Can I move eggs from hen to incubator (day 23)?


7 Years
Sep 2, 2012
This is the second time I've given my hen eggs. Both times, there have been developed chicks that didn't hatch. She is laying on 9 eggs and none have hatchd. All the eggs I very gently candled after hatch time had chicks. Is my hen doing something wrong? Can I gently move them to my incubator? Today it's 72 degrees with 58% humidity, which is pretty standard of the weather lately.
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You certainly can try it. The general humidity in your air is a little low IMO for hatching but keep in mind the hens body gives off moisture so the humidity under your hen is much higher then the surrounding air. At this point you do risk shrink wrapping the chicks by moving them, but if you decide the risk outweighs the benefits.... By all means..... Do what you feel is best. Perhaps the hen was naughty and moved off the eggs for a time during the critical lockdown period and already killed them.
Thank you for responding. I'm not familiar with shrink wrapped chickens, so I just looked it up. I hope this isn't a dumb question, but isnt shrink wrapping when the humidity drops too low... if I put them in my incubator wouldn't I be raising the humidity? Or can shrink wrapping occur either way?

She is extremely dedicated and will get up for maybe a minute to eat and drink, so I don't think she has ever been off them long enough for them to even cool. Although, I guess it's possible.
Yes, you are right! Shrink wrapping happens when the humidity drops. When a chick is pipped internally or in the last few days of lockdown shrink wrapping can happen in a matter of seconds. It doesn't matter if the egg is still warm or has time to cool off. That is why you NEVER ever open an incubator after day 18 and why if a hen gets off the eggs in the last few days of incubation even just to eat or drink the chicks may die. If you do end up removing them from underneath the broody you should candle them before putting them in the incubator. Look in the air sac for a sharp little triangle (the beak) to see if they have broke through. Also listen for peeping. Some may do the float test but I find candeling sufficient and have never used it.
I didn't want to take a lot of time moving them, so I put almost all of them in the incubator. I do think I got a better look than last time and only found two that seemed developed. I could see one fully formed, but it didn't move it's beak when I candled it. I don't think the air sac was broken.
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