Why do eggs fail?

11 May 2021 18:00 - 19:30

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?

To read a newly published open access review of hatching failure in birds and Animal Conservation, click here

For those wanting to identify the fertility status of unhatched bird eggs, a practical resources guide featuring protocols and video demonstrations can be found here:

Practial resources guide


Science and Conservation Event Details:

  • This interactive online event will be livestreamed to our YouTube channel, which can be found here: zsl.org/IoZYouTubeWe will also share a direct link to the livestream nearer the event. You can Subscribe to our YouTube channel to make sure you don't miss it!
  • The event will run from 6:00pm until 7:30pm, and will be recorded and available to watch on our YouTube channel afterwards. 
  • Each event will comprise of 3-4 presentations from experts in the topic, similar to our previous event series. 
  • There will be opportunities for questions from the audience to be answered after each presentation. We will provide information on how to submit a question live on the night. Please be aware we may not be able to answer all questions.
  • There is no charge for this event, and no need to register in advance to watch the livestream.
  • If you would like to submit a question to the speakers before the event, please email it to scientific.events@zsl.org with the event title in the Subject line.


ZSL Wild Science Podcast

We will be creating a fascinating podcast episode featuring some of the speakers from this event, so keep an ear out in the following months! Listen to previous episodes from our award winning ZSL Wild Science podcast episodes produced by Dr Monika Böhm, and Eleanor Darbey here


Further Information

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