Air cells of eggs under broody


6 Years
Jun 15, 2017
Harrisville, NY
I just candled 13 silkie eggs I put under 3 different broodies (2 silkies and 1 serama) and all the air cells are different. Is this normal? I marked the eggs and gave them divided up all on the same day, Evening of August 23rd. I collect any stolen unmarked eggs daily. I see chick movement all seem to be at same level of development just air cells don’t match in size.
I don't know how much difference there actually is or whether it is a problem. Are these your eggs or did you get them form someone? How long were they stored before you set them?

An egg loses moisture through the porous shell as it is stored before incubation. The longer it is stored, the drier the storage conditions, and the more porosity the egg shell has the more moisture is lost so the air cell gets bigger. Eventually that can be a problem.

The good news is that there is a pretty wide window of moisture loss (air cell size) where the egg can still hatch. I don't know if some of those eggs will be outside that window or not. Only time will tell. I would not panic, just carry on as best you can. I don't see anything else you can do and it could be OK.

It's always possible something else could be causing this, but it would be my thought.
I did pick up the eggs from someone semi-local (2hrs away). She said they had all been collected with in the week. I didn’t think about checking air cells before I set them because I don’t do that when hatching from my flock, only the couple times I did shipped eggs, bet that is what the different is some may have lost more during storage. So maybe they will all even out by hatch next week.
Now I just have to figure out how to handle all these mamas in the same coop. As of this morning I have 4 broodies sharing these eggs. I got these eggs because I had a broody that was going on month 2 and she would not break, then everybody else decided they would join the fun.

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