What's wrong with my eggs???

Winsor Woods

13 Years
Jun 14, 2009
Cascade Range in WA
Today is day 22 with my eggs and they're not peeping, not pipping, not anything.

I have then under a broody hen and she's been very diligent about sitting on them. Yesterday, knowing that it was day 21, I went out in the morning to check on her. She had some egg shells underneath her but no chicks. There was also an egg kicked out of the nest that was cold to the touch. I removed this egg and cracked it open in the compost pile. Inside there was a recognizable chick so I know that the eggs were fertile and developing.

Is it common for eggs to go this long before hatching?

The only other factor I can think of is that my broody hen has a habit of soiling the nest. She'll poop right on the edge of the nest but doesn't want to move the extra few inches to get the wad of poop out of the nest where it can fall through the wire floor in her broody box. She has her own food, water and grit, and is separated from the rest of the flock. There's plenty of room for her to poop through the wire floor if she gets off the nest but she seems to like pooping in the nest. I'm not sure if that would kill the eggs or not. But the ones that have cracked open recently have had chicks in them.

Any ideas?

sometimes eggs under a broody just take a little longer.In an incubator where the temps and humidity are just right for day 21 hatching you can expect the day 21 hatch, but when it is left up to mother nature sometimes things go differently.
if you found eggshell but no chick i would be concerned about the broody or another bird killing the chick.You may want to check on her and the eggs as much as you can.
Thanks for the reply Mandalina. How long should I let this go? I know I'd need to draw the line at some point. How long can eggs stay alive under a broody hen? Would there be any chance of them still hatching after 28 days?

Sometimes there is a delay, such as any temperature changes whilst the hen is sitting on the eggs. I would allow the eggs to go onto 25 or 26 days. Don't give up hope yet! They may just be preparing for their entrance

Good luck and keep us posted!

ETA: Don't lift the hen off the nest, to avoid humidity from being lost. But, check regularly on the hen
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I just checked in on her and there was another broken egg. This one the embryo appears to be only developed up to about 14-16 days. It was half the size of the embryo from yesterday's egg that was kicked from the nest.

This is pretty frustrating. I think I'm going to start collecting eggs for my other broody hen. I don't think this current hen is going to be successful this time around. I'll give it till the end of the weekend though.

I don't have a lot of experience with broody hens, but here is my recent one:

I had a hen setting on eggs, when I checked the eggs a couple of days before they were due to hatch they didn't look right at all. They looked very wet and runny inside and honestly did not look like there were still living chicks in them. When I opened one there was a live chick, but no where near ready to hatch. I finally put the eggs in the incubator. The eggs hatched but they were a full week late. I am positive as to what day she started setting as she was setting on an empty nest and I gave her the eggs. She sat faithfully, but for what ever reason they developed much slower. So maybe with more time yours will hatch, maybe just running behind like mine were?
I am by no means an expert but I have found though my experience that the eggs hatch faster (just a tiny bit) under a broody hen. When I set the eggs under them I do it very late in the day so I count the next day as day one, and then they start hatching day 20 and finish up on day 21.

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