Help Eggs Not Hatching


7 Years
Apr 29, 2012
I set eggs 23 days ago. I put 7 into my Brinsea 4 have hatched. No problem there. I put 30 into my Hova Bato, only one has hatched. I checked the eggs around the 14th day and all these eggs seemed viable. The temp is running at about 99-100, humidity is about 58%. I filled it with water and put a sponge in before lockdown. I have to remove the one living chick, should I check the eggs when I move her to the brooder box? Any suggestions are welcomed. How long do you keep eggs before throwing them out?


Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
Southeast Louisiana
Is your Hovabator a still air or forced air? In a forced air (one with a fan) it doesn’t matter where you take the temperature but in a still air it is very important. Hot air rises. The temperature in the middle of the eggs should be around 99.5 degrees, but at the top of the eggs it should be around 101.5. That’s quite a difference in a short distance so you can see how important where you take the temperature in a still air is.

Also have you calibrated your thermometer so you can trust what you are seeing?

If your average temperature is running a little low, they can be a few days late. In my last incubator hatch I had one chick out a full 24 hours before any of the other eggs even pipped. Then the next 16 all hatched in the next 16 hours. It can be hard to tell when a hatch is over.

If no other eggs have pipped, you might want to do the float test. If an egg has pipped you can’t do this, but put the eggs in a basin of still water. They will float. If something is alive in that egg, it will wiggle in the water. Put those back in the incubator. If it does not wiggle at the stage you are in, there is nothing alive inside.

I also suggest you open the eggs that don’t hatch and try to determine at which stage they quit or if they started at all. In general, if the egg did not develop or quit in the first week, it probably had something to do with what happened before the egg went in the incubator; fertility, how or how long the egg was stored, something like that. If it quit in the last week, it probably had something to do with how it was incubated.

If you hatch much you will occasionally get some bad hatches, but that is horrible, even with shipped eggs. You need to find out what is going wrong so you can correct it. You can do a lot better. It could be a lot of things. I think this is a pretty good article covering that.

Illinois Incubation troubleshooting

Good luck! You will do better next time.

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