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All things hatching

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by Lazy Gardener, Jun 11, 2019 at 4:58 PM.

  1. Jun 11, 2019 at 4:58 PM
    Lazy Gardener

    Lazy Gardener Super Self-Sufficient

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    This thread is for observations and data collection pertaining to hatching eggs, whether by natural (broody) or artificial (incubator) means. I found some excellent articles that cover a lot of scientific jargon. But, if you're the type of person who wants to know how things work, you'll enjoy these articles!

    This article covers A to Z. Beware... there are some graphic photos.

    http://en.aviagen.com/assets/Tech_C...les/RossTechInvestigatingHatcheryPractice.pdf

    This article covers a lot of ground. Great if you are suffering insomnia. However, it did answer the plaguing question: When I use an incubator, I've noted temp spikes around day 8 and day 14. WHY? This corresponds with the noted shift in transpiration process (and related metabolic increase) of O2 and CO2 within the egg. Fascinating!!!

    It also addresses the ? raised in this post by @Britesea " I've also noticed that the eggs have a strong membrane, so they hardly ever accidentally break an egg like I get with my Leghorns (I have no idea whether that would make it more difficult for a chick to hatch)." re: shell membrane and hatch rate.

    IMO, thicker shells correspond with thicker shell membranes. I don't know if I've EVER seen an egg with weak shell AND strong membranes. A less porous egg does not transpire as well as a more porous egg. Common sense would lead one to believe that an egg that transpires well would have an increased O2 content, thus hatch better. However, the less porous egg retains CO2, and has a more successful hatch than the more porous egg! An other study I read indicated that only at the end of the incubation period when the O2/CO2 balance shifts to a state of hypoxia, does the movement pattern of the fetus shift to a simultaneous leg thrusting pattern (rather than a reciprocal pattern). This makes it possible for her to thrust her way out of the egg. The more porous shell prevents the build up of CO2, thus preventing this crucial shift in gas levels at just the right time to allow her to hatch before depleting her energy reserves. Fascinating! I am ever awe inspired by the magnitude of our Creator and His creation, where such details are so intricately balanced even down to the cellular and atomic level.

    https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/a59c/655340092a2704a33c503a0dcb8512680ceb.pdf
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019 at 5:08 PM
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  2. Jun 13, 2019 at 12:23 PM
    Beekissed

    Beekissed Mountain Sage

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    Amen, LG! Perfect design from a perfect Designer. :love
     
  3. Jun 13, 2019 at 2:16 PM
    Mini Horses

    Mini Horses Super Self-Sufficient

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    Thankfully, our Creator has given my broodies the ability to know what to do, far better than I and the incubator. Plus, while chickens have a natural desire to scratch (!!! all the shavings into the water!!!) the broody hen tells them "why" they scratch and where. AMAZING motherhood!

    I love watching my gals. Hoping that the 5 with one hen are all pullets (yeah, right! Fat chance!!:D) but, probably only 2 are. Of course, there's always hope. They are feathering but not enough to be sure yet. Then, another 5, combs look like I might have 3 or 4 gals there :idunno Mom was taken by a fox (after a huge fight) and I'm fostering the babes. She would not go into her pen that night. :( I need pullets.
     
  4. Jun 13, 2019 at 2:22 PM
    Lazy Gardener

    Lazy Gardener Super Self-Sufficient

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    I've had fair success doing shape selection of eggs to increase the pullet percentage. Prior to doing this, I could count on only 40% pullets. After doing this, I have consistently boosted pullet rate to 60% or better. Sounds hokey. Sounds like superstition. But, I can't argue with my numbers. I do hope you get more pullets! I'm still waiting for a broody hen. If I don't get a broody this season, I'll let it pass. If that's the case, it will be the first summer I've not had chicks since starting this flock in ?2012.
     
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  5. Jun 13, 2019 at 2:25 PM
    Mini Horses

    Mini Horses Super Self-Sufficient

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    What shape do you find more pullet friendly?

    (I think you posted it elsewhere)
     
  6. Jun 13, 2019 at 3:15 PM
    Lazy Gardener

    Lazy Gardener Super Self-Sufficient

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    Eggs that have a more rounded shape. Looking at the circumference measured around the middle of the egg compared to the circumference measured around the length of the egg (from narrow to wide ends).

    Formal studies do a mathmatic ratio analysis, but I'm not that fancy. I simply lay out 3 - 5 days worth of eggs, and choose the ones that have the most favorable shape. It's helpful if you have a smaller flock, and can identify certain hen's eggs. For example, I have one EE who lays a large blue egg. Her eggs are very distinct, and can be distinguished from all other eggs in the flock. If I laid 4 - 5 of her eggs side to side, I would note a difference in the shape. Some of them are definitely more "rounded", while others are "longer" and perhaps more pointed. I would choose the former for incubation.

    When I choose eggs for incubation, I will save 3 - 5 days worth. Then, I will attempt to match them up according to distinguishing characteristics that might indicate that each grouping came from a specific hen. Then, I would choose the most likely candidates. Of 3- 4 dozen eggs, I will likely choose only a dozen that meet my visual criteria. Of course any eggs with defect are eliminated. (thin shells, overly porous, rough texture, skid marks)
     
  7. Jun 13, 2019 at 3:28 PM
    Mini Horses

    Mini Horses Super Self-Sufficient

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    Thanks.

    I have a couple who lay a ball, another lays one that looks like a guinea egg, another a long football. Yep, can relate to shape.:D

    Actually dislike some shapes as they do not fit well in a carton.:rolleyes:
     
  8. Jun 14, 2019 at 3:26 AM
    Beekissed

    Beekissed Mountain Sage

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    Mini, you need to get yourself some poultry nipples! Makes all the difference in the world when raising chicks, with or without a mama. The best setup I've had for broodies and babies is a bucket with a nipple cup on the side and straight nipples on the bottom so both sizes are served. Nice, clean water all the time.

    Works for ducks too. :thumbsup

    I'm with you....I prefer all the hatching to be done by the experts ~the mama~and I will never be one. I've hatched with a regular incubator and even hatched using a heating pad and a natural nest setup, but I still feel too much when I lose one of those dancing chicks, especially through my own error.
     
  9. Jun 14, 2019 at 5:44 AM
    Mini Horses

    Mini Horses Super Self-Sufficient

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    :hide have the nipples & the cups...what I need is to put them on the container, I also have. :rolleyes: These chicks were with mom who put up a huge fight but, lost to the fox. :( She saved her chicks. You could see there was a fight. She would not come in that night & was nabbed. :(
     
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  10. Jun 14, 2019 at 12:51 PM
    Lazy Gardener

    Lazy Gardener Super Self-Sufficient

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    Mini, I've made a horizontal nipple bucket. To my knowledge, they've never touched it. But, honestly... they don't feel the need, b/c I keep open water in the run, and they get fermented feed, so their hydration needs are well met. I did put the HN bucket in the coop, so when I delay letting them out in the morning, they have access to water if they can figure it out. I often don't rush to let them out in the morning, so they will work the DL in the coop. I think it cuts down on the stable fly issue. I have a couple of the cups yet to install, was looking at them the other day. Also have plenty of buckets.
     
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