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Chicks Dying in the Shell during Hatching: Common Causes and Effective Solutions

There are several potential causes for the death of chicks during hatching. Here are some common factors that can contribute to chick mortality:

  1. Genetic or developmental abnormalities: Chicks with genetic or developmental abnormalities may not be able to complete the hatching process successfully or may have physical defects that prevent them from surviving.

  2. Temperature and humidity fluctuations: Incorrect temperature and humidity levels in the incubator can lead to embryo mortality. Fluctuations or extremes in temperature or humidity can disrupt the development of the chick or cause it to become weak and unable to hatch.

  3. Improper ventilation: Inadequate airflow in the incubator can result in a lack of oxygen and the accumulation of harmful gases, such as carbon dioxide. Insufficient oxygen levels can cause chick mortality.

  4. Contamination or infection: Bacterial or fungal contamination of the eggs or incubator can lead to infections that affect the developing embryos and result in their death.

  5. Rough handling or improper turning: Mishandling of the eggs during incubation or improper turning can cause physical damage to the developing chicks or disrupt their positioning inside the egg, making it difficult for them to hatch successfully.

  6. Poor nutrition: Inadequate nutrition of the parent birds or improper formulation of the incubation environment can result in weak or underdeveloped embryos that may not survive the hatching process.

  7. Inappropriate egg storage: Improper storage conditions for eggs before incubation, such as incorrect temperature or humidity levels, can lead to embryo mortality.

  8. Breeding issues: If there are genetic or health issues within the parent birds, such as poor fertility or low hatchability rates, it can increase the likelihood of dead-in-shell chicks.

It's essential to maintain optimal conditions during incubation, including proper temperature, humidity, ventilation, and cleanliness, to maximize the chances of successful hatching and minimize chick mortality. Consulting with experienced poultry breeders or veterinarians can provide further guidance on improving hatch rates and reducing dead-in-shell chicks. To learn more about egg incubation, Read this egg incubation guide.

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