10 Years
Mar 18, 2009
(Northeastern PA)
Hi everyone! We are new and just posted over on the raising chicks section earlier for the first time. We have 10 chicks right now and had 6 eggs in the incubator. We are using a still air incubator (foam type) and have two therm's in it...one in the air and one on the wire mesh. We've had several issues over the last 10 days. Temp fluxating from 99-102...not in the same day and not that drastic but it's still not good I'm sure. Also, the incubator got bumped by the kids while turning the eggs and they all took a bit of a roll across the wire. When we candled them the other day (day 7) we for sure saw movement in one egg. That was before the big roll though. The others we were just not sure of. They are barred rock/americauna mixes so the shells are a bluish brown. It makes it hard to candle them so we left all the eggs not being certain. Today I read that you should definetly remove any non-develping eggs so they don't release bacteria in the incubator and kill the other chicks. So I recandled and was still not sure of most but one I felt sure had no blood vessels in it and looked like an egg that had not developed (using pics from a few books) so I took it out. I also had read you can open the eggs so I did and now I wish I hadn't taken it out at all because there was a teeny chick inside. I don't know if it had already died or not due to the rolling or temp fluxuation but I feel aweful thinking it could've been alive and I just couldn't see the blood vessels. What do you all do when candling...do you just leave all eggs the whole time in case or how do you decide to take one out or not? I know this is a learning experience but I hate learning at a little chicks expense

Matt A NC

13 Years
Feb 22, 2007
Morganton, NC
Happens to everyone at least once.

I don't remove an egg unless I am certain that it is unfertile or dead. The rest I leave unless I smell something. Then I go through to find the one with the smell.


Poison Ivy

12 Years
May 2, 2007
Naples, Florida
I usually try not to candle darker eggs until day 14 by then you can really tell if it is developing. That is ok dont beat yourself up it happens to a lot of people. Just leave the others and see what happens. Good Luck


10 Years
Feb 21, 2009
Columbia river gorge
I am fighting with weather or not some of my eggs are alive or not too and I ask every few days what I should do, I think they are all sick of me.. I think the consenes is thought as long as they arnt smelling bad or leaking/weeping you can leave them in you should be able by day 10-14 by then you should be able to see something. But can still keep them in longer if they arnt stinky if youre really not shure.
102 for a still air incubator isnt too high. so dont worry about that part and from what I have heard 98-99 wont kill them ether just cause them to be slower to develope. rolling them shoudnt have done much damage ether as long as tehy arnt cracked.
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Chick Magnet
11 Years
Mar 3, 2008
Most likely the chick had died if you're that far along, so you did not kill it. I can only say how I do it... I candle at 7 days and mark any that I'm not sure about with a "?". At 14 days I recandle... you should, by then, have eggs that are at least half full of chick, and see movement when you hold it steady. Any clears or obviously tiny blobs that quit early are removed then. I candle again before putting them in the hatcher to be sure and then I leave them alone until they hatch. And, if they were fresh when they were put in, they shouldn't blow up unless there's something really nasty going on, and that's rare, so leave them in if you're not sure. If you start smelling something, or see oozing on the outside of the egg, then remove it no matter what.

Temperature fluctuations in a still air can be wide... it's the temperature in the egg that matters. 99 - 102 is not bad at all, in fact. I used to keep my still air at 100°F, but it would fluctuate from 97-103 sometimes. Keep it in a draft-free area away from windows where the sun might stream in... keep it in as stable an environment as possible and you should be fine.


11 Years
Jan 1, 2009
North Carolina
Quote:Yes, hold the egg up and smell it, if it smells toss it. Otherwise give yourself some time. With just a few eggs put some containers or bottles of water to help buffer your temps. Or you can use cups of sand which is what I do. I add my humidity water to the cups instead of fooling with those troughs in the bottom.

Pick up a dimmer switch knob and put on the little shaft to make adjustments easier. If it does not have a pointer on it mark one with a marker, or do like I did and use a guitar knob.

Sometimes the blood veins are hard to see, candle in a dark room with no light, I made a candle box with air holes on top and bottom and a round hole on the side to hold egg. I find it easier to see veins this way and the heat circlates up and not so much on the egg. Turn on and off between candling each egg to keep it cool as possible.

The eggs get jarred and rolled in the nest so I betting they are ok. On some eggs like BR I could never see veins clearly I looked for movement or the presence of a blood ring or spot. I am very slow to remove a egg unless I smell something or have eggs in waiting.


10 Years
Feb 27, 2009
Hart Co
I am on my first hatch, so still learning too. I have a still air LG and the temp is right about 101. It has gone as low as 98 and as high as 103, never for very long though. I put 29 eggs in and have 28 on day 17 that are good. I had one that I could tell was not right since about day 12. I craked it open yesterday it did have a tiny (about the size of my fingernail) baby that was dead. I dont think your temps killed yours, it probably just failed to develope. I agree that if they dont smell and are not weeping leave them in till you know for sure. That is why I left mine in for 5 more days, by then I could tell for sure compared to the others.


10 Years
Mar 18, 2009
(Northeastern PA)
Thanks for the tips. I will NEVER again take an egg out unless I smell something. I am praying we get some to hatch this time. We home school and are doing a chicken unit study and the hatching is one of our big "experiments". Eggs from the hatcheries are out of our price range and these were free gifts from our generous 4 H leader. I will have to look on Craigs list maybe for some other cheap eggs that we can try next if we don't have good luck this time round. I'm going to think positively....WE WILL HATCH SOME CHICKS


11 Years
Sep 11, 2008
I do this

1.) Smell test good smelling or rotten smelling.
2.) Movement Test if I hold it in my hand and turn my hand do I feel
movement from a chick or from a rolling air cell.
3.) I candle If it is clear on day 14 it goes.

I do not usually crack open eggs unless it is way past day 21 or if I am for certain it is dead. smells rotten, lose air cell, clear.

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