Do Thunderstorms Kill Chicken Eggs? (Myths Busted)

Thunderstorms don’t kill chicken eggs, as beginner chicken keepers tend to think. Thunderstorms also don’t affect the hatch rates of incubated eggs. The view that thunderstorms kill chicken eggs is a myth and a misconception and has been refuted by multiple studies.

The only way thunderstorms can affect the hatch rate in your hens is by frightening the hens, prompting them to leave their hatching nests.  The eggs will still hatch once the hens return to their nest, although this will only delay the hatching period.

Does Weather Affect Hatching Eggs?

Yes, weather can adversely affect hatching eggs in many ways.  High temperatures that exceed over 97 °F (37 °C) can ruin the hatching eggs by making the eggs hatch early. Such chicks are highly lethargic and weak, and their immune system is weak too.

Cold weather also affects hatching eggs. Freezing temperatures make the eggs take longer to hatch.  Freezing temperatures can affect the internal structures of eggs, which makes the eggs unlikely to hatch in the appropriate time.

Why do Chicks Die in Their Shell?

Chicks will likely die in their shells for various reasons and depending on the hatching environment. For instance, chickens can die in their shells if there are high temperatures during the incubation process.

There are many other reasons why chickens can die in their shells. Some of the reasons for chickens dying in their shells include.

– Temperature and Humidity

Whether you want your chickens to hatch in the coop or an incubator, having the wrong hatching temperatures will ultimately kill your baby chicks before they hatch. Your chicks’ hatching temperature needs to be around 96 degrees Fahrenheit for the chicks to hatch effectively.

Humidity levels can also make chicks die in their shells.  Too much humidity levels in your incubating area can lead to egg moisture, which can destroy your eggs during your chickens’ incubation period. The proper humidity levels for hens before they hatch their eggs should be at least between 58 and 60 degrees Farheight.

Infections or Salmonella

Infections and Salmonella can also cause chicks to die in their shells. Diseases that result from a vitamin B deficiency, for example, can make your chicks die in their shells.

Vitamin B deficiency can also prevent your hens from hatching effectively. There are also several malformations in hens that lack a sufficient supply of vitamin B in their regular diet. Such hens can’t hatch properly, and their eggs will always have defects, unlike hens that get an adequate supply of vitamin B.

Salmonella is another condition that makes your chicks die in their shells. Salmonella is pretty common in chicks and young adults. It is also prevalent on hens, making the hens have a poor laying and hatching pattern.

The symptoms of Salmonella make your hen weak, preventing them from spending most of their time in their incubating nests. The hens will hatch weakling chicks if they are fortunate to hatch any chicks. The chicks will be likely to die in their shells if your hatching hens are suffering from Salmonella.

The best way to stop your hatching hens from contacting Salmonella is by preventing rodents, including rats, from entering the chicken coop. Clean the chicken droppings since droppings can make the healthy members of your chickens’ flock vulnerable to Salmonella, thus hindering the eggs in their chicks from dying in their shells.

– Lack of Nutrition

Lack of proper nutrition can also make chicks die in their shells. When chicks die in their shells, hens likely didn’t have a good diet at hatching. As a result of the improper diet, the hens won’t have enough nutrition to feed their embryos.

Chicken owners need to know the proper nutrition to feed their hatching hens to prevent the chicks in their eggs from dying before hatching. Check some of the excellent minerals to provide to your hatching eggs to stop the chicks in the eggs from dying in their shells.

  • Calcium-Calcium is essential for proper egg development and hatching. Seafood, such as oysters, are some of the excellent calcium-rich sources for hatching hens. Feed your hatching hens with the shells of their eggs to supplement their diet with calcium to supplement their diet and lower their chicks from dying in their shells.
  • Vitamins –Feeding your hatching hens with vitamins is essential in helping them hatch their eggs properly. Vitamins will also help your hens maintain a robust immune system since hens eat pretty little during the hatching process. Good development in your hens’ eggs will reduce the chances of the chicks dying in their shells.
  • Protein-Protein is essential for both egg-laying and hatching hens. Your hatching hens will eat little if your hens eat plenty of protein-rich foods. Meaning, they will have to stick to their nests most of the time, which lowers the risks of their chicks dying in their eggshells.

– Chorioallantois

Chorioallantois is a condition that affects the embryonic development process in chickens and other poultry eggs. This condition can make your hens lay rotten eggs that won’t hatch. Even when the eggs hatch, the chicks in the eggs will be dead.

Calling a vet regularly will help your hens from contacting this highly contagious poultry disease. The vet will immunize your hens against this disease, making them less susceptible to laying eggs with dead chicks.

– Dehydration

Dehydration is also a common issue that makes chickens hatch dead chicks. Low humidity and high temperature will cause dehydration in the eggs of your hatching hens. Provide your hatching hens with plenty of water to prevent any occurrence of your hens hatching dead chicks due to dehydration.

The water you provide to your chickens needs to be 100% clean, lest you risk infecting your hens with Salmonella and other conditions that will make the hens hatch dead chicks.


The possibility of thunderstorms killing your chicken eggs is relatively minimal during the hatching process. Nonetheless, several factors can make your hens hatch dead chicks. Strive to prevent anything that will prompt your hatching hens from hatching dead chicks.

avatar James
Hey, I'm James, a hardworking homesteader for more than 30 years. I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment that comes from tending my flock. I've raised chickens and ducks for eggs and meat for many years. I also have experience with other poultry too. Learn more

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