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mullethunter

Chick dead in shell - graphic photo’s don’t read if squeamish

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Of my last set of ‘fertile’ eggs, I bought 3 Wyandotte bantams from a pen of laced bantams (although the chick looks lavender to me!) and 4 lavender pekins. 2 of the Wyandottes and 1 of the pekin eggs were clear when I candled at days 7, 10 And 15 so I discarded them. The remaining 3 pekins and 1 Wyandotte went into lock down on day 15. The Wyandotte hatched overnight between days 19 and 20, two of the pekins pipped on the afternoon of day 20 and hatched as we watched on the morning of day 21 (see my other thread - Hatching take 2).

However, the last pekin egg that looked fine when I candled at day 15 still hadn’t hatched this morning (day 23) or shown any sign of movement. I candled it this morning and couldn’t see (or hear) any movement at all or sign of internal pipping, and the air cell looked massive - almost half the egg. I float tested the egg and it floated about the right ‘height’ (according to google) for a developed chick but again absolutely no movement. So, as I was pretty sure it had died, I shell to see what was what. As you can see from the photo’s sadly the chick was fully developed and had even absorbed its yolk, but I guess for some reason had been unable to pip because the internal membrane was completely intact. I apologise if anyone finds this upsetting but I thought it was really interesting to see...

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F352986D-8C61-41DE-8502-D974D990FF97.jpegActually looking at these photos now in more detail perhaps the chick was positioned with its head between its legs which would have prevented it being able to move into a position to pip.

Edited by mullethunter

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Wow, those are amazing pictures.

So tightly curled up and with all its feathers too.

Such a shame it wasn't able to hatch though :-(

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It looks exactly the same shape as an egg, which suggests to me that there wasn't much of an air cell and it simply couldn't get its head out from under the wing to pip. What was the humidity set at for the first 18 days? Having said that it does look like there is a leg in the way as well, which may have happened when trying to manoeuvre itself?

We hatched some Wyandottes two years ago and struggled to develop the air sack: as a result one was dead in shell. The machine was run dry in a room with 75% humidity at 20C, so in the incubator it should have been somewhere below 40%. Some shells are more porous than others, so sticking to the published humidity figures may not always work.

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The air cell was actually huge - when I opened the egg I’d say well over a third was empty space. I thought I had the humidity too high (didn’t measure just followed Brinsea instructions to fill half the chamber with water) after speaking to a few people (when it was too late) who said they dry hatch until lockdown, but seeing the size of the air cell I’m not so sure.

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Hi there, I am completely new to hatching eggs. I bought some silkie eggs to hatch with the kids during lockdown.... day 23 and I knew the chicks were dead so I opened them up. Both chicks had not internally pipped. The membranes were moist, the yoke absorbed and the blood vessels clear. Cannot for the life of me see what the problem was. Can anybody suggest anything? I’m using the Brinsea eco manual incubator and just followed the instructions. 
we candles the eggs last night (day 22) and one has no movement and the other was thrashing away at the internal membranes so I was excited to think he could hatch in the morning. But he was dead too in the same manner as the first. Neither got through that internal membrane.

planning on trying again and don’t want to make whatever mistake I made this time- if any???!!! Trying not to be too gutted. Out of 6- one was infertile, 2 never developed at all, 1 had a blood ring and that left us with these precious 2. 😔

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I don’t know why none of us ever saw this post. I’m sorry to hear of your experience - it’s so sad when you know they were so close and then died. I’ve hatched three times so am by no means an expert, but I think it could have been that your humidity during incubation was too high so the air cell wasn’t big enough. Or for some reason the chicks grew slightly too big so couldn’t get out. There are lots of potential reasons, some to do with incubator settings, some to do with genetics / breeder flock health, some to do with hygiene - have a google. And try again.

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I basicly dry hatch mine, My humidity is between 35 - 40 until day 19 then increase it to no higher than 50 👍

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That’s what I did this time. Of 6 I had 2 non fertile, 2 died at about 8 days and 2 hatched. Probably not bad for eBay eggs.

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