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The Egg-ucated Chicken

Heritage Chicken > Commercial Broilers

Posted by Allison Rostad on

A world that consumes 50 billion chickens annually is not a world that can rely solely on three companies to maintain the industry. It’s important for heritage breed chicken owners, breeders and growers to join the movement and start breeding and eating more heritage birds.

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Troubleshooting Poor Hatchability

Posted by Allison Rostad on

Over the years I've developed some data sheets to really hone in to my incubation practices. When an egg doesn't develop, stops developing at some point during incubation or the chick reaches hatch but doesn't actually hatch, you have to ask yourself why. Getting to the cause of the problem will help guide you to a better hatch in the future.

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Increase Hatchability Using Better Hatching Egg Care and Storage Practices

Posted by Allison Rostad on

For breeders with small flocks that wish to hatch large quantities at a time, it’s necessary to collect fertilized eggs for over a week before having enough to fill an incubator. In this scenario, the older the eggs are before incubation begins the bigger the decrease of the hatch success rate. To ensure hatchability in eggs collected over a longer period of time it is important to practice good egg storage and care.

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Hatchery Hygiene

Posted by Allison Rostad on

The nature of a hatchery provides the perfect atmosphere for bacteria to grow and thrive. With incubators running at 99-100^F and humidity levels varying between 40-80% at any given time, living bacteria can replicate rapidly and double it’s population within 20 minutes. Hatching eggs that are exposed to these bacterias have a higher mortality rate than those that aren’t. Maintaining proper cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting practices in the hatchery can significantly decrease the likelihood of hatching eggs being exposed to bacteria and ultimately increase the hatchability of the fertilized eggs.

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Washing Hatching Eggs

Posted by Allison Rostad on

High numbers of soiled eggs in the incubator is probably the single biggest cause of poor chick quality and first week mortality. Cross contamination between a heavily soiled egg and one that may be fairly clean can lead to lower fertility rates, early embryonic mortality and a higher percentage of rotten eggs. Removing bacteria and microbial pathogens before they have a chance to multiply and contaminate other eggs during incubation is essential to your incubation process. So wash your eggs!!

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