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Posted by Silly-atus fan on September 25, 2002 at 19:56:01:
In Reply to: Re: For those of you that breed cresteds... posted by Pauline on September 25, 2002 at 11:37:59:
One possible reason could be weak babies because the mother had MBD before. It could just be too short a time for her to recover enough to produce good eggs. They were obviously fertile, but she might not have had enough time and reources to recover enough herself, and then use what she had to make decent eggs. Since she was mature, and had mated, the normal monthly cycle would have continued and she produced eggs. It's not uncommon for females in less than perfect health and condition to continue propagating the species even though it puts her at risk.
The real clincher to me is the 'almost ready to hatch' dead embryos (- Dead In Shell - DIS). If rolling the eggs is going to kill the embryo, it happens within hours or a couple of days, not later on near hatching. However, excess moisture does produce DIS embryos. One result is that too much water is absorbed and increases osmotic pressure in the egg. At hatching, the excess water can drown the embryo (I'm still not completely clear how this happens, though it's an accepted fact).
If you added water during incubation, and got the eggs wet, the pores in the shell might have clogged with water, and started the process. Water should only be added near the edge of the container, and not on the eggs. Condensation on the lid (or plastic wrap in your case) dripping on the eggs can also have the same effect. There should be just the faintest haze on the container to show there's moisture - if you have actual drops of water, it's too moist.
I have a picture on my website showing delicups with varying degrees of moisture. Even though it's aimed at leopard gecko eggs, the moisture/condensation part is still the same. It might give you something to judge your moisture content and adjust it if needed.
Of course, you could just be having a run of bad luck, being her first season, so next year should be better.
Check this page for the picture I mentioned, the text explains the difference in the cups.