Learn Everything About Checking Hatching Egg Viability

Learn Everything About Checking Hatching Egg Viability

Back in the old days before we got eggs conveniently packed in containers with expiration dates stamped on them, people had to figure out how to determine whether or not the eggs they were eating were in fact ripe enough to eat.

How long does it take for a chicken egg to hatch?

An egg hatching chicken will require 21 days to provide you with healthy chicks, but sometimes not all the eggs hatch right on the 21-day mark. Before technological breakthroughs occurred in the chicken hatching industry, farmers would be able to tell if an unhatched egg was too old to eat with a simple test.

Egg Test Basics: What Is The Float Test?

The same test farmers would utilize to tell if an egg was too old to eat applies to figuring out if the egg is going to hatch or not. This traditional approach comes in handy for farmers who are trying to incubate chicken eggs and want to make sure that none of the eggs go to waste.

The float test consists of a relatively simple procedure that you can take advantage of once day 23 or 24 has hit and your eggs have not hatched yet. This test ultimately allows you to determine whether or not the chicks inside the eggs are dead.

Egg Float after 25 days

First, you'll want to wait at least 21 days or till most of the eggs in a batch have fully hatched before you try to perform the float test. A good rule of thumb to follow would be to wait 24 hours until the final chick pops out of its shell and to also carefully observe the remaining unhatched eggs for any cracks or chips.

The last thing you need is to perform the float test with a cracked egg because the chick inside will drown, which defeats the purpose of incubating the egg in the first place.

After you make sure to wait the allotted time, all you have to do is to pour water into a container that's a temperature suitable enough for a baby to drink. This means you want the water to be warm to the point that you won't even notice a temperature difference when you place your hand on it.

To ensure extremely accurate results, you'll need to wait for the water to stop moving completely. Once the water is no longer moving, you can now remove the unhatched egg from the incubator with a spoon and continue to lower it into the container filled with water meticulously.

Float Test Results

One of two things will happen once you place the egg in the water, and one result will let you know if the egg will ever hatch and the other will let you know if the embryo never reached maturation.

For those whose egg ends up sinking to the bottom of the water filled container, the egg was most likely infertile from the beginning of the incubation period and will never hatch. On the other hand, if your egg ends up floating, you have to pay close attention to the floating pattern the egg creates.

Egg Died Early In the Incubation Period

If you observe your egg floating in a manner in which the large end is sticking above the water while the small end is pointing directly down, you can hands down call your egg a"yolker." The last thing you want is to call your egg such a name because it most likely died at an early stage of the incubation process.

For those who have eggs that float in an angle that's measuring almost 180 degrees, you have some good news because the chick inside the egg is guaranteed to be still alive. If the egg begins to move and float in the water on its own accord, that's a sure sign that there's a living chick inside that egg.

Once you figured out the stage of your unhatched egg, you'll have to carefully remove it out of the container and place it back in the incubator for about another two day period. Within that two-day time span, your egg will hatch so you can have more chicks from the batch than you once thought you had.

By completing the float test, you can determine and separate which eggs need to be eliminated and which are not going to hatch. You can quickly become an expert at finding out the difference between hatchable eggs and unhatched ones.

Understanding Chickens & Chick Hatching: How Live And Growing Embryo Should Look Like?

The egg hatching process typically takes 21 days, and within that 21-day span, the resulting chick goes through an intense development process that involves the chick starting out as an embryo.

Chicken egg candling is an artificial way to incubate eggs that determine its fertility, so you can easily find out if the eggs you're trying to incubate are fertile or infertile.

egg candling process to see the blood vesseles

During the first day of incubation using the egg candling process, you’ll observe that the embryo will advance to form a nervous system and the beginning of its head and eyes. The embryo will continue to form a heart and ears once the second day hits, so you can predict what happens as time progresses.

After two weeks pass by, the embryo will start to take the familiar form of the chick you expect to see hatch within 21 days. As you can tell, the chick hatching process isn't that complicated if you have the time and patience to deal with the intricate process.


Hopefully, after a brief look into how a chick embryo should develop and the basics involved in testing whether or not the chick inside the egg will actually hatch, you can now successfully incubate your eggs, not via the natural route but utilizing the artificial process of egg candling.

If you expose the eggs to the proper conditions that promote optimal incubation, you can rest assured that 100 percent of the eggs will hatch to mature chicks.

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