Egg hatching is an exciting job, where science and miracles combine to create a beautiful outcome.
The entire process takes approximately 21 days, and requires the right amount of humidity, turning, and temperature control. A common concern is chicken eggs not hatching after 21 days.
There are a number of questions to ask yourself when this happens. The first is about incubation. Are you using a high-quality egg incubator?
An affordable incubator that costs you less, could cost you chickens. Maintaining the correct temperature and humidity is key to getting hatched eggs at 21 days. For chicken eggs not hatching after 21 days, hope is not lost.
Can It Take Longer Than 21 Days For A Chick To Hatch?
Yes, it can take longer than 21 days for a chick to hatch. They will typically hatch at the 21 day mark, but the slightest change in their environment could change that.
They may just need some more time. It also takes some time for an egg to hatch. The most common time frame is five to seven hours, but it could take a full day or up to 24 hours. If your eggs are not hatched at the 21 day mark, they may just need a little more time.
Do not try to hatch the eggs yourself. There are blood vessels that may not have dried that are attach the chick to the shell. Pulling at the eggshell can cause the chick to bleed.
If the chicks are not hatched at 21 days, give it more time. You could see hatching even at the 23 day mark. Before you make a decision here, there is a technique that you can do that is called candling that will tell you if the eggs that have not hatched are still alive.
How Do You Know If A Chick Is Alive In An Egg?
There are devices called egg candlers that can help you to determine if a chick is alive or not. An egg will hatch if it is a healthy fertilization. You can’t hatch an egg from the grocery store because those are not fertilized eggs.
However, if an egg is fertilized, it will become a chick. When you want to know if a chick is alive in an egg, a high-quality egg candler will help you to see if the eggs have fertilized. You will be able to see the embryo as it develops.
Use your egg candler in a darkened space and shine it into the egg. You will be able to see the contents of the egg from there. You might even see the embryo moving and developing within the shell.
An egg that hasn’t fertilized properly will be completely yellow inside most of the time. You will not see any signs of blood, veins, or embryo in the egg if the egg is not a good egg. A fertilized egg that does not make it will look different depending on the stage that it died at.
If the fertilized egg dies on the fourth day, you will still see blood pumping and a little embryo heart when you use the egg candler.
You may also still see some veins in the egg at this point. Between days six and eight, if the egg dies, it might look like a large black spot. By day 10, the fertilized egg will look like a chick that did not make it. It could be covered in down, but you could see some deformities.
How Do You Tell If An Egg Is Going To Hatch After 21 Days?
You can tell the viability of an egg by using an egg candler. If you are not seeing any signs of deformity or chick death, then your egg may still hatch after 21 days. The only way to know with 100 percent certainty is to wait it out.
You might see an egg that appears clear when you use the egg candler. This is not a fertilized egg and should be taken out of the incubator immediately. If the egg has fertilized, a spiderweb of veins will appear in the shell.
If you are past the 21 day mark, there is still a chance the egg will hatch. It probably will. Give it a few more days to see if the chick hatches. You can watch this process from the time you first begin incubating your eggs.
Candle the eggs every three or four days to check their progress. As the fertilized eggs continue to grow, you will notice this spiderweb of veins becomes larger with time.
It will soon become a solid mass. Eggs that are no longer thriving will look like a solid mass. It may move around the egg if you shake it lightly.
You can also tell the viability of a fertilized egg by the smell. If the egg will not hatch, there is a chance you will be able to tell by the smell. It will smell like it is rotting if it has not thrived.
Eggs that will not hatch can be discarded. If you are new to egg hatching, you may want to candle the eggs that won’t hatch, and then open them up to see what it looks like.
That will give you an idea of what an unfertilized egg will look like in the shell, so that next time you know for sure that you are working with an egg that will not hatch.
Why Are My Eggs Not Hatching?
There are a number of common reasons why your eggs may not be hatching. Temperature is key to getting the right hatch.
Because you won’t have a hen to sit on these eggs in most cases, you will need an incubator. A high-quality egg incubator will be your hen for you. The temperature needs to be precise. Too high or too low could kill the eggs.
Temperatures that are too high could result in an early hatch, and an unhealthy chick. A temperature that is too low could result in a delayed hatch. The humidity needs to be optimized as well.
A humidity that is too high will mean some eggs won’t hatch. Humidity that is too low will mean that they may not hatch.
That is because when water evaporates, there is some weight lost in the egg. This is normal during the incubation process, and critical for a healthy chick. If the humidity is too high, this evaporation process can not happen, and the chick could drown in its own water.
Another common reason for eggs to fail to hatch is that the egg was not fertilized by a mature male. Or, the male may be too old. The sperm count in a male that is not mature, or too old, may not be low enough to fertilize an egg.
Another common reason you have chicken eggs not hatching after 21 days is that they have become contaminated. Although the shell of the egg is something that they live in and develop in until birth, dirty eggs can cause a problem.
Even though the shell of an egg is thick enough to nurture an embryo into a live chick, it is not impermeable. It breathes in oxygen for the chicks to survive. When an egg is dirty or contaminated, this could prevent the embryo from growing.
Dirt in an egg makes it very difficult for carbon dioxide to move freely. The result is a chick that does develop as it will not be able to breathe.
Another cause of eggs that don’t hatch is bad turning. Hens in their nest will turn their eggs many times daily. It’s an important part of their development.
You should be turning your eggs approximately 5 or 7 times every day. There are automatic egg turners for this that can help.
Not turning your eggs enough will result in yolks sticking to the shell. These are just a few of the things that will lead your eggs not to hatch. If you have chicken eggs not hatching after 21 days, wait it out if they still look viable.
Hatching eggs is an exciting process that requires patience and passion. Temperature, humidity, and tools will help. A high-quality egg candler and an incubator will help you to understand your eggs and learn the hatching process better.