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Out of the 20 eggs we hoped to hatch out that appear to be developing, only 9 hatched out. One that hatched had some leg issues and is now dead, leaving 8 healthy little chicks.

Here is the break down with some assumptions on the problems based on “autopsies” done of the unhatched eggs.

All but one of the black hen’s eggs hatched out. The one that didn’t was an undeveloped mush. I think this hen was a Barred Rock x Rhode Island Red and breeding her with a Rhode Island Red was quite successful.

Only one of the Dorking eggs hatched and of the four that didn’t hatch, 3 were developed well but had their heads very tucked into their bodies. The Dorking eggs were very small and I am wondering if the small egg, but with the father being a larger RIR, there was not enough room for the chicks to position themselves to hatch out (heads tucked in tight and not able to break out).

Of the Dave Valentine eggs, only 2 hatched out and of the remaining eggs that we thought were developing, two appeared to be not fully developed and 4 were completely developed but mis-shapen/deformed. With the low development rate and of those that did, many were deformed; I wonder if the USPS xraying the package (I believe this is common practice by the USPS with parcels now) may not have messed up the eggs. This is just a theory, but what else would explain such poor rates when the other eggs did not do so poorly?

Anyway, we have chicks coming for meat birds and these 8 chicks to raise up and add to the laying flock. A busy summer is ahead!

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