Any chance a cracked egg will develop & hatch?


10 Years
Mar 30, 2009
Lincolnton, NC
I only started with 7 button quail eggs, and I accidentally put a small indention in the top of one when clipping the thermometer on the side of a carton in the 'bator. Is there any chance it will still hatch? Will it hurt anything to leave it just to see? I'm on day 7 and damaged it on day 2 or 3.
A few tips to follow when selecting hatching eggs are:


Select eggs from breeders that are (1) well developed, mature and healthy; (2) compatible with their mates and produce a high percentage of fertile eggs; (3) are not disturbed much during the mating season; (4) fed a complete breeder diet; and (5) not directly related [brother, sister, mother, father, etc.].

Avoid excessively large or small eggs. Large eggs hatch poorly and small eggs produce small chicks.

Avoid eggs with cracked or thin shells. These eggs have difficulty retaining moisture needed for proper chick development. Penetration of disease organisms increase in cracked eggs.

Do not incubate eggs that are excessively misshapen.

Keep only clean eggs for hatching. Do not wash dirty eggs or wipe eggs clean with a damp cloth. This removes the egg's protective coating and exposes it to entry of disease organisms. The washing and rubbing action also serves to force disease organisms through the pores of the shell.
Some years back, a wild mallard hen nested under the boxwood shrub at the base of my front porch. Unfortunately, at some point in the night around day 14 of incubation, something got her and killed her, probably the dumb neighbor's stupid cat that was let out at night. All 8 of her eggs were still in the nest in the morning when I found her and, thanks to mild weather overnight, not too cold.

Two of them were cracked completely around in the middle apparently during the struggle but weren't leaking any contents.

I scooped them all up and put them all into my incubator. I used scotch tape to tape the two cracked ones.

All eight hatched 14 days later. I raised 8 healthy wild mallards and released them into the wild at a local park with large duck populations around 10/12 weeks of age, when fully grown and able to fly.
I put candle wax on two from my last batch, no luck
I cracked them open at the end and they were completly dried and powdery
Didn't hurt to try though!! I would try, and see what happens, just don't expect too much...
If it's not oozing, leave it... if you toss it it is dead for sure.

I've hatched many cracked eggs, some waxed, some not, one that was dropped at day 18 onto concrete by the dog that tried to sneak it out of the nest.

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