Use the ‘float test’ to check your eggs
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