Chicks start hatching, then can't get out.

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by lrellick, Aug 27, 2013.

  1. lrellick

    lrellick New Egg

    Aug 27, 2013
    Hi, I hope someone can help me.....This has happened to me a couple of times....My eggs start to hatch, then they stop - the chicks are unable to get out of the shells. WHAT am I doing wrong? THANKS, Lori
  2. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 24, 2013
    What is your hatching humidity and temperature? If the humidity is too low, chicks can become stuck in the shell because the shell membrane dries out. Therefore, I usually keep the humidity around 65-70% at hatch time. Also, if the temperature is too low or high, chicks can be weaker and unable to get out of the shell.

    Weak chicks, either from inbreeding (when two closely related birds are bred together), poor breeder flock nutrition, or an inherited characteristic could also be a factor. If maintaining a breeding flock, it is best to outcross (either with a different male or females) to change the genetic structure of the offspring a bit. Otherwise, unwanted weakness or defects can appear, especially in closely-inbred flocks.

    A breeding flock of chickens has to have good nutrition, too, if the males are to be fertile and the hens are to lay plenty of eggs. Hens should be provided with some extra calcium (either in the form of oyster shell or crushed egg shells), and a high protein feed is best. A lot of people, including me, use a game bird grower feed for their breeding birds in order to ensure adequate protein and other essential vitamins for the birds. You can also purchase some poultry vitamins and add those to the water to increase your flock's vitamin/mineral intake.

    Lastly, some breeds of poultry just have poor hatchability of chicks. A few examples include Sebrights, Rosecombs, and Pilgrim Geese. If you are raising one of these more difficult breeds, basically the only thing you can do is make sure the flock is healthy, and set plenty of eggs, with the hope that at least some will hatch.
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2013
  3. gimmie birdies

    gimmie birdies Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 12, 2013
    Eastern WA
    the chicks put a pip hole in the egg. this doesn't mean it is hatching right that second. the pip hole a chick puts in the egg so it can breath while it is still absorbing its yolk. and then they rest. 24 hrs the egg may do nothing but sit there. so be patient and don't help.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by