sad - lost a chick


In the Brooder
6 Years
Aug 25, 2013
North Central Florida
I know in the big scheme of life, losing a chick before it hatches isn't a big deal, but it still makes me sad and I don't know where else I can vent about it.

I had a chick crack it's egg earlier this morning (about 6 hrs ago). It was breathing well, chirping etc. I made sure the inner membrane had an opening because last hatch I lost one when it cracked the shell, but not the membrane. I had been checking on it every half hour (along with two others that have cracked). I just went to check on it and it wasn't breathing. After much prodding, I decided to break it out , seeing no blood on the membrane & getting no response from the chick. It's head was some how turned under its wing and I assume he (yes I've decided it was a rooster) suffocated.

Last two hatches, I lost one who didn't break the membrane & two we saved by breaking the shell away. One hatch was incubator, one under a hen. So this is the second i have lost in hatch. Anyone have any ideas why they are having such trouble getting out? These are eggs from free range birds. I know when I boil my refrigerated eggs, they nearly impossible to peel. I have some tough shells & membranes. The kids have even dropped eggs and they don't crack. Eggs are pearl Leghorn & red star. My barman and partridge eggs seem to have no problems.

I have made sure my humidity it high and even moisten the membrane if I see the egg has cracked a while and its started to get really dry.
I had the same thing happen last month when I lost a chick. The chick had the shell almost completely "unzipped" & then died. My hens egg shells are very thick too. The other 5 hatched fine.

I'm new to chickens so I'm curious to know how to fix this problem too. My hen eats layer pellets & has access to oyster shell if she wants it.
to thick of egg shells can cause this problem. low humidity, low temps during incubation, and the list goes on.

i have not heard of anyone who can get 100% hatch rates all the time. if its eggs from your farm, and you hatch more than 7 out of 10, you are doing good. on shipped eggs, if you hatch over half is good.

here is a link that may help:
this link is on assisting hatches, in case you need to:

here is a list of common problems:
lack of ventilation
uncalibrated thermometer (never trust the one that came with the incubator)
to much humidity - larger than normal chicks, slimy bad smelling hatch.
to little humidity - chicks will only pip part way and stop, egg shells stuck on chicks.
opening the incubator to much - late hatch along with low humidity symptoms
moving them around during the hatching process - may cause them to have to pip multiple times, wearing them out before they hatch.
Well I had 8 successful hatch out of 10 the first and 10 out of 12 the second. This is the third and so far 2 successful, 1 died, and one halfway but has been halfway all day. Not sure how many of the others are viable, possibly 6. So I guess I have had good success and just expecting perfection. My OCD nature ;)

Thank you for your comments (both of you). It makes me feel so much better to know that I am not alone (or screwing up).

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