First time hatching and NO chicks for me...advice please???!!!


9 Years
Feb 15, 2010
I have ben receiving help from members as this was my first hatch.
Only one of nine eggs developed.
The others I threw out at day 18.
They were just yolks which I had mistakenly been candling as embryos!
I couldn't see if they were fertile or not as the yolks broke when I opened them.
On day 22 I opened the three remaining eggs. Two were just yolks.
One single solitary chick was dead but fully delevelped in an egg. Had not totally absorbed the yolk but this chick wasfilling the membrane and must have made it at least to day 18.
What are your instincts here as an experienced hatcher.
Do you think I killed them all or do you think the eggs were infertile?
Thanks. The poor little chick
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I agree they were just infertile. I am sure you didn't kill them!!!!! Do you know how to tell if an egg is fertile by seeing a bullseye? Of course this doesn't mean they will hatch, but at least you know it is fertile going in the bator.
I'm so glad you asked me that question as I have asked how to tell if the egg has a bullseye a couple of times on here and didn't get an answer:)
I'm assuming you candle for it but seeing as I couldn't tell a yolk from an embryo at day 18 I guess I need a btter flashlight or a better set of contact lenses!!!!
Here are two photos I took when I first learned what the heck a "fertile bullseye" WAS (a fertile bullseye is the same thing as a fertile ring). (The other white spots are just from the flash on the camera. It's hard to photograph these things!) I hope this helps! Oh, and there is no way to candle to see whether an egg is fertile; there is only one way to know whether an egg is fertile BEFORE incubation and that it is to crack it open. Sad, but true.

Also, you should be able to know whether your eggs are developing properly by the progression of the air sac when you candle them. If the air sac doesn't get bigger, it's not growing a chick. This link is an extraordinary resource to learn what you're looking for when you candle an egg:

Photoshopped the heck out of this first picture so you could get a better idea of what you're looking for:


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You crack open the egg and look on all sides of the yolk (turn it over carefully with a spoon) and if you see a white dot on the yellow it isn't fertilized. If it looks like a bullseye or doughnut - it looks different then just a dot, then it is fertilized. You should be able to search and find pictures of what it looks like. Once you see that all of the eggs you check have that bullseye then you know that they will be good for hatching. Of course you can cook up those eggs you're checking so they don't go to waste.
Good luck and enjoy hatching! LOL it's faster then horse gestation...
I guess my question would be -- where did the eggs come from? Were they from your own birds? If they were, I'm sure you know whether the roo is breeding them or not. Were they fresh? Were they shipped in? There are so many things that can happen to eggs in shipping, even if they are well packed. If they were x-rayed in transit, that can kill fertile eggs. If the box was shaken up too much, that can kill the eggs. If they weren't fresh enough before they shipped, that can keep them from hatching. If they were shipped, did you let them settle for at least 24 hours at room temperature, alternating the tilt of the carton 3 to 4 times per day? If they were your eggs, is there a chance they got to near freezing temps before you brought them in? Did you have a smooth incubation with no temperature spikes (too high) or drops (too low)? Did you use an auto-turner or turn them by hand the correct number of times per day?'s most likely not something you did to them! I will say, anything can happen! I once hatched a baby chick out of grocery store eggs.

Better luck with your next hatch! If you're not producing your own eggs, find some cheap, local fertile eggs to try -- until you get the process down smooth. When you're an ace you can try the riskier shipped eggs, and it's still best to make sure you get them from a reputable seller!

I shipped fresh eggs to a new incubator user, cold weather, 2 days in transit, 12 eggs. She was such a good incubator mommy that she got 9 out of 12 to hatch, and 3 never made, might not have been fertile! I get better than a 90% hatch rate on these eggs here at home. Anything's possible!

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