TEST is chick in egg dead or alive?


In the Brooder
Mar 16, 2018
I read about a test that may be able to clarify if a chick is dead or alive in its' shell. What are your opinions? Does this work? Or is there another way to check?

***Will water on the eggs or the egg submerged in water harm the baby chicks inside?***

Day 20/21 (not sure, as we set the eggs initially in a late evening one night)
We had the humidity set wrong (75-90%) for the first 13 days, and ran it between 10-30% until Day 18.

We were not able to track the air cell growth (shipped eggs, dark colored) during incubation.

We were able to see that each egg is fertile, and at our last candling (Day 16) they were even moving around all crazy in their shells.

During the last week, I removed the eggs from their incubator for a half hour here and there (twice a day maybe) in an effort to "evaporate humidity" more rapidly to help the air cells grow (since we werent able to regulate the incubator to a low enough humidity).

I am worrying now as I have not heard or seen a thing from the eggs at their last candling (Day 18) and up til now.

Can I do anything to see if they are alive still or not?

I get a hint of a smell that I think is bad when I open the incubator sometimes; I can't tell if it is the hot air that is the smell or the eggs themselves. Its not bad enough that I would be scared. Just something off.


Crossing the Road
7 Years
Sep 29, 2014
New Zealand
I'd wait longer before attempting to float the eggs. If a chick has externally pipped and you don't notice before putting it in the water the air cell will fill with water and the chick will drown. I'd wait until late on day 26 then risk it.

I'd give each egg a good sniff in case one is going off as you don't want it exploding in there.

Can you see anything when candling? I've found a dead embryo sinks towards the narrow end of the egg and there will be a watery gap between the air cell and the embryo. A good egg looks full right up to the air cell. Just try to keep the egg in the same position it's sitting in inside the incubator if you do candle so the chick doesn't get confused.

21 days is just an average. Ensure the vents in your incubator are open for good ventilation. Those chicks need fresh air.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom