Water test for "possibly" late eggs.


Aug 1, 2016
This is our first time hatching eggs, and it has all been done by Raven; our Black Sumatra. She has taken the opportunity to graciously sit on some of the other girls eggs. It took me a week to realize that new eggs were being added to the nest, and so then started to mark which eggs had been there and which eggs were new. From then on I have been vigilant about locking her up during the other hens time of day to lay and checking for invader eggs. So; our sketchy beginning being out there for all to know, and candling throughout the process, we had whittled down the fertile eggs to 4. 1 hatched on day 19, and 1 hatched on day 21; leaving two eggs. Today is day 24.
I had candled on day 23 and did not see movement, but the air cells look fine. So today I went out with my 100 degree water and floated them-obviously no pips visible and no cheeping..Both eggs floated within the guideline for being "alive" but I could not see any movement.

So the question is.. Will you always see movement?
If they did expire in the shell, how long would it take them to bob high in the water or sink?

Since the start date is sketchy, I'm going to give them a few more days, but I was curious as to these questions.

I have been a long time "peeper" on these threads and enjoy listening to everyone and their shared knowledge.

Thank you for your time.
I have tried water candling before and it can work but sometimes I feel is not as reliable. I have also had the problem where a hen sits on some eggs and some of her gfs try to give her a few more. It's a pain. But an issue you may have is once the first ones hatch she might abandon any that take longer than 48 hours to hatch with the rest. In that case I would put the left over in an incubator and keep my fingers crossed. I LOVE candling and will be 100% honest if your phone had a nice LED light don't bother to go buy one my phone works great... with that said I would like to share a few pictures of good and failed dead eggs.... also don't be afraid to put your ear up to the egg and take a listen tap a few times on the egg and see if you hear it either peep or the pecking sound. Even small movements can be seen from the air sack. Lastly if you really aren't sure and have a few days I would say set them up and see what happens. Good luck to you!!



Good egg

Bad egg

One other thing is the temp of the egg.. if it gets cold quickly and doesent maintaine a little heat it is possiable it died. When I pull bad eggs out I check them one more time before I throw them out, they cool off very quickly when they are dead but live ones will stay warmer for a little longer. Just a few hints!! Good luck
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Thank you.
That pic you showed, on the Good Egg, the air cell and darkness are very crisp. I have one white egg and one very dark shelled egg..The white egg, I can see in well and looks similar to your Bad egg..no crisp delineation. I saw movement on day 18..so I just keep hoping.

I may go out tonight and try to candle again. I am kind of obsessing at this point. I have 6 week olds I want to put out with the others (they are in the coop but in their own cage now) and I feel bad for Raven, sitting on bad eggs. If they do hatch, they will be the most handled eggs around!

The two that have hatched I have taken away from Raven. She is obviously a good sitter, but not a mother. She attacked both babes. She is 8 years old and this is her first batch!

I have tapped many times and no sound...

I never thought to use my phone..but I do have a very bright flashlight that works well.

At this point I am going to just keep waiting..I know that no eggs were added to the nest after the initial day 5..so worst case scenario is I let her set another 7 days..Poor thing..

I appreciate your information.

Thank you!
I had a flock of bantams I stopped collecting the eggs and they had a bunch... they started hatching and the hens would kill them. So I would let them sit and way till the day they were hatching if I had time I would let them hatch out then take them or if I didn5 have time I would put them in the incubator just to hatch
An update and a finish to my thread.

Raven was getting off more than usual this morning, so, I candled, and re did the float test. No change and no movement whatsoever. I decided to toss the eggs. I did look into one, the dark shell, and it had a fully formed chick in it, and the yolk sac. But it was dead and kind of squishy looking. Not the best description, but I was not looking for specific details.

I am happy to have two beautiful and healthy babies from the hatch..I will take 50% on our first attempt - hens and roosters included!

Next time, if there is, there will be no mistake about the eggs and their timeline. No new eggs will magically appear under the hen cause she will be in lock down! This had me feeling horrible and unsure. Not good feelings to have when there are little lives at stake. Lessons learned and moving on.

I appreciate you who have read and commented.

Thank you!

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