Grey blob + grey veining on outer shell, UPDATED GRAPHIC

Bantam Username

8 Years
Aug 3, 2011
Wiltshire, UK
My egg that was due to hatch overnight on the 30th hasn't hatched, however it has developed a grey mark that almost looks like a grease stain on the outside of the shell. Its basically in the shape of what you'd expect to see when candling at day 7, a roundish blob with vein like spiderings emanating from it.
I'm pretty certain this chap must be dead now, but has anyone seen anything like this before?

I'll see if the camera can pick it up later and add some pictures.
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I can only think of two things and it depends where the 'blob' is located on the egg.

1. Perhaps the centre of a bacterial infection which is spreading and causing staining on the shell

2. Has the chick attempted to externally pip there and these are hairline fractures???

A picture would really help

This is right on the top of the egg in the middle, I see no sign of external pipping anywhere, although I thought it had internally pipped on the 30th as I thought I heard faint clicking noises when I pressed my ear to the incubator then. I'll try and get some pictures up shortly.

Are you certain the faint clicking noises have ceased as this noise is respiration as the chick breathes in and out.

Best of luck

You have to look real carefully to see it but heres the best pic I could take through the incubator lid.

Can you see the big grey blob with the spidery vein like bits coming from it?
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X 2.

This tends to be a sign of late embryonic death and its caused by the blood vessels of the supporting membranes degenerating. A similar discolouration can be seen on the day of hatching as the vessels receed into the chick's abdomen. I think it's likely that the chick has internally pipped and then died.

Again I would advise you to listen for the sounds of respiration which is faint rythmic clicking noise. In the absence of this I would open the egg starting at the centre over the top of the air cell. if the chick is alive then you can always re-cap the egg.

See my Incubation Guide for detailed instructions;

Best of luck to you.

I agree, if it was due to hatch on the 30th then it's likely that it's because the chick has died. but I also agree with Pete, doublecheck it to be sure. I have also seen similar staining when a chick pipped internally and accidentally popped one of the blood vessels on the inner membrane causing a small blood pool on the shell. (cockatiel, and he lived!)

good luck with it.

and I'll second Pete's recommendation for his hatching guide. it is excellent.
Well I opened the incubator for a clearer pic and here it is:

Tonight I'm going to candle and listen to the egg, then I was planning on making a small hole in the air sac end to see if I can see what has happened.

Pete55 "A similar discolouration can be seen on the day of hatching as the vessels receed into the chick's abdomen. "

This has only happened today, the egg was all white yesterday, do you think it might be about to hatch instead?

Ps: I think my incubator is running slightly cooler than it ought to be.
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To me, that looks like the egg had a spiderweb of cracks when it was laid by the chicken, but the cracks were so fine you didn't notice before setting it. Unfortunately, those hairline cracks introduce bacteria in the egg if you try to incubate it, so my guess is that it started to develop and got bacteria and now the bacteria build-up is noticeable through the spiderweb of cracks. You can always candle the egg to check for movement, but my guess is that the chick is dead.

If you want to open that egg, I highly recommend you do it outside!

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