Diagnosing Egg Problems - Warning, Graphic Pictures


BYC Staff
Project Manager
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Jun 24, 2012
The Golden State
Here is the latest one that was shrink-wrapped and malpositioned. This is one that was under a hen, not in the incubator, it's also the 3rd one I've lost this way.

After moistening membrane

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How can one increase humidity of eggs under hens? The other two were fine, so why just one and not the other two? Sorry if these sound like stupid questions, but this is my first year paying attention to hatching eggs.

Most importantly, what can be done to save these in the future?

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After a few years of extensive experience and plenty of trial and error I can definitively say that the problem is......unknown. Two things I can tell you is that peafowl are harder to hatch than chickens and you cannot have the humidity to high at hatching.

Thanks, lol. Any suggestions on how I can avoid a repeat? Something like put eggs in the incubator set to max humidity as soon as I see them pushing against the inner membrane? I'm no expert, but I think this chick was about 1/4" away from the air cell when it died, it also had it's beak over it's right wing.. Lots of questions, really looking for any suggestions. Please, say what's on your mind, I'd love to hear it.

Just had another thought, and it might not make sense, but there was something familiar about the way that this egg was progressing... Can't put my finger on it, but I had a bad feeling that it would end the way it did. Maybe it was that I couldn't see it's beak trying to pip, I just don't know. Everything I have read says not to interfere too soon, 'cause the outcome is usually bad, so haven't, and because I haven't I've lost three this year. Not saying I could have saved them, but maybe I should have tried.

Kathy, we have literally tried every method of hatching under the sun. Wet/dry, higher temps, lower temps, stand them up, lay them down and we really have only learned a little. We can chase some things down as follows: If you have big fat chicks that fill up the egg, you will have lots of quitters. Raise the temp a little bit or lower the humidity if over 40% and these will stop and you will get smaller chicks that don't quit as much. I believe some people push the humidity to high and you get big juicy fat chicks that cannot move in the egg. Low humidity, however, during hatching is a killer. I really don't think it can be to high unless you have dripping water. We hatched a greater percentage of eggs standing up this year than we have ever hatched lying down (totally against the stated factual norm, but true never the less). We ran temps a half a degree higher this year and at first hatched all healthy chicks with no leg/feet problems. Then in the last few weeks they appeared again. I believe this issue may be somewhat related to protein levels in feed and the number of eggs laid by a hen. FBC has stated this as well.

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