Float Testing, Checking Egg Viability For Late Or Overdue Hatching

enola

Crowing
11 Years
Jan 23, 2009
13,143
1,411
378
Irwin, Pennsylvania (Pittsburg area)
To help you folks that are confused about the float test.......

To put it in a nut shell, you float the eggs:

1) AFTER they are over due to hatch

2) if they float AND wiggle, they are still alive

3) if they float or sink and the egg does not wiggle or rock the chick is probably dead

I have used this test for almost 50 years.

I do not check eggs until AFTER they should have hatched.
 

khark74

In the Brooder
7 Years
May 28, 2012
30
0
22
Massachusetts
This is my 1st hatch and feel more anxious than when I was pregnant with my own kids. Yesterday, we had 2 chicks hatch (day 21) but noticed our 3rd had started to zip but stopped progress and the membrane was bone dry. Even The sponges I had put in to help keep humidity were curled dry! A few weary hours of trying to keep her hydrated to hatch, she passed. I found this thread, and gained some hope.

Early this morning, we did the float test on our remaining eggs. 3 sunk to the bottom right away, but we had 11 eggs wiggle. Maybe it wasn't too late. I refilled the channels with water and added a sponge also and put the wiggles back in. I am now hearing faint peeps in the bator. Feeling hopeful...
 

khark74

In the Brooder
7 Years
May 28, 2012
30
0
22
Massachusetts
Update: one new chick hatched today (day23) she was the "most" wiggly of all the floaters yesterday. She peeped yesterday, but hadn't poked thru the shell. I gave her a little help starting and she zipped right out. Waiting for her to dry off and I will see if there is any more activity

Should I have any concerns about adding her to the brooder with the 2 that hatched on Sunday (day 21?)
 

Andrstein

In the Brooder
6 Years
Mar 21, 2013
29
4
26
Virginia
This pic was taken at the beginning of day 23 after not seeing any pips or wiggling of the eggs. (I adjusted the photo's color and contrast so that the waterline was more easily visible.) Should they wiggle when put in water if still viable? I suspect something went wrong in the incubator because I have 13 eggs that all float like this but have not wiggled or hatched. If it were just a few eggs that failed to hatch I would say it could have been the eggs, but since it is all of them I suspect I did something inherently wrong.

 

JackieandChicks

Songster
6 Years
May 8, 2013
722
59
161
What do you consider past hatch date? Past 21 days? Or past 25 (which is a number I see being tossed around). Thanks!
 

minihorse927

Whipper snapper
9 Years
Nov 3, 2010
10,620
985
386
Day 22 is late. I'll give mine till day 25 and then I float test them. I always candle them before I float them and make sure there are no chicks breathing in the air cell before I do it
 

brandimonksmom

Hatching
5 Years
Feb 27, 2014
6
0
7
ok well i tried this method. i had one that was a high floater and the rest well they seemed to be all the same. just about a penny size amount of egg above the water. i took one of my hens eggs which i know is not fertile and tried it and sure enough it sank. so i am hoping for late hatchers. today makes day 24. we had 3 hatch yesterday with one dying this morning of unknown cause. so im going to wait it out and see where this goes. the rest sure got rolled around when the 3 hatched. THANK YOU FOR THE INFO... HELPED A LOT...
 

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