The aim of the present study was to assess the effects of exposing fertile chicken eggs to a cell phone repeatedly calling a ten-digit number at 3-min intervals over the entire period of incubation. A pre-experiment was performed first to adjust incubation conditions in an experimental chamber devoid of metallic content and without automatic turning until the overall performance of hatchability was reproducible in the absence of the cell phone. The experimental period consisted of a series of 4 incubations referred to as "replicates". For each replicate, one batch of 60 eggs was exposed to the immediate environment (<or= 25 cm) of a cell phone in the "call" position (exposed group), while another batch of 60 eggs, 1.5m away from the exposed group and also in the incubation chamber, was exposed to a similar cell phone in the "off" position (sham group). For each replicate, 2 other groups each of 60 eggs were also incubated, one in a standard mini-incubator ("Control I" group) and the second in a standard medium size incubator ("Control II" group). Temperature, relative humidity and electromagnetic fields in the experimental chamber were permanently monitored over the entire experiment. A significantly higher percentage of embryo mortality was observed in the "exposed" compared to the "sham" group in 2 of the 4 replicates (p< .05). In comparison with control groups, additional embryo mortality in the exposed group occurred mainly between Days 9 and 12 of incubation but a causal relationship between the intensity of the electric field and embryo mortality could not be established.