Any hope for day 22 egg that has been abandoned all day?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by highwayhens, Oct 15, 2012.

  1. highwayhens

    highwayhens Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 2, 2009
    I could just cry.

    Our mama hen has been setting on six mixed breed eggs. One hatched on Saturday night, two days ago. Two half hatched last night but died. One hatched today and is doing okay. And the mama abandoned her last two eggs, one of which had never been looking like it was developing right when we candled, and even now, at the beginning of day 23, it looks about at a day 12 level. (It's 23 days this evening since we set them.)

    But the last egg, when I candled it tonight, looked like it had this huge air cell--like 1/4 of the shell space, which I'm assuming is how it is supposed to look. However, I could also see a distinct edge to the darkness, as though there was liquid still inside.

    I'm feeling terrible that we didn't do anything for the one egg today. After a few hours of mama being off the nest today, and it began to dawn on us that she wasn't going back to her nest. But we weren't prepared to intervene. Also, we were afraid to candle it today for fear that we'd make things worse. Is it correct that it would be harmful to pick up an egg on day 22 to candle, meaning, would it harm the egg if you accidentally put it back in a different orientation after candling? (Please excuse my ignorance, I've been learning a lot, but obviously still have a lot to learn.)

    For those with more experience, our question is, what could we have done? We do not own an incubator. When I candled this evening, I could not see any movement. If it was alive earlier, would it have died during the day with no warmth?

    We really weren't prepared to be chicken mamas, just figuring to let the real chicken take care of things. But I feel so bad to have possibly lost a good egg. :-(

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by