Does the air cell stop growing if the peep dies?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by iamcuriositycat, Sep 3, 2009.

  1. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    I have been tracking the development of the air cells on my duck eggs by tracing their outlines each time I candle (day 7, day 14, day 21, and just now, at the end of day 24/beginning day 25).

    10 of the remaining 12 eggs have had surprising gains in the air cell in just the last three days--equivalent to the amount of gain previously seen after seven days. But in two of them, the gain was almost non-existent. Those same two are different in other ways as well--while the other 10 are almost completely dark except the air cell, these two are only dark in the center two thirds, with the air cell at one end and a light patch at the other. Also, in the lighter section, veins are visible--but they look, to my untrained eye, like they have begun to deteriorate.

    Are they bad? Should I discard them before lockdown (which is occurring as soon as I stabilize my humidity)? Or give them a chance? They don't smell bad... (yet...).

    And *is* there a correlation between air cell development and embryo development? I had always thought it was purely a function of evaporation, but I suppose if the peep dies then all its functions cease too and that would probably affect the rate of air exchange....??

    I would love input!!
  2. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm

    Ive never seen a difference in air cell growth between good eggs an quitters.
  3. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 15, 2008
    Actually if anything I've seen the opposite. Eggs that have dead chicks or never developed may dry up. More common in quail eggs though. I suppose if they had been dead awhile and were starting to rot the pressure inside the egg could push the contents up toward the air sac so it doesn't expand. If you still see veins though they haven't been dead long if they are even dead now. About a day after they die the blood will drain from the veins and make the blood ring so if you see veins they are still alive or were recently. Differences in shell thickness and pores can impact how fast the egg loses moisture and therefore the size of the air sac. Unless you are sure they are dead I'd leave them. If the incubator doesn't smell yet then even if they are dead they shouldn't reach exploding point in just the few days it takes until they hatch.
  4. dancingbear

    dancingbear Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 2, 2008
    South Central KY
    The air cell gets bigger as the moisture evaporates, whether the chick is still alive or not. Sorry I don't have more encouraging news.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by