My hen's egg did not hatch after 21 days in incubator.. What is wrong with the incubator?

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When i opened the eggs, the chicks are all dead. Their body is almost complete, with beaks, feet, feathers..I think they are about to hatch in 2 days time before the died, I assume more
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I would bet that it has to do with a very overlooked issue with incubation. This is the fact that chicks, at around five days before hatching, are actually breathing. They put their beak into the air sack in the egg and breath.

Turning an egg at this point is a big no. This is well known for duck eggs, but for some reason is overlooked in chickens. Turning after this point means that they have to reposition, or the air bubble will move on them and they'll suffocate. (air is absorbed into the shell through little pores through the entire incubation process).

The other factor in their breathing is that they are usually locked into a rather well sealed box, especially with still air incubators. These boxes are sealed to keep the heat in, but then when the oxygen levels are vital, there's no air. So, they can suffer oxygen depletion.

Ask yourself, would you stuff eight hatched chicks into that box and seal it? If not, then there isn't enough oxygen for chicks who are about to hatch. They start breathing several days before they hatch (and you can tell this by the fact that they'll even chirp in the shell several days before they hatch, or by candling which will show the beak poked into the air hole).

So, about five days before hatching, Stop turning. And open the incubator several times a day to let in some air.

Sorry for your loss, and hope this helps for future babies.

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Thanks so much..i think that might be the reason..
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  • Just Q answered 7 years ago
    I recently went through this myself and it sure is disheartening.
    I don't have hens that seem to want to sit so I gathered up eggs in stages and gave them to a friend to incubate.
    All in all I gave this guy 55 eggs and not many of them were fertile(my friend candles them halfway through the incubation period). We ended up with 8 fertile eggs. . . I was on pins and needles and could not wait for the day of hatching.
    All in all I only ended up with 2 chicks out of 8 fertile eggs that hatched. . . . some of the others were like yours and were fully developed but did not hatch.
    I could not understand why this guy didn't go ahead and help the these eggs to hatch on the same day the others hatched but he has 100's of birds. . .doves,pigeons and show Bantam's and he tells me that helping them hatch when the chick hasn't even tried to peck the shell open is useless and that the chick would not survive. I trust him to know because he has been doing this for over 30yrs.
    All the while I waited for these eggs to be candled and to be incubated this man kept telling me to not count my chickens until they hatch and this is the very reason for this saying. . . .Though fertile,though developed some chicks just don't make it for one reason or another. . . .Sorry,but keep trying.

    Make sure that your incubator has it's accurate heat,enough moisture (don't forget to refill the water tray with distilled water) and make sure that the eggs are turned atleast twice a day until the last 2 days of incubation as the chick has to get itself in a postion for pecking out of the shell and to continue to turn them these last 2 days in the incubator trays will not allow the chick to position itself like it needs to.
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  • hickchick210 answered 7 years ago
    It can be many things, but chances are the babies tried to hatch, but were to weak to get themselves out.
    You probably should have given them a few more days, that could have helped too.

    I had a full grown chick die when i first started hatching. It wobbled around in the egg, but never came out. I waited to long to take it out of the egg myself.
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  • Trishia answered 7 years ago
    There is a lot of factors that can play into this. Was the humidity correct, was the heat set at the right temp. what kind of incubator you have determines the temperature. Here is a webpage that will help you determine what you did and didn't do. eggs should be turned odd numbers of times each day
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  • hannah e answered 7 years ago
    maybe they were sick
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