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Held eggs on days 19 and 20, is that bad?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Triplecross, Nov 4, 2013.

  1. Triplecross

    Triplecross Chillin' With My Peeps

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    First timer here, so I didn't know to leave the eggs alone. I kept reading that you could hear the chicks peeping and feeling them moving so I picked up a few eggs to see if they were alive. Nothing. the next day I held an egg and waited for movement; nothing. I left them alone on day 21. Tonight (day 22) I went out and candled a few of them. They are all dark except the air space on the top.

    Why aren't they hatching yet? My broody is very diligent and only leaves her nest to eat, poop and drink for a about 5 minutes and then returns to the eggs. She has been constant.

    It is cold here in Michigan at night. Is the colder temps making the eggs take longer to hatch? Or did I screw up something by handling the eggs after day 18? (I just read a post here that with incubators, they stop turning the eggs)
     
  2. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    It is not uncommon for eggs to take longer than 21 days to hatch--I usually wait until at least day 24 before removing unhatched eggs, unless they're clearly bad. I would think that you would be seeing/hearing something by now, though... But don't give up hope! I doubt that your handling of the eggs disrupted the hatch. While it isn't recommended, even I have handled close-to hatching eggs before (its so difficult to resist looking at them and making sure they're okay!), with no bad results.
     
  3. Triplecross

    Triplecross Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh good! Thanks for the quick reply BantamLover21. I feel terrible for handling the eggs at all. I was going to let nature do it's work and not even worry if they were a day or 2 late. But the more I read about all these cool folks and their incubators and candling and hearing peeps, well, it got the best of me. Now I will know to do what I've learned here about "lockdown" at day 18.

    I'll post if the little guys hatch soon.

    Dana
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    “Lockdown” is for incubator chicks. Don’t worry about that with a broody. Broodies do their own thing and usually better than we can.

    I’ve had eggs under a broody hatch two full days early. Others have had them that late or even later. It’s really not that precise. Lots of things can affect when they actually hatch; heredity, humidity, how and how long they are stored before you start them, size, and who knows what else. A big one though is temperature. If the average incubating temperature is warm, they can be early. If average incubating temperature is cool, they can be late.

    Hens are usually really good about regulating and controlling the temperature of the eggs even in the heat of summer or the cold of winter, but it is certainly possible yours were a little cool. I agree to give them a few extra days before you do anything drastic.

    Good luck!
     
  5. ebertschic

    ebertschic Out Of The Brooder

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    Is there any update here? Interesting topic
     
  6. Triplecross

    Triplecross Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Still no chicks. I believe they are dead. Sunday was my original "day 21" for the eggs. But I read that you don't count the 1st day so that would have made Monday Nov 4th the 21st day.

    Today is Friday Nov 8th -day 25. No pips, no movement, nothing. Sad. I was really hoping the broody and I did things correctly. All I can think I did wrong was handle them during "lockdown" so to speak. Maybe that shrink wrapped them to their shells and they couldn't move to crack open the egg? I've been reading lots on BYC so that is what I read could happen.

    I'm curious to break open one of the eggs just to see what development they had. But there is a tiny little bit of me that hopes they will still hatch since broody mom is still faithfully setting.

    No hurries I guess at this point. Maybe on day 30 I will open one up.[​IMG]
     
  7. Kyzmette

    Kyzmette Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would definitely wait. I was totally surprised to find out that chicks are like cookies, and a cooler oven can cause them to "bake" slower. You can't turn the oven too cold or too warm because, unlike a cookie, you can kill a chickie. If, however, the temps are colder up there, it's possible for those eggs to incubate for 25 days.
     
  8. ebertschic

    ebertschic Out Of The Brooder

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    I agree with waiting. I opened a couple eggs up on day 25 and I shouldn't have. Still makes me sick to my stomach.

    Thanks for sharing that day one is the day after the hens starts laying. My eggs are due to hatch Monday...or Tuesday nowthat I know that.
     
  9. Triplecross

    Triplecross Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So I opened up 2 eggs this evening. One wasn't very far along (bloody yolk look) because a hen laid an egg in the broody's nest. All the other eggs I had marked and I waited 27 days. The other egg I opened tonight had a head, beak, feathers,.. I don't know at what stage that develops, but my guess it died around day 15? It was small and had liquid around it like it was 1/2 baby chick and 1/2 yolk/ amniotic fluid.

    Help me troubleshoot. What made the chick stop growing? What makes chicks stop growing? My broody is always in her nest so I believe she didn't "mess up". She is still brooding even tho it's been almost a month.

    I did handle the eggs a few times. My only conclusion is I passed bacteria on to the eggs and that stopped development.

    Other ideas are welcomed. I'd like to try hatching eggs again but feel terribly incompetent.
     
  10. chippysmom327

    chippysmom327 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's okay. Sometimes things just don't work out. Always prepare for a 100% hatch rate, but expect no more than 1%. I made that mistake. I incubated a dozen eggs and did everything correct (I've hatched eggs before), and had a 0% hatch. When I did "eggtopsies", not one developed. No clue why. Sometimes you just never know.
     

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