     
  2. robin416

    robin416 Administrator Staff Member

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    Hi Roger, I'm going to ask a bunch of questions first.

    Since you said you've hatched successfully in the past does that mean you hatched eggs in an incubator?

    Is it the same equipment you used in the past?

    Were all of the eggs from the same source?

    Did the peeps that pipped externally ever do a bunch of loud peeping? That is an indicator that they're stuck and need assistance getting out.

    And then there's the possibility there was an issue with the parents that caused the poor hatch. There are diseases and bad genetics that can be passed down to the embryo.
     
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  3. Sylie

    Sylie Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I know very little about hatching with an incubator but is it possible that since the mom's were new layers that the shells were just super tough? I've had my new layers lay eggs that I had to use a knife to whack it with in order to bake with them. It just seemed like they were extra thick or extra tough or something,(almost like a duck egg as far as how hard they were to crack) after a few months, they normalized and are now the same as any other egg to crack. Just a thought :)
     
  4. Roger

    Roger New Member

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    Thanks for the quick responses. The hens that I have, I hatched from eggs. Those eggs came from Texas A&M poultry department. They are high-quality eggs. They started laying recently and I'm now hatching their eggs. Nothing else has changed. I'm using the same incubator with the same settings and humidity. I have successfully hatched about 80 eggs from the university with no issues. I'm thinking along the same lines as Sylie but I'm not sure. Yesterday one hatched with no issues at all.

    As far as the peeps go, yes they were peeing before the started cracking the shell and continued peeping after they made a small hole in the shell. They just could not get past the small hole. It seemed like they were either too weak to break out or the shell was too hard. I've read that if they start breaking out and they can't make it out within a short time, the sack will start drying out and become too tough for them to tear.
     
  5. robin416

    robin416 Administrator Staff Member

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    You heard right. They basically shrink wrap in the membrane and can't move.

    I'm not sure how far you would want to take this but you can help them. Trust me, I've done it many many times with chicks that went on to be hardy adults. It takes good timing and patience.

    If after 24 hours of an external pip remove a bit of shell, if there's no blood you can continue to remove a bit of shell around the middle of the shell like the peep would do. If you don't see blood at any time then peep is ready to hatch. If you see blood stop and wait a couple of hours then try again.

    It's nerve wracking as all get out but the feeling of freeing the peep can't be measured.
     
  6. Roger

    Roger New Member

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    Thanks for the advice. I have another one that can't make it out. There's been a small hole in the shell for about 12 hrs. I hear the chic peeping and see it poking at the crack but it just can't make it out.
     
  7. robin416

    robin416 Administrator Staff Member

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    When peep starts crying loudly it's time to give it a hand. Just be careful, see blood, stop. Peel around the wide perimeter, let peep kick itself out of the top and bottom if possible. The bottom especially because sometimes yolk is still present, having the shell bottom staying in place helps protect it until it's full absorbed.

    Do this a few times and you'll be an expert. I even had to do it once for a peep that was hatching under a hen.
     
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