Why do eggs fail?

In light of the current COVID-19 situation in the UK, we are very sorry to announce that this event has been postponed.

We hope to still host this event in the next programme of Science and Conservation events so please keep an eye on this page for updates.

Experts discuss female reproductive failure in birds.

Hatching failure occurs in all birds, but its incidence  varies across species, populations and individuals. Small, threatened populations are particularly vulnerable, with rates of hatching failure sometimes exceeding 70%. Even large populations of common species experience an average failure rate of 10%, and this problem persists in domestic poultry despite optimised conditions and strong selection for hatching success. Egg hatchability can therefore be considered a weak link in the chain of events that determines avian reproductive success. Eggs fail for a number of reasons. In this event we will explore the different aspects that lead to female reproductive failure from gamete malfunction to developmental environment, and ask why female fertility is so poorly understood not only in birds, but across most species?


Attending this event

  • This Science and Conservation Event is free to attend and booking is not required.
  • Doors open at 5pm for a 6pm start.
  • Seats are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Venue: Huxley Lecture Theatre at the Meeting Rooms of the Zoological Society of London, Regents Park, NW1 4RY. See map
  • Underground: Camden Town Station; Nearest bus: no. 274.
  • A drinks reception for ZSL Fellows and their guests is held from 5pm – 5:50pm.  More information on ZSL Fellowship can be found here.


ZSL Library Events

The ZSL Library will be open before the event and will offer free introductory talks to its special collections from 4.45pm - 5.05pm; no need to book. Please contact library@zsl.org or click here for further information, including some specially themed events.


ZSL Wild Science Podcast

We will be creating a fascinating podcast episode featuring some of the speakers from this event, so be sure to keep an ear out for it in the following months! Listen to more of our award winning ZSL Wild Science podcast episodes hosted by Research Fellow Dr Monni Bohm here.



  • Contact Eleanor Darbey: Eleanor.Darbey@zsl.org; +44 (0) 207 449 6227.
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