4 hatched, one straggler egg…what to do?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by barkinghills, Sep 1, 2014.

  1. barkinghills

    barkinghills Chirping

    Dec 17, 2011
    Hi all,

    I set a clutch of 5 eggs under my terrific broody mama OEG bantam who successfully hatched 6 eggs earlier this summer. I set her up with two Sebright eggs and 3 Bantam Ameracauna eggs (easy to tell the eggs apart as the Amera eggs are blue) all at the same time. All candled viable at 6 days. I marked the calendar for 20 days, which was Sunday (yesterday) On Saturday the two Sebrights and two of the Bantam Ameracauna's hatched without any apparent trouble. All are doing well and Mom seems happy, but she doesn't get up much, and is still sitting tight on the last egg. We candled it yesterday and saw an air sack (no internal pip visible) and no pips on the shell. So now today is day 21 and we are not sure what to do.

    Do we leave it there a while longer (don't want it to explode), or is there a way to check it's viability? We've read you should never try to open a straggler. We don't want to give up too soon and throw it away if it still has a chance. Any advice?
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2014
  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Free Ranging Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    Personally, I'd probably take her and the chicks off the nest and dispose of the egg if there are no signs of life. For me, I look to see if there are any pips or listen for it to peep. If nothing, I just get rid of the eggs. Even hens don't always have a 100% hatch rate. Could be it was a weak chick that died in the shell or quit somewhere along the way. If it is that late and eventually does hatch, there's a possibility that it won't live anyway, being so weak. In my experience with broodies, any eggs that are going to hatch will do so within 24 hours of the first one out. There don't seem to be as many "stragglers" as there are when using an incubator. This, of course, is just my opinion, based on what I've observed here.
  3. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Crowing

    Apr 11, 2011
    Since its only day 21, I'd let it go at least until tomorrow (especially if there's no funky smell), but that's me. I do agree that, with broodies, the chicks don't tend to hatch all spaced out like they do in an incubator.

    And, again- this is just me, I open the eggs that don't hatch. I can't help myself. I have to try to figure out what happened to them, if I can.

    Anyway, good luck and congrats on your new fluffies!
  4. barkinghills

    barkinghills Chirping

    Dec 17, 2011
    Well Mama abandoned the egg and started taking care of her chicks actively. I removed the egg, no pips or signs of life. I carefully opened the air cell end, membranes intact with a dead chick visible inside. Looked pretty goopy in there, so must have died several days ago or more.

    Mama and her 4 new chicks are doing so well. The 2 that are from my Silver Sebright hen are so tiny and cute!

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