Split air cells? Should I help them?


8 Years
Sep 28, 2011
Hi! I ordered some lovely Marans hatching eggs from a breeder and they arrived in great condition! But I am having two problems. The first, and probably something I should have prepared for, is that dark Marans eggs are very hard to candle! All I can see is darkness inside and the presence or absence of an air cell if I am in total darkness when candling and using an LED light. Does anyone have any tips for difficult to candle eggs? Maybe a certain egg candler they bought that worked really well for them that I could order in the future? I am new to candling and chickens in general, and so this time I probably won't be able to tell much from the eggs. I will try and find rotten ones by smell I guess!

The other thing is that the air cell in some of these eggs are very large, and seems to be split. Or at least, that's what I think I was looking at. The air cells are in the fat end of the eggs where they belong but they aren't perfectly round like I've seen in pictures, but they look like two merged bubbles instead of one. Looking from the side, it looks like a butt instead of a nice smooth line! (sorry for the description, I couldn't think of a better way to describe it!)

Will these eggs hatch? :( This seems to occur in most of them, and I realized (too late) that I should have let them sit longer after shipping before I set them under my hen.
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That's good to hear! :D I paid $60 for all the eggs so I'm hoping at least most of them hatch! I was just very worried about those weird air cells and hoping they still have a chance. ;) Too bad the shells are so dark and I can't really make a good guess at how they're developing in there!
It's hatch day! Or was, yesterday. Of the 14 eggs only 7 hatched (still not bad considering the split air cells!). Of the remaining eggs there are 3 that have developed chicks inside, but there are no movements and no pipping. The chicks are fully developed and I am worried that they are just not able to pip or peck through the membrane in the right place.

Should I open the eggs? Does anyone have experience with this kind of thing?
Oh, well that answers that. :) I will not open them! But how long before I should give up on it hatching completely and toss it?
I ended up leaving the eggs in there until the broodies gave up on them. ;) There were no late hatches for me, but next time I will probably do the same and just trust the broody to know whether or not she senses anything living still in the egg. At least them I don't have to choose to throw out an egg that could still have a chance!

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