1 air cell not growing;hatching in 5 days HELP! Update: didn't make it


12 Years
Dec 4, 2010
I really need your help. I have 12 eggs in the incubator. They are not shipped eggs (we just went and got them from a guy who sells them). They were very fresh. I candled last night and noticed that the air cell vary in size and one of them is particularly small. It looks like a 7 day air cell, if that. Now I realize what danger a small air cell is to the chick. So what do I do? Make a hole in the shell to increase evaporation? Wait? It can't be the humidity issue, I'm dry incubating and have a problem with just one egg.

I'm so worried the little guy is going to drown
Is there any chance it can still hatch?
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I'd leave it alone, but my guess is it's not developing right. Unless you saw veining early on in incubation, I'd guess it's infertile or a quitter. Does it smell okay?

The only other guess I'd have is that it's a dark brown egg, as those evaporate poorly compared to other eggs.

Edited to add: Don't do anything, and keep the humidity around 60% during hatch unless you have a very sticky chick during hatch. Don't help them hatch. Many times, chicks hatch right out of the egg rather than the aircell, and this may happen.

It's actually best to let it move forward on its own, even if it looks like a poor chance.
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Thank you. The chick is developing for sure, and I saw it moving last night. All the eggs were fertile. I'm going to leave it and wait. I just assume the thickness of this egg's shell or coating enables evaporation somehow
It's a creamy (vanilla colour) egg though.
Yep Dominique, sounds just like my eggs I am concerned about. Good luck with your hatch, I wish I'd had that kind of fertility! But alas, mine were shipped eggs and I can't seem to get more than half of them to even start.
I'm not expecting any action before tomorrow but I've just candled the eggs (without moving them) and noticed that air cells got bigger since yesterday. BUT - not in this dodgy egg. It's still the same (I marked them all with a pencil). Well, tough

Thanks for asking
I'll keep you informed
Uhoh! I hope you didn't open the bator to candle them. There is a reason for "lockdown" and it can really screw things ups and create "sticky" chicks.
Of course I opened it
There's no pips yet so it doesn't matter. How can opening the bator cause "sticky" chicks? I thought it was due to too high humidity during incubation period
What she means by sticky chicks is shrink wrapped ones. Caused by low humidity thus the moisure in the membranes surrounding the chick dry out and tighten around them. If you add water via an increase in surface area when they begin to pip you should be ok.

P.s about the egg with the small air cell. It might help if you hatch it upright in a carton. That way all the egg juice will be sitting in the egg and hopefully your chick will pip above the level of the juice and therefore should be at a decreased risk from drowning.

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