should i give up hope?


Apr 11, 2015
Perth, Australia

I had 5 eggs under a broody hen and on day 20 she gave up!!! i know! im so upset at her :(
she had been off for a couple house the day before but then returned to the nest.

I candled the eggs and could see healthy blood veins, and they looked to be developing fairly correctly for the time they have been under her and I even thought i could see some movement so i did an emergency dash to get my incubator set up and put the eggs in. I put the eggs straight into lockdown.

They have now been in the incubator for 3 days now should i just give up hope? should i candle them again? could they just be late because my broody wasn't fully committed?

not my photo but it was similar looking to this candled egg
Ok great! I held onto the hope that the veins were still there and hadn't ringed... should I candle again or just leave them for a few more days??
Can anyone think of a reason for the delayed hatch??
Also if they have died could I tell from candling?
They look like they might be a ways from hatching, like days still. Maybe the hen has been taking REALLY long breaks or just wasn't sitting on them for as long as you thought. They could have been covered inadequately by her body (too small of a hen for the number of eggs). Who knows? Because of this no way of knowing until it's way too late. I'd give them up to a week before really giving up.

Have a look here;

Since we have no idea what happened, you could be as early as day 16 and we'd have no way of knowing. So I'd give it a week. The worst that happens is you have some rotting eggs lying around to get rid of that smell bad or are kinda gross.

You can try to tap on the shell gently with a finger nail while candling and see if you can spot them moving to check if they are alive.
I have movement!!!! Omg I can't believe it- now I'm worried about the humidity ???
Ekkk fingers crossed... how far along do you guys think?


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Movement is fantastic! I've looked and looked for a chart to show the amount of air cell at what day and I can't find a great one for chickens. The ducks have one showing a great side view.

ChocolateMouse posted a great chart showing the size of the embryo in the egg. From that chart and the charts I'm posting, I'm "thinking" your egg may be somewhere around the 18-20th day. Your embryo appears to be close to day 18-19 but the egg has a bit larger air cell than the 18-19 day eggs in the charts.

What is your humidity right now? Hopefully someone else chimes in their view to corroborate my thoughts. Day 18 is the normal lockdown time for eggs so I think you'd be safe to lock down the eggs.

If it was my eggs...I'd lock them down and increase humidity to approximately 65% the very same as regular incubation. And then I'd hope for the best.:fl



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