Late hatchers? How long do I wait?


In the Brooder
8 Years
May 23, 2011
I just hatched my first round of eggs! My sister sent me some of her Maran eggs (Black Copper and Black Copper/Pekin mixed) and eight of them have hatched so far. I started with 17 then I candled them all on day 14 and found 3 that were not fertile. So of the 14 that were left, 8 have hatched. My questions is this... How long do I give the last 6 eggs? Going by hours, we are midway though day 22. The First 6 hatched throughout day 21 and the last 2 hatched in the early hours of day 22. None of them have pipped and they are very still but I don't want to count them out just yet. Is it common to have late hatchers?

In other news... I am LOVING this! It was incredible watching these chicks hatch after 21 days of careful (read: neurotic) temp and humidity control and waiting. My husband just about has the chicken coop finished and it's a beauty! The inside of the incubator is reminiscent of the microwave scene in Gremlins though (eek!) so it seemed appropriate that we dub two of the chicks Stripe and Gizmo.

Thanks in advance for any advice!
I'm going crazy myself...praying over them....crying even....this is so heartwrenching. Someone said to andle them, but I'm afraid I'll bother them. How did you candle yours?
Wayside... it IS hard! I want them to MAKE IT! I took the entire incubator into my closet with a flashlight and looked through them one by one. I don't want to candle them again though since maintaining the humidity and temp is so crucial in the last few days. If it takes too much longer, I imagine bacteria could be a problem for them. The incubator is AWFUL right now!
I to am going crazy and it's only day 4 for me...I have never done this before, and last evening I am pretty sure one of the kids turned the temp down on the incubator, I think it was only that way for less than a half hour and the temp was only down to 85. I was so upset I was also crying, but people on here have told me that it should be fine. I guess it's a good thing that I am always in there checking the temp a million times a day.
I sure hope that I get at least a couple to hatch, I might be insane by then but if it works out for me it will be worth it.
Welcome to BYC!

As far into incubation that these eggs are, you're not going to be able

to tell anything by candling. I'd recommend you do a float test in a couple

days. I have eggs hatch on day 22 all the time. Get rid of any bad eggs.

Don't want any exploders. If they are still good give them 'till day 25-26

before getting rid of them.

How to do a float Test

How to do an eggtopsy (if your interested, and have the stomach for it)
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Thanks Rebecca!! I'll do that tonight if they haven't hatched yet. AWESOME info!
I posted a link on how to do the float test

If there is bacteria in the egg, the pressure will eventually cause the egg to

literally explode. Not fun to clean up. TRUST me.
You'll usually never have

an egg get to exploding point with-in the 21 days. But, if you wait to long, you

could have a mess.

Some ways to prevent ~

- Always wash hands before touching eggs
- Do not wash eggs, as it washes off their protective coating which helps keep bacteria out.
- Any tools or cloths used with eggs should be clean
- Incubator should be disenfected after each hatch
- Keep nests, coop, and pens clean
- Do not incubate eggs found on the ground
- Candle eggs before incubation to be sure there are no cracks where bacteria can enter
- Porous eggs should be watched closely for bloodrings/bacteria
- Be sure birds are healthy
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Um... ugh. My sister said she's had chicks hatch on day 25 and 26. Seriously? Because I don't want to risk explosion but I don't want to throw out a viable egg either. Ack! Hoping the float test gives me a clear picture.
I had a chick hatch on day 26-27. Yes, I am talking about a chicken.

But temperatures were way to low during incubation, which slowed

development. As long as you had no temperature problems during

incubation, I'd suspect the eggs will not be good by day 24-25.

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