Murphy's Laws of the Hatch

Murphy's Laws of the Hatch

By Inga Ladd

Edited by Alan Stanford, Ph.D. 


April 11, 2003


Murphy's Laws of the Hatch includes these (and probably more) maxims:


* The better quality your flock the less likely you'll be able to hatch as many chicks as you want.


* The single comb hen with four toes on one foot and six toes on the other will lay an egg every day, never molt and never go broody. Her sister with no crest or foot feathers will find these eggs, hide them and hatch them all.


* The Best of Breed pullet with perfect type will never lay. In fact, she'll probably just drop dead. Her mother will lay two eggs and only two eggs before going broody. Her father who was fertile last season will be infertile this season.


* If you raise a really nice bird, odds are that you lost the notes on which breeding pen produced it. If you can find the notes, this will be the pen that the neighbor’s dog managed to kill.


* If you have 6 eggs in your incubator from a mediocre breeding pen and 6 eggs from your very best trio, all six of the mediocre ones will hatch. The 6 from the great trio will be perfectly developed and die in the shell without peeping.


* If you do have a perfect 100% hatch, someone will put the wrong waterer in the brooder and half the chicks will drown.


* What worked last year never seems to work this year.


(People, did I miss anything?)


I think Murphy will leave people alone occasionally at the beginning to give them a false sense of security. Later, the fancy Sportsman and fancy equipment works sometimes and sometimes it doesn't. It is enough to make a normally positive person like myself get rather gloomy and want to scream and pull my hair out. Personally, I've had a couple of bad hatch years in a row and I'm willing to do anything to remedy it and get those chicks. I want to believe that science will help because I don't want to let Murphy win