Use the ‘float test’ to check your eggs

Your Chickens - - Ask Our Experts -

QI have found a hen who has been sit­ting on a se­cret nest, I think, for at least three weeks. She has nine eggs but none of them seem to be show­ing any signs of life; there is no cheep­ing in the shells. How can I test them?

AChar­lotte Popescu says: You can do the float­ing test on these eggs. Fill a deep bowl with wa­ter. Test each egg by plac­ing it in the bowl. If it sinks to the bot­tom and lies there, then the egg is un­likely to have a live chick in it; if it rises to the sur­face and bobs around then this is a good sign and there should be a vi­able chick in­side. But if the egg is a high floater with about 45% above the wa­ter then this is a dud with no de­vel­op­ment. The egg needs to be a low floater with about 10 to 15% above the wa­ter line (this is the small air cell that floats just above the wa­ter). Ob­vi­ously if an egg is cracked or has been pipped (ie a chick has cracked open the shell) then you shouldn’t put the egg into wa­ter or you will drown the chick

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