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Float test fail

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by suliah, Oct 13, 2015.

  1. suliah

    suliah Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 8, 2014
    Muskegon, MI
    I've seen so much info on here about using the float test with late eggs that I feel like I just have to share my recent experience.

    I had a broody. Unproven. She had 12 eggs, and by the end she had 9. She was due this past Saturday or Sunday, and had been kinda "eh" about it. She had crushed eggs and pooped in the nest (so eggs were dirty). I wasn't expecting a hatch.

    Saturday morning I checked and found 1 chick, mostly out of the shell, but crushed. Not pecked, just crushed. Like she wanted him to stay in the egg.

    I was crushed.

    Sunday, seeing no pips and smelling something pretty bad, I decided to float test the eggs and toss the bad. I had 2 that floated about 5-10% out of the water, everything else sank.

    So did my heart.

    Then I heard a peep peep... from the bottom of the pot!

    One of the sinkers had internally pipped (really dark shell, couldn't candle). Well, then there should be an air sac and he should float... Unless he's out of air!

    I did emergency egg surgery and over the course of the next 4 hours got him hatched.

    2 days later, this is a picture of my little chick: Lucky 2B Alive.


    I put the rest of the eggs back under the bad broody, just in case. Eggtopsies Monday revealed that nothing else made it past day 17ish. That broody will never brood again, and I was intending to give her chicks but that's not gonna happen now. I worked really hard to save Lucky. I'm not about to let her kill him.

    Anyway, so the float test did NOT work for me, or Lucky wouldn't be so lucky...
  2. lindalouly

    lindalouly Grd Ctrl 2 Major Tom Premium Member

    Wow... Interesting story. Luck was lucky and good job on saving lucky!!! Such a bummer when you don't have a cooperating broody. Good to know about the float test.
  3. WVduckchick

    WVduckchick For The Birds Premium Member

    Feb 9, 2015
    West Virginia
    Great save. [​IMG]

    And there is some bad information about float tests out there. The float test is intended to check for life by wiggling in the water. That's it. Yes, it can be alive and not wiggle. Yes, it can sink and still be alive. Yes, it can be dead and still float, or sink. The only "sure" part about the float test is... If it wiggles, its alive. Period. The test cannot prove that one is dead.

    Best of luck with your cute little 2B!
    1 person likes this.
  4. suliah

    suliah Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 8, 2014
    Muskegon, MI
    Yes, apparently this!

    I was under the impression that all sinkers were dead. Anything that floated more than 40% out of the water was rotten. And healthy full term eggs should float roughly 25-30% out of the water. Oh, and yes to look for movement.

    Learned my lesson... Float test, BAD. Do not discard eggs that don't pass the float test, they may still be good!
  5. WVduckchick

    WVduckchick For The Birds Premium Member

    Feb 9, 2015
    West Virginia
    Yep, I know of someone who actually proceeded to open the egg and found the chick alive inside! I try my best to caution anyone. You did great!
  6. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

    Oct 11, 2014
    Gouverneur, NY
    Me too! I always say, the float test is only reliable if the hatch and wiggle. Then you know it's alive other than that it's 50/50. I don't even suggest water candling anymore because I feel it's so misleading.
  7. kayla104

    kayla104 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 30, 2015
    aww so glad you were able to save lucky he/she is really "lucky"
  8. N F C

    N F C Home in WY Premium Member

    Dec 12, 2013
    That really is one Lucky chick! Way to go!

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