Air cell experiment results

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by iamcuriositycat, Sep 11, 2009.

  1. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Songster

    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    Another post just reminded me that I had said I would post the results of my little air cell experiment on this last hatch, so here it is.

    My hypothesis:

    If I could see where the air cell was, I would be able to predict where the duckling would pip.

    What I did:

    At each candling, I drew a penciled circle around the edge of the air cell, which resulted in a growing set of concentric circles.

    At lockdown, I placed the eggs in an egg carton so that the air cells were facing the viewing window, and waited & recorded.


    I was surprised at just how thoroughly uniform the results were. Every single one of 9 eggs that hatched pipped in the same location relative to the air cell. When looking at the eggs, the pip was located at the far left edge of the air cell, approximately halfway between top and bottom.


    I also noticed that zipping took place roughly along the outer edge of the air cell, moving right, and tended to stop at the far right edge--at which point the baby began to push.


    I would love to see this experiment repeated in other incubators, and with other breeds and species. I also intend to continue to experiment in the same fashion, and from now on intend to make a point to place eggs so that the far left portion of the air cell is visible from the window--I had a couple eggs this time that had most of the air cell visible, but not the far left where the pip would be expected, and it was very frustrating not knowing if they had pipped. Unfortunately, both ended up being eggs that never pipped at all, but I would have liked to have been monitoring them the whole time.

  2. Princess Amri

    Princess Amri Is Mostly Harmless

    Jul 16, 2009
    best coast
  3. 1lpoock

    1lpoock Spruce Creek Waterfowl

    Apr 20, 2009
    Sandusky, Ohio
    I saw the pics on your site and wondered what you did that i know...and pretty cool experiment!
  4. Cherlyn

    Cherlyn Songster

    Feb 24, 2009
    Alconbury, England
    I am going on lockdown on Tuesday, and will try this. I have not been marking my air cells, but I can do that right before I put them into the hatcher, and see how it goes. [​IMG]


  5. catwalk

    catwalk Songster

    May 19, 2009
    That is a really valuable experiment! Thank you! I have lost chicks to drowning in a face- down pip.
  6. mulia24

    mulia24 Songster

    that's interesting heather but i'm lazy to draw everytime i candle. [​IMG]
  7. walkswithdog

    walkswithdog Crowing

    Jul 17, 2008
    DC Region
    Yay you! It's always good to record and check things like that.

    When I candle I mark the point at which the aircell is farthest down the egg - you're right, most of the time, that's your mark for where they'll pip.

    I have also been candling late stage chicks enough to tell when there's something going on, the aircell is wrong, or the chick's position looks wrong. I mark those, trying to find the butt/yolksac and the head.

    If I find the butt/yolksac up by the aircell I know the bugger is backwards. That egg gets moved up for watching and is placed on it's side.

    Others are twisted in the middle and you can't find either end, those also come front, on their sides so I can watch them.

    That alone has saved some chicks. But the twisted ones - often they pip through their own yolksac or don't/can't pip at all. I at least know these will have a difficult time and know assistance may be necessary - especially if they are pullet eggs.

    Good candling notes and egg marking can save chicks and you learn something every time.

    Yes, late candling can and does affect humidity. But I dry hatch so there's very little problem with it. If I had to wet hatch, things would be more complicated.

    And I will usually only candle shipped eggs a couple of times because they already are dried out and had it rough.

    But now and then I hatch, JUST to candle the eggs all the way through, to learn. It's increased what I know and expect, and I can candle a late to hatch egg and in general have a good idea of why it's not out, and whether it needs help.

    Useful stuff.

  8. jenjscott

    jenjscott Mosquito Beach Poultry

    May 24, 2008
    Southeast Arkansas
    ok, this leaves me confused. I need pictures or drawings. If you are putting them in an egg carton, how is the air cell facing the window? I'm having trouble visualizing.
  9. walkswithdog

    walkswithdog Crowing

    Jul 17, 2008
    DC Region
    Aircells toward the end are not round, or perfectly centered on the large end. On one side or the other, it will be much lower on the egg, kind of oblong. In most eggs, that's where you can expect things to start.

    Make more sense?

  10. Cherlyn

    Cherlyn Songster

    Feb 24, 2009
    Alconbury, England
    Edited to create new thread asking about air cell and pipping.

    Last edited: Sep 16, 2009

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