Chicken Eggs Not Hatching After 24 Days, (6 Things To Do)

Hatching chicken eggs is an exciting experience, the anticipation will slowly build as your egg incubates for 21 days (this can seem like forever), and then, a chick will finally break through the egg and you’ll meet your new chick.

But what happens if the chick doesn’t hatch for 21, 22, 23, or even 24 days? What do you do, and why does this happen? This article looks into it 

If an egg has not hatched after 24 days of incubation you may need to pip the egg, candle the egg or, hatch the egg yourself depending on your level of skill.

Chicken eggs not hatching after 24 days, what to do:  

If you’ve been waiting for your eggs to hatch for 24 days, you may start to worry, I would too. Eggs not hatching after 24 days is not usual but don’t worry, this doesn’t always spell disaster.

Here are a few things to do if you find yourself in this situation:  

Stay patient:

Not all chicks hatch at the same time, some chicks will hatch at the 21-day mark and others will need more time to make their way out of the shell. Some chicks will only hatch on day 25. Allowing the egg to incubate for 25 days may be best for it 

Check your temperature settings:

Your incubator’s temperature can cause your chicks to hatch later than expected. If the temperature in your incubator is set to lower than 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit (37.5 degrees Celsius) then the chicks may take longer to hatch. Check that this isn’t the case with your incubator

Checking if the egg is viable:

Candling will help you see inside the egg without damaging it. Candling the egg will help you figure out if your egg is viable or not.

Candling involves shining a light behind the egg, while in a dark room, so you can see inside. A viable egg will contain a fully formed chick.

You can also check if the egg is viable by placing the egg in some warm water and watching for movement. Movement means that your bird is alive in the egg and is responding to outside stimulants.

This article is a more in-depth guide on how to check if your chick is alive in the egg or not.

Pip the air sack:

Pipping the air sack will help you see inside the egg. You’d need to pip the egg (using a sharp steak knife) at the air sack, the air sac is at the blunt side of the egg.

After this, gently peel a small area of the shell (using tweezers) so you can see inside. Peel the shell but do not break the membrane.

Apply a warm drop of water to the membrane.

You can now look inside the egg to see if the chick has actually formed and whether it is alive or not. The presence of veins means that the bird is simply not ready to hatch.

Put the egg back in the incubator after this. 

Hatching the egg yourself:

Helping the chick out of the egg can be risky especially if you’re not sure of what you’re doing. If you’re not sure of what you’re doing, you can harm the chick and possibly kill it.

However, if you do know what you’re doing, then helping the chick hatch may save it. One instance where helping the chick hatch would be helpful is if the membrane has dried on the chick and the bird can’t remove it and hatch on its own. 

Toss the eggs:

If you’re concerned about the eggs exploding, you may want to toss the eggs. If there is a rotten smell on the eggs, then you should be worried.

Sulfur gas is what you’ll smell if the eggs are rotten, the smell of nitrogen is normal, this is simply waste. Leaving eggs that smell like sulfur, in an incubator, can result in an explosion.

Some eggs will simply not hatch because of a genetic issue, certain genetic issues will stop eggs from developing. If you’ve set your incubator up well and the eggs don’t hatch past day 25 then this can be the case. Or, you may just have some bad luck.


In conclusion, while it isn’t normal for eggs to not hatch 24 days into incubation, this can sometimes happen.

Reasons why your egg is not hatching in good time may be that the egg simply needs more time to hatch, that your incubator’s temperature is set too low, or that the egg is dead. You can check the egg by candling it, floating it, or pipping it. 

If you enjoyed this article then you may also be interested in other chicken related articles. Here are some articles that you may be interested in: Chick Egg Pipped 24 Hours Ago, Chicken Laying On Side, Can’t Walk, Baby Chick Not Growing?

Chicken Eggs Not Hatching After 24 Days, (6 Things To Do)
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