Dead-in-Shell / Embryo Mortality

Incubation procedures ... Breeding Challenges

Useful Information: Breeders" sources ... Egg Incubation - pdf format ... Incubation information (html)


Causes ... Signs the Deficiency in the Embryo Nutrient

Unsuccessful hatches can be led to by infertile egg or embryo mortality. Every of these problems can it is in diagnosed by Candling Eggs. (Please additionally consider this alternative an approach to check for embryo mortality.) that is vital to research eggs that do not flower to calculation whether infertility or embryo death is the basis because that hatch failure.

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Also the interest:


Embryo death predominately wake up at 2 periods during incubation:

within the first 3 job of incubation - early on embryo death occurs during formation of embryonic organs.within the last 3 days automatically before a hatch. 

Common Causes:

Bacterial or viral infection (sanitary and dry environment will assist prevent this)Contaminated through hands together eggs are handled (turned or candled).Dead or infertile eggs that space spoiling and also are left inside the incubator in near proximity through viable eggs.Shaking / Vibrations in the at an early stage stages will kill any type of chick within the egg; at the later stage, it can an outcome in crippled chicksHatchability requires specific humidity and also temperature levels. Please follow the accuse of the incubator the you are working with.Egg being chilled (interruption that incubation process)Dehydration (misting the eggs with heat water may help)Death automatically before a hatch occurs throughout the transition between life in one egg to life on the outside. The chick deserve to have an obstacle positioning for pipping, taking in the yolk sac, or changing to breath air. Sometimes humidity manage can it is in implicated.Special Note about Duck / Goose Eggs: Dave Holderread in his book, "Storey"s guide to raising DUCKS" recommends the duck / goose egg be pce or sprinkled with warm water to stop the egg membrane from dry out and also becoming hard during the hatch (potentially bring about "dead-in-shells). He recommends spraying or sprinkling these eggs with heat water (about 100 degree Fahrenheit) once each day from job 4 come 26. In nature, the hen will get off the eggs and into the water at the very least once a day to feed and drink. She will certainly then go back to the nest and continue to brood the eggs with her wet plumage - naturally wetting down the eggs. 

Incubation difficulties / Failures


No chicks hatched / chick fatality at late stage of development

Possible Causes

Considerably incorrect incubator setups either through break down or untrue settings - flower temperature and also humidity need to be various from the incubation temperature and humidity. The adjust should be made everywhere from a main to 3 days prior to the expected hatch day (basic incubators need to manually adjusted, while the more sophisticated models deserve to be collection to make changes automatically).

Humidity: If the humidity is as well high the chick could drown within the waiting cell. If the chick does survive, the hatching chick watch swollen and also too huge for the covering - the is indication the the humidity was too high transparent the incubation period, and also the chick did no lose sufficient weight throughout incubation. Also if the humidity was as well high throughout incubation, the chick will certainly still require maximum humidity for hatching.

If the humidity is come dry, the chicks gain "shrink-wrapped" by the membrane, i beg your pardon dries out and turns difficult - staying clear of the chicks from rotating in the shell. If the humidity is also low throughout any part of the incubation period, this can result in chick fatality at any kind of stage of its development.

Temperature: One temperature spike is i can not qualify to death a occurring chick. That takes much more than a couple of minutes at a greater temperature 보다 normal before a chick is killed. If you had actually other egg in the incubator the hatched v the egg that didn"t, this trouble can most likely be ruled out (although some basic incubators may have "hot spots" or "cool spots" -- depending upon air circulation within the incubator.

If the chick hatches very early - that is indication the the temperature was also high throughout incubation. If the chick is hatching also late, the is a sign that the temperature was also low or the egg obtained chilled during incubation.

Egg Turning: During the incubation period, eggs need to be turned numerous times a day. However, the critical 3 days before hatching, the chick is fully formed and, at this stage, is in the procedure of soaking up egg yolk into the abdomen (for nutrition). If the handler proceeds to turn the egg in ~ this stage, the yolk sac can end up being twisted potentially preventing absorption of the yolk and also starvation or at least weakening the the chick. Also, break out will certainly be more complicated if the yolk components have no been absorbed.

If the egg has actually been turned like all the other eggs, then transforming can also be rule out.

Calcium Surplus: Too lot calcium in the mom hen"s diet can result in thick-shelled egg shells, i m sorry will prevent chicks from hatching. Generally one deserve to tell if over there is too lot calcium, if the egg shell isn"t smooth. One deserve to see irregular bump on the surface.

Over taking care of of the eggs: Skin oils avoid oxygen from getting into the egg causing suffocation that the chick, as the oil blocks the pores. One way to phone call if this is the difficulty is if the surface ar of the egg looks glossy.

Lethal Gene: part breeds lug "lethal" genes, an especially if related birds room bred.


Candle the eggs to evaluate fertility and also conditionVerify the setups of the incubator -- specifically the temperatureReduce the humidity inside the incubator somewhat

Dead-in-Shell Observations, Causes and also Solutions


Chick fatality at any type of stagePossible CausesInfection: either the incubator is contaminated or the egg itself to be contaminated outside. Darkening about the yolk sack and a foul smell would support an infection. Chick death can occur during the incubation or also several days after hatching.SolutionsDisinfect the incubator


Chicks hatch earlier than expectedDeformed chicken hatchPossible CausesIncubation temperature also highSolutionsReduce the incubation temperature somewhat (0.5° C)


Chicks hatch later on than expectedPossible CausesIncubation temperature as well lowSolutionsIncrease the incubation temperature somewhat (0.5° C)


Hatching times much apartPossible CausesDifferent advance phases based upon differing storage durations or fluctuations of the incubation temperatureSolutionsLimit the moment storage durations of the eggsEnsure a steady incubation period -- avoid straight sun exposure i beg your pardon would boost the temperature inside the incubator; ensure stable room temperature


Generally bad resultsPossible CausesIncorrect incubation settingsPoor health of the parentsInsufficient transforming of the eggsSolutionsCorrect the incubation settingsImprove the health of the parentsAnalyze the weight loss that the egg to evaluate the optimal humidity levelsTurn eggs an ext frequently (if automatically egg turning - for sure it"s functioning) 

Nutritional Deficiencies:

Depending ~ above the level of malnutrition, either death or physical symptoms will certainly occur. Please describe the below:

Nutrient and also Deficiency Signs:

Vitamin A: Death at about 48 hours of incubation from fail to develop the circulatory system; abnormalities the kidneys, eyes and skeleton

Vitamin D: death at about 18 or 19 work of incubation, with malpositions, soft bones, and with a defectiveupper mine prominent.

Vitamin E: Early death at around 84 to 96 hrs of incubation, with hemorrhaging and circulatory failure(implicated v selenium).

Thiamin: High embryonic mortality during emergence but no apparent symptoms various other than polyneuritis inthose the survive.

Riboflavin (Vitamin B2): Mortality peaks in ~ 60 hours, 14 days, and 20 days of incubation, through peaks prominent beforehand asdeficiency becomes severe. Changed limb and also beak development, dwarfism and clubbing ofdown are defects expressed by embryo.

Niacin: Embryo readily synthesizes sufficient niacin native tryptophan. Assorted bone and beak malformationsoccur when details antagonists are administered during incubation.

Biotin: High death rate in ~ 19 days to 21 days of incubation, parrot beak, chondrodystrophy, severalskeletal deformities and also webbing between the toes. Perosis.

Pantothenic acid: Deaths show up around 14 work of incubation, return marginal level may delay problems untilemergence. Change subcutaneous hemorrhaging and edema; wirey down in poults.

Pyridoxine: beforehand embryonic mortality based upon antivitamin use.

Folic acid: Mortality at around 20 job of incubation. The dead generally appear normal, but many havebent tibiotarsus (long leg bone), syndactyly (fused toes) and also beak malformations. In poults, mortality in ~ 26 days come 28days of incubation with abnormalities of extremities and also circulatory system.

Vitamin B12 : Mortality at about 20 work of incubation, through atrophy the legs, edema, hemorrhaging, fattyorgans, and head between thighs malposition.

Manganese : Deaths optimal prior to emergence. Chondrodystrophy, dwarfism, long bone shortening, headmalformations, edema, and abnormal feathering room prominent. Perosis.

Zinc: Deaths before emergence, and the appearance of rumplessness, depletion the vertebral column,eyes underdeveloped and limbs missing.

Iodine : Prolongation of hatching time, diminished thyroid size, and also incomplete ab closure.

Iron: short hematocrit; short blood hemoglobin; poor extra-embryonic circulation in candled eggs.

Source / Reference:


Kate Ison supplies an "easier and also less intrusive means to discover out if the embryo in a cold and also neglected egg is dead or alive:"

To discover out if the embryo in a cold and also neglected egg is dead or alive:

IMPORTANT: warm the egg to brooder temperature first. As lengthy as you room sure the egg hasn"t pipped externally (if it has actually just pipped internally the wont damage it). Gently location the egg in a tiny but deep key of water at 100 F for up to 20 seconds.

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Note: Any far-reaching temperature change the egg is exposed come is likely to ache the occurring chick. Therefore, the temperature the the water is really important!

If the embryo is still lively the egg will bob up and also down and generally wobble around, take it it out and also dry the on a organization or the chick could come to be chilled, put it earlier in the brooder. It will not harm the chick and may in part cases assist a chick in problem to at some point get out. It reasons no shock to an embryo and also presents no peril of the chick bleeding to death or becoming dehydrated or infected together it sits in an open egg wait for the blood vessels to recede.

Species research study by Sibylle Johnson