Why does this happen?


9 Years
Jun 19, 2010
Fogo Island, NL
Why is it that when I put eggs in the incubator and 21 days are up, some chicks won't hatch. They are fully developed, but they won't bother to try and hatch, therefore dying? Why does this happen?
It could be a lethal gene. What is the ratio of dead chicks to hatched chicks? Is this a common or regular occurance with your hatches?

I've found a lethal in my white bantam leghorns. The chicks would either not hatch or would die lss than a week after hatching.
Around half of the chicks actually hatch.... but I mean that the chicks die hours before they are ready to hatch. They have all their stuff absorbed into their body, fully developed, and just won't bother to hatch.
Wow, that's a bummer. I feel for you, I've had that happen, too.

What kind of incubator? What temps, what humidity?

I found keeping the humidity down a bit helped mine, because we have a really humid environment here. A lot of it is trial and error, dang it.
Have you had this problem with a lot of your hatches?

Also what breed and variety are the eggs?
The incubator is a styrofoam Hovabator. The chicks that this recently happened to were polish. I also had silkies, but they hatched fine (3/4). The temp. was also around 100 degrees F.
Sometimes the shell is too hard for them to break out.. If you know it is going to happen keep watch and help them to hatch.
I helped quite a few and they grew up to be healthy. keep your hands very clean. Sometimes all they need is for you to start the hole.

If you know one is having problems take the egg out and lightly tap and peep at it then put it to your ear. Where you hear the peep the loudest carefully start a hole and put it back into the incubator. If you peep at the egg every so often it will help to stimulate the chick
to hatch. When I have had give more help I take 2 clean pillowcases and tape them along the sides of my hova bator. This allows me to prop open my hova bator and get to work all the while not loosing alot of heat or moisture.

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