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Babies Dieing In Eggs


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Hi,

 

I started off my breeding season about 2 months ago ( maybe more ) and I currently have 29 chicks in the nest with some getting ready to leave any day now.

 

So far every female that has laid has hatched at least 1 baby from there nest except 1 female. She has now laid 2 different clutches and she has had babies develop inside the egg but die before hatching. Today she threw her eggs out of the box and 1 of the eggs had a fully developed chick in it.

 

Just wondering why these babies arn't hatching?

 

She has had babies in the past so she isn't new to breeding.

 

Thanks

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Sorry to hear that's happening. I don't think I can be much help but the only thing I can think of is some sort of infection being past on.

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Are these first time breeders?

 

I have had this issue too.

 

I can name 3 factors

Concave not deep enough eggs rolling arround.

Hen coming out of the nest too frequently

cock going in a disturbing the eggs.

 

Thats all I can put it down too.

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If the first few eggs were infertile or didn't hatch the hen may have lost interest and trashed the nest. Disease or weak embryo can be a sign of late or pipping death, the reasons L__J mentioned would be early to mid embryo death. You might also have a problem with humidity, although you said your other nests have chicks. A B12 supplement may also help with hatch rate.

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A while back I had a problem with my water quality and did some research. I was surprised to find many scientific studies that claimed that a very large number of baby fatalities was caused by the water quality. Even a breeder using bottled water had his set up checked out and the water machine was contaminated. That problem was solved by having a water bottle not hooked up to a machine. They had a contraption that just helped tip the large water bottle to fill birds water containers. I have lixit water bottles and sterilize the rubber stoppers with boiled water each time I clean them. I used to get a slimy bio-film on these stoppers that had been rinsed with plain tap water.

http://www.birdchann...water-care.aspx

 

I can't find the same papers I found a while back but they specifically said that parents pass on to chicks diseases that are water born and the chicks can die before hatching.

Edited by Phoebes
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Are these first time breeders?

 

I have had this issue too.

 

I can name 3 factors

Concave not deep enough eggs rolling arround.

Hen coming out of the nest too frequently

cock going in a disturbing the eggs.

 

Thats all I can put it down too.

 

They arn't first time breeders, this is there third season. They are using the same box as last time which produced babies so I think the concave would be okay. Her first shot, she came out a lot but on her second round she hardly leaves the box. The cock does spend most of his time in with her.

 

You might also have a problem with humidity, although you said your other nests have chicks.

It has been quite cold and windy here of late, I think this could play a role but other females have been able to hatch babies and they laid the same time as her.

 

A while back I had a problem with my water quality and did some research. I was surprised to find many scientific studies that claimed that a very large number of baby fatalities was caused by the water quality. Even a breeder using bottled water had his set up checked out and the water machine was contaminated. That problem was solved by having a water bottle not hooked up to a machine. They had a contraption that just helped tip the large water bottle to fill birds water containers. I have lixit water bottles and sterilize the rubber stoppers with boiled water each time I clean them. I used to get a slimy bio-film on these stoppers that had been rinsed with plain tap water.

http://www.birdchann...water-care.aspx

 

I can't find the same papers I found a while back but they specifically said that parents pass on to chicks diseases that are water born and the chicks can die before hatching.

 

I change the water in my containiers twice daily and I always keep them clean, so this could be an unlikely reason.

 

 

Thank you for all your responses

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Once the embryo is developing, outside contamination is unlikely to be passed on. As she has had chicks before she should know the ropes so to speak. Was she bred with the same Cock bird? Maybe she has let eggs go cold and die or it could be a humidity issue, I had one hatch to-day that was "stuck" in shell thought it was dead but after helping is out of shell it seems to be okay but shell was very dry and membrane dried out onto chick, with weather all over the place here it could be a number of things.

 

If you think it's a genetic thing, try fostering her next eggs and see if they hatch under another hen. If so it could be her incubation method at fault.

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Is the hen getting extra iodine and calcium before laying.

If an iodine deficiency chicks wont have the strength so break shell.

If the hen is taking to much calcium prior to laying, the shells may be to hard for the chick to break out or possibly impede the pass through of oxygen to the chick. Are the shells harder than normal?

Melbourne's weather at this time could be a factor, has had high humidity strong cold winds and fluctuating temps.

I did loose 4 chicks dead in shell after the hen stopped laying for 5 days and then laid these 4, I think the hen lost interest in them when they didn't hatch in the same time frame as the previous 4.

My 2 cents worth.

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Is the hen getting extra iodine and calcium before laying.

If an iodine deficiency chicks wont have the strength so break shell.

If the hen is taking to much calcium prior to laying, the shells may be to hard for the chick to break out or possibly impede the pass through of oxygen to the chick. Are the shells harder than normal?

Melbourne's weather at this time could be a factor, has had high humidity strong cold winds and fluctuating temps.

I did loose 4 chicks dead in shell after the hen stopped laying for 5 days and then laid these 4, I think the hen lost interest in them when they didn't hatch in the same time frame as the previous 4.

My 2 cents worth.

 

If they are getting to much calcium causing the shells to be harder wouldn't that happen to all the females? The weather has been pretty poor in Melbourne, I'm thinking this could be the major problem, even though I have bred babies through this weather so far.

 

Thanks for everyones help so far.

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Once the embryo is developing, outside contamination is unlikely to be passed on. As she has had chicks before she should know the ropes so to speak. Was she bred with the same Cock bird? Maybe she has let eggs go cold and die or it could be a humidity issue, I had one hatch to-day that was "stuck" in shell thought it was dead but after helping is out of shell it seems to be okay but shell was very dry and membrane dried out onto chick, with weather all over the place here it could be a number of things.

 

If you think it's a genetic thing, try fostering her next eggs and see if they hatch under another hen. If so it could be her incubation method at fault.

I really wish I could find the papers I had before. They spoke of the parents passing on some illness that made the babies die in the egg. Those breeders did not change the water twice daily like our poster. They had tube systems or water from a machine. In both cases the pathogen was found in the water systems. I usually keep these papers in my favorites for at least a year but recently purged the list because it was too long.

 

I was really surprised myself that something could be passed on before the egg was laid that killed the babies. From the documents (reports from microbiologists) it seemed like the breeding facilities were large scale.

 

I can't find the same papers but did find this info: http://www.prettybird.com/researcharticles/waterqualityarticle.htm

Facility #5

This facility was experiencing excessive dead in shell and cultures revealed Pseudomonas aeruginosa predominately. Attempts at treatment of birds were palliative. Injection of antibiotics into the eggs was frequently practiced. Upon visiting the farm it was discovered that the breeder was using water bottles for the breeding birds. All water bottles were cleaned and bleached weekly. Bottles were exposed to sunlight. Pseudomonas infections were common in the breeding stock . The breeder removed all bottles and installed a fall through watering system. All adult birds were treated with Enrofloxacin (according to antibiogram) but some subsequent failures of therapy were found. These birds were subsequently treated by use of an inactivated, autogenous bacterin. Subsequent egg infections and mortality was within normal limits.

Edited by Phoebes
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I don't think the water quality has anything to do with it as no other nests have been affected except this. I think it comes down to the weather and the male disrupting the female to often when she is incubating the eggs.

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I don't think the water quality has anything to do with it as no other nests have been affected except this. I think it comes down to the weather and the male disrupting the female to often when she is incubating the eggs.

I don't think so either as you mentioned the water is changed twice daily. I was just responding to the comment robyn made about the contamination not being passed on once the embryo is developing. My daughter worked at Glaxosmithkline in the vaccine department. The procedure for making vaccines does involve the use of eggs. I am not aware of the specifics because it is "top secret", although even my neighbor who knows the guard at the parking lot can tell me way more than he should know. (lol) My daughter was a microbiologist there but is now a mathematician. Unfortunately I have learned way more about bacteria and viruses than I would like to know. What I am trying to say is that sometimes the egg is laid with the infection already in it. Like in the case of Mycoplasma in turkeys, even the semen of the infected males is infected.

 

There are other examples of disease being passed on in this way. (from the hen)

http://www.chickenve...keys/index.aspx :Mycoplasma can also be transferred through the egg from the hen to her poults..

Edited by Phoebes
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Hello,

 

Well i have had exactly this problem, they get fully developed and die (in the shell).

 

I found that the female stopped turning the eggs and the chicks stuck to the egg unable to hatch causing them to suffocate. I cannot turn mine as if i even touch the nest box the female kicks out the eggs within the next hour.

 

So i have decided that I can either raise them myself or foster them off between my other breeders, however i wan to give her one more chance.

 

Hope this helps.

Edited by Budgie_Mad
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I've been searching quite a bit for an answer for you. I just have one question to ask. How is the humidity level where your budgies are? I found a really experienced breeder who said if the humidity level is too low the babies stick to the egg and die.

 

Then I remembered another breeder I know had a humidifier really close to her breeding couples. My apartment is really limit as far as humidity goes. I have a thermometer to check it and it is really almost too humid. If I boil water I have to open a window. This is just a shot in the dark but maybe something to look into. You probably have more breeding experience than me (having had just one clutch) so maybe this is no help.

Edited by Phoebes
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We may never pin point the cause of this problem, which I'd say we all have experienced at some stage.

In large aviary's, or show breeder's etc they may be able to access better vet. tests etc. which is an expensive thing for your average pet breeder with a few birds. If it's just affecting one pair I think I'd rest them both for a few months and watch their health etc then try again.

 

On the other hand if more birds were affected then you would have to look at your whole set up.

 

My little chick didn't make it and I'm putting it down to humidity as everything shell, membrane etc was so dry. When you have a nest of 5-6 chicks already hatched I think the remaining eggs could get overheated and dry out with warmth generated by rest of clutch. BUT this is just my theory. Maybe it could happen with any clutch if conditions are not ideal for that particular pair.

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Couple of things you could do is ,one > after she lays her first egg from the next round replace that egg with a dummy egg & simply transfer all the following eggs to other nests. The second thing you could do is leave everything the same, "but " after she lays the next round > remove the cock bird, he may be the problem.

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