21-day Eggciting Adventure: Day 19 & 20

Welcome Back Goat Life Farmer's!

The Chicks are starting to Pipp! We shall meet them soon.. So Eggciting!!


The final stages - pipping to hatching.

This is it - the moment you've been waiting for! Don't expect it all to happen quickly, or exactly 'on time' though - the chick will decide for herself when she's ready.

Chicken embryo at days 20 and 21.

What's going on behind the shell?

  • On day 20 the yolk finishes being absorbed fully into the chick. This is what makes it possible for hatchlings to be able to survive without food or water for several hours. 
  • The beak is poised to start pecking through the shell and, apart from the air cell, the embryo is completely filling the egg. 
  • As the 'egg tooth' starts to penetrate the membrane, the lungs are fully working and breathe in that all-important air from the air cell.

Here's the final view of what the embryo would look like if you opened the egg now. 

Inside a hatching egg at day 20.

Day 20 : Let pipping begin!  

The egg hasn't been candled now for three days in order to allow the chick move into the proper position for hatching, so the first outward sign we see will be a tiny crack on the surface of the eggshell.

This can happen earlier for bantam eggs, and later for large breeds.

In The Egg 

Day 19: Acceleration of vitellus resorption. The beak is against the inner shell membrane, ready to pierce it.

Day 20: Vitellus fully resorbed; closing of the umbilicus. The chick pierces the inner shell membrane and breathes in the air cell. Gas exchanges occur through the shell, which is porous. The chick is ready to hatch. Piercing of the shell begins.