Siamese embryo?

Posted by: Uno

Siamese embryo? - 03/13/14 12:32 AM

I keep having a very high failure rate with my hatching. It might be my homebuilt incubators. Or it might be some bizarre genetics in my flock?

Tonight 2 more eggs had died and this is what I found in one of them. [img:center][/img]

[img:center][/img]
Posted by: Henkin

Re: Siamese embryo? - 03/17/14 05:53 AM

thanks for posting those pix, I've never seen anything like & its useful to know it could happen?
Would there be a limited gene pool?
Posted by: Uno

Re: Siamese embryo? - 03/18/14 12:39 AM

I'm not sure if the problem is a limited gene pool, but something weird is going on in my flock.

I have had pretty much 100% failure rate with my incubating in the past 2 months. Even with a bad incubator, a 100% fail is pretty high. It's not like they all die off at once, as if from a temperature spike or drop. I just consistently lose one or two eggs ever few days. THe eggs that do make it to day 21 often die at pip.

I breed mutts. The genetic mix of my birds looks like mud. The two biggest influence though have been Black Australorp and Dark Brahma. It's been 5 years or more since I had a purebred of either breed. I also had some purebred Ameraucanas several years ago. All my birds were dark birds. I also got some Partridge Chanticler hens.

Then a few birds with black skin hatched. I had no black skinned adults, but suddenly a few black skinned chicks. They happened about 25% of the time. Black feathers and black skin.

This past year I hatched a chick that was silver at hatch with blue/black skin. I have no white birds anywhere in my flock and haven't for over 10 years! Yet this chick grew up to be a white/cream colour with dark skin! I have NO IDEA how these birds are cropping up, but they are.

With this white feathered, black skinned roo as the main rooster, he has sired eggs that DIE and this two headed embryo. So while there have been new genes introduced ( Partridge Chant hens) I still think something bizarre is going on with the genetics.

As far as I was able to tell from my Google search, this is pretty rare. In conjoined embryos, it's more common to have them joined at the head with two separate bodies. Two separate heads and one body is even more rare.

I took this specimen to the local high school biology teacher. She was thrilled to have it to show her class. I had to preserve it in vodka, the only clear alcohol I had. I hope she changed it to a better preservative. It was already beginning to break down a bit.
Posted by: CJR

Re: Siamese embryo? - 03/18/14 10:42 AM

Uno, Your experiences this past year or so, are worth a good long article! Recording these results of mixed breedings tell a good story. The chances of genetic problems may or may not be enhanced by mixing color genes, as well as those displaying every other gene that controls the "looks" of the birds.

I am a neophite in genetics, because for nearly 30 years, I have worked with one breed of bantams, and I have kept color breeding within known genes, records of all hatches, and few additions of new bloodlines--. Any new ones are still the same genetic varieties that may be crossed without loss of desired variety--and hopeful improvement in some part of the birds that are less than desired. There has been almost no inbreeding, although I have no objections to it occasionally. But expression of recessives--LONG CARRIED--are seldom seen--actually, RARELY. No Blacks or Whites, mispatterned birds have been produced (unless a rare "experimental breeding"--never added to the breeding flock.) My study has been just with those standard varieties that I have raised and bred-but with exposure to the zillions of other color gene combinations. )Too deep for an old person--now--let it be with my "druthers" that will never ''''be". I greatly appreciate the info from those who know so much more!!

I guess, if I wanted new chicks from your flock, I would seek a new rooster of whatever breed you want--different genes pool. ??

Our Poultry experiences are unique and keep life "interesting"!!

Good luck Uno, and thanks for sharing your experiences--from incubator to the rare one-- for those conjoined embryos!

Posted by: Uno

Re: Siamese embryo? - 03/21/14 12:56 PM

CJR, my understanding of genetics is zilch. I need that book, Genetics For Hopeless Dummies. I'd probably need to read it 5 times!

THe 'top' rooster in my hen yard, the weird white guy with black skin, is no longer with us. He was accidentally left out of the pen overnight and by morning, he was gone.

In another forum there is a discussion on poultry diseases and someone said it seems worse when you keep very young birds and very old birds together. I thought, gee, what is a very old bird? I can honestly say I do not lose birds to disease. But living in the forest like we do, my losses to predators are extreme! I don't think any chicken has lived longer than 3 years here. All it takes is a bear to bash its way into the hen house and he can pretty much destroy a flock. We fence and build as sturdily as we can...but the racoons, bobcats, bears and coyotes, hawks and owls have the upper hand it would seem.

So, with the (I suspect) very recessive rooster gone, maybe things will improve.
Posted by: Wieslaw

Re: Siamese embryo? - 03/21/14 01:57 PM

It's a pity you have lost the rooster. It is worth a thourough investigation. You could describe a new mutation!!
Posted by: Uno

Re: Siamese embryo? - 03/24/14 11:18 PM

I agree Wieslaw, I think someone, somewhere, might have been interested in him. But who? Too late now.
Posted by: michealaldridge

Re: Siamese embryo? - 01/09/15 12:19 AM

I would probably disinfect the incubator just in case there is something in it causing poor settings. The siamese embryo I find fasinating. That isnt something id consider a problem with your flock.
Posted by: michealaldridge

Re: Siamese embryo? - 01/09/15 12:26 AM

Mixing colors in chickens has proven to be succesful as far as health goes if there are any difficulties with health in the progeny due to parent fowls its the parent causing it thats the problem not the fact you crossed to a different color chicken. Feathers are not what makes a chicken a different color! Thats basically their hair in a way. Skin makes color,fibromelinosis or lack of. But either way mixed flocks bred,raised,producing, in the same area or place adapt. Where pure stock over time tend to break down.
Posted by: Foehn

Re: Siamese embryo? - 01/21/15 12:16 PM

A good topic to look at other abnormalities also.
Two seasons of hatching for me has brought with it lots of leg and toe abnormalities. Some are slipped ligaments on the hocks, but most are deformed curled toes; or bent toes.
Checking with a few knowlegible people has yielded incubator problems, bedding problems, mineral deficiencies or genetics. No one has an answer to prove or disprove the above.
Started last year with a single hatch from a dozen fertile eggs. Like Uno, all other chicks died somewhere through the 21 days.The resulting pullet, has very deformed feet. I checked with the rooster breeder to see if he has any abnormalities. None seen, so tends to rule out genetic inheritance. I changed the bedding in the brooder (shavings) to rubber draw liners for the first three weeks. Still getting abnormal legs/toes and some have been very abnormal. Only thing not tried so far is the nutritional option, but feel that my girls free range and get a good balanced layers diet, so doubt it's a mineral deficiency. I'll try to get some pictures up today
Posted by: Uno

Re: Siamese embryo? - 03/10/15 12:37 AM

Foehn, for the first time ever I've had weird leg problems in my last few hatches.

I got some chickens that were quite robust, but wild as the dickens! Their crossed offspring had a high rate of leg weirdness that showed up when they were still teenagers and seemed to affect the young roosters more than hens. It was like they were walking with the knee joint straight, not flexed. They had a very upright, rigid, erect stance because the angle and movement of their leg was unusual.

Nothing else in my chicken keeping had changed, not the food, not the environment. Just the introduction of this genetic line.

Some were more affected than others and those I culled. BUt I noted that the ones I didn't cull eventually grew out of it and their legs went back to normal.

Was it a growth spurt? Was it nutrition related? Was it genetics? Who knows! That's the thing, how do you ever know for sure?

As that genetic fades from my hen house, that stiff leg problem shows up less and less.