how long after pipping should they be out?

amiz5904(z8 NC)November 9, 2005

My eggs started peeping yesterday and pipping this morning. How long before I should see them emerging?

This is my first time incubating on my own (usually I let the hens do it) - this is so exciting!

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ncflowerpower(z8 NE NC)

It seems to take FOREVER!! LOL I'm thinking it's about 24 hours. We always make sure there is consistant progress, that the eggs are not drying out and the babies getting stuck inside. Hopefully someone will have better info for you. Congratulations! I love my incubater and chicks.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2005 at 9:48AM
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amiz5904(z8 NC)

Now I'm worried. I have one of those little styrofoam incubators, so I don't know if there's enough humidity. Two have hatched so far - it's been about 5 hours and they still aren't fluffed out. Shouldn't they be by now? Which makes me worry that the conditions in the incubator aren't ideal. I have sifted through my chicken books but can't seem to find an answer. HELP!!

    Bookmark   November 9, 2005 at 1:26PM
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There should be enouph humidity if they are still wet after five hours. Sometimes it takes a full 12+ hours to get dry if there are other eggs in still not hatched. You can always drip a few drops down the air holes if you are worried its getting too dry. Or open both holes to dry out a bit, even slightly opening one side to let humidity out for a half second. Too much humidity= wet looking but dry chicks that don't fluff out nice. Its ok but you need to make sure its not yolk all over their bodies, which contains alot of bacteria (check tomorrow).

    Bookmark   November 9, 2005 at 8:34PM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

Congrats! :) Be patient, don't panic, and resist the temptation to open the incubator too often or for too long. It's VERY hard to do this, I know! It can take anywhere from an hour up to a day for a pipped egg to hatch. Some will pip a bit and then stop for a long time, then finish up all at once in the space of a few minutes. Some will consistently pip until they pop out, within an hour. And anywhere in between.

It can take many hours for the chicks to fluff out, up to overnight. It naturally takes longer for them to fluff out in an incubator because they aren't under a warm, fluffy mama hen (who's feathers naturally act like a towel to dry the chicks). I remove chicks to the brooder box when they have fluffed out and are strong enough to walk around. You'll kind of know, because they will be bulldozing the other freshly hatched chicks and pipping eggs. It can get kind of brutal, actually. *L* I do like to leave at least one chick in the incubator, I think the chick peeping, flopping around and moving the eggs helps stimulate the others into hatching.

Keep talking to the hatching eggs in a low, excited tone, it gets them used to your voice and helps them bond to you, and encourages them to hatch.

How many eggs do you have? If you click on my 'My Page' link, there is tons of chicken info there that may help you. :)

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   November 9, 2005 at 10:25PM
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amiz5904(z8 NC)

Thank you Velvet for your words of wisdom! This has been nerve wracking and exciting all at one time.

I have 24 eggs (the broody hen that was on them for the first week was not very consistent so I doubt I'll get a good hatch). Anyway, as of this morning I have 5 hatched and 1 pipping. The first one hatched yesterday morning and you're right - they are not fluffy like the ones peeking out under momma hen. Mother nature really does it best.

Well, thank you again - I'll resist trying to peel them out. Is there a time frame where you would go ahead and help? For example if they pipped over 24 hours ago and still no chick?


    Bookmark   November 10, 2005 at 7:16AM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

If they pipped 24 hours ago and still no chick, I'd assist a bit if the chick seems exhausted or is still with no peeping. Check the internet for sites on how to assist a hatching egg for more pointers. Gently peel the shell around the pipped area, if it is not wet and bloody go ahead and clear an area around the chicks' beak and face and let it try to get out the rest of the way by itself. You may have to peel even more, do it quickly, calmly and gently, and return it to the incubator before it can dry out and get stuck. There is a fine line between jumping in too soon--if the chick is still OK and the inside of the shell is wet and bloody--and waiting too long and having a dead chick. If you really think the chick is in distress and would die otherwise, go ahead and help. I had a RIR/Americaunas chick do that to me two years ago, it was a huge chick in a huge egg. She was the first egg to pip and the last to hatch, and I had to help her out. Today her name is Bear (due to her enormous size at hatch *L*) and she is the Head Hen of the flock. :)

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   November 10, 2005 at 2:24PM
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Very good info here, Thanks. My first batch of incubated eggs are starting to pip. The first chick was at day 18 late ??? Still had yolk sack ( fatal ) the second day 19 chick seems ok but weak and after 6 hrs still not walking. What is the normal time before a chick is strong enough to walk and eat drink ect...... Thanks !!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2006 at 1:24PM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

The normal incubation period for chicken eggs is 21 days--hatching at 18 or 19 days is too soon, and usually indicates too high of a temperature in the incubator or some other issue. Chicks that hatch too early or too late invariably have health problems or tend to do poorly.

It can take up to 12 hours in the incubator after the actual hatch before a chick dries out and is strong enough to stand--hatching is VERY hard work! The chick absorbs the last of the egg yolk right before hatch and it sustains them for days--typically the chick doesn't eat or drink for up to three days after hatch--so don't panic. Once they are out of the incubator and in the brooder, help them along by dabbling your fingers in the food and water while calling 'chick-chick-chick' or even dipping the chicks' beak (gently!) into the water to give it the idea. But don't panic and don't rush it, chicks are very clever--when one learns where the food and water is, the others learn by watching it--and they catch on quickly. :)

If you click on my 'My Page' link, there is a link there to my chick info page which has tons more information.

Good luck and enjoy the chicks! :)

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   June 9, 2006 at 10:47PM
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Day 23 will be tomorrow and only 3 were pipping when I left school today. How long do I wait until I either help them out or dispose of them?

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 6:16PM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

I give my eggs three days beyond the 'Hatch Date' to catch any stragglers. The time from pipping to hatching can be anywhere from 15 minutes to 12 hours, depending on the chick.

Knowing WHEN to help a chick hatch is tricky--too soon and the inside of the shell will be very wet and bloody, and the chick may not survive if it comes out too soon. Too LATE, and the chick can dry out and stick to the shell, where it can't break out and dies in the shell. If I suspect a chick is in trouble--say it has pipped 12 hours ago and it's peeping and movement is getting weaker--I will break a small amount of the shell away from it's beak area and take a peek inside the shell to evaluate how wet or dry it is.

If the chick appears ready and the inside is fairly dry, I'll break a bit of the shell from around it's head--chicks generally turn in the shell just before hatch so that their head is at the large end of the shell, then as they hatch, they rotate inside the shell and pip a line around the circumference of the large end of the shell, then kick free. If the chick seems too weak to hatch, I'll gently break the shell in this line, but leave the shell on and return it to the incubator, so that the chick can hatch as naturally as possible on it's own.

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 8:10PM
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My chicks hatched yesterday!! But one is not doing so well. It came out but is just laying there and when I picked it up I noticed it was deformed and couldn't stand on it's own. How can I help it? If at all? Also, if the chicks are not dry yet when do you take them out of the incubator before they need food?

    Bookmark   May 15, 2008 at 1:17PM
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sullicorbitt(z5 MA)

Wait and see if the chick can recover, chicks should be dry before removing them from the incubator. They can go w/out food and water for 36 hours or more after hatch. I always remove mine to the brooder when dry and offer food and water then.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2008 at 9:01AM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

Is there any chance that you could fix the chick using a chick shoe? Chicks are quite rubbery at first and now is the time to make a splint for the leg/feet. If it can move it's toes or grasp with them, it's worth a shot--splints often can fix a chick in just a few days of wearing it. Here's how to make one:

As Sheila said, leave them in the incubator until they are dry and fluffy (meanwhile they'll charge around bashing into the other eggs and helping to stimulate them to hatch), and don't worry if it takes them hours or an entire day to start eating and drinking--they absorb the last of the yolk just before hatching, so they are set for a while for nutrients. You can help by tapping a finger in the food and water to draw attention to it, while make your 'chick-chick-chick' call.

Congrats on the chicks! :)

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   May 17, 2008 at 12:53PM
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we had one chick hatch at 11 last night and another had a pip, the one with the pip has made little progress, just pokes its beak out and peeps here or there. At what point should we help it?
the one that hatched is still wobbly, we took it out of the incubator to give it a little water and put it back in as it is warm and the other eggs seem to peep when they hear this one. when will the hatched chick be stronger or whould be worry, it has been about 10 hours.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 9:31AM
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I have chicks hatching as we speak and a few are struggling. I am apprehesive about aiding them along because of prvious failed attempts.
Do you think its better to let nature take its course?

Thanks for the information

    Bookmark   April 13, 2009 at 3:42PM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

irishdave, read the advice in this thread--it still holds! :) Hatching is a trying and nerve-wracking time for we humans...

Chicks WILL struggle mightily to escape their egg, it looks awful. I assume yours are in an incubator? If so, talk to them and encourage them, they'll respond by kicking up a fuss and peeping, then they'll rest for a bit. The time to help a bit comes when the chick is obviously losing strength after MANY hours of attempting to free itself from the egg and is weak and it's peeping is infrequent and weak. I've had chicks I had to help a little, I just removed enough shell by their heads and feet so that they could easily finish on their own, then replaced the egg in the incubator for the chick to emerge on it's own. That way the chick wouldn't dry out too soon.

So if the chick is strong and energetic, leave it be. If it has been many hours and it's weak, help it a bit and put it back.

Good luck and enjoy the chicks! :)

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 4:28AM
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I've had 2 eggs hatch so far. The first needed assistance yesterday morning after many hours of trying to get out. The second hatched on it's on later in the day. The first is fluffy but can not seem to walk, it simply can't balance itself. It also has something still attached to it. The second has not fluffed up yet and doesn't really try to get up much. Should I be concerned about these chick and if so is there anything I can do for them? Thanks

    Bookmark   June 20, 2009 at 12:06PM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

I'd leave them be. It takes many hours for them to dry out in an incubator and fluff up. They'll be weak and very wobbley at first, too. They'll get stronger and more sure on their feet as time goes on. The only time to worry is if they have splayed legs or curled toes--but chicks are very rubbery when they hatch, so lots of things straighten out in the first day.

Just give them time. :)

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   June 20, 2009 at 2:18PM
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From reading somewhere on the internet I think it said that it can take up to 40 hours from pip to full hatch out of the egg. that is close to 48 hours or two full days.

It also said to NOT OPEN the incubator during this period. Leave it shut until all eggs are hatched and then open it up and take ALL the chicks out.

I now think this is good advice.

There is no sense in taking one out and putting it back in because it really does not eat for 3 days. It is not ready for food and water. So leave it in the warmth of the hatcher or incubator. Try to keep the humidity high when hatching.

The last 3 days the temp can go down a very small amount and the humidity should go up some.

The chick that is in the process of hatching is absorbing the egg yoke and has plenty of energy from that. It should last 3 days. So try to relax and go to work and come back home and see how they are doing.

Do not open the incubator because it will chill the egg and chick inside the egg. That is not good for the chick. So keep your hands off the incubator and go watch TV or do some work around the house and let the chick stay warm and absorbe the egg yoke and GROW.

Remember give the chick up to 40 hours before assisting the chick from getting out of the egg.

The problem with small incubators is that the temp is different around the incubator. for example it is usually warmer in the center and cooler around the edges. The chick thus hatch differently or at different times. Do not chill the chicks. keep hands off. and most importantly.


    Bookmark   June 20, 2009 at 10:40PM
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It's tempting to want to remove too much of the shell to help a chick or duckling out. Remove only enough to free the beak or bill but stop the moment you notice the membrane appearing to bleed even slightly. I've lost several years back to this. The chick or duckling must remain in the shell long enough to absorb the yolk sac. You can dab a little warm water from a q-tip on the membrane to prevent it from drying out. Try though to leave the incubator closed though for another few hours before checking again. If you must chip away at the shell only do 2 or 3 pieces then stop for an hour.
Nature can be cruel in what does and doesn't make it. We have one 11 year old duck that was helped by a friend out of it's shell and it turned out to be very deformed and unable to ever walk. It ended up purely a pet that gets tons of attention/TLC,loves to swim,and can't live out with the other ducks for obvious reasons. Messing with nature can sometimes end up to be a long commitment but still a rewarding one. Good luck.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2009 at 11:28PM
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hi i found this thread on the net and became a member strait away!, ive got 15 eggs in the inky and am on day 19, im def sure of this,as i have everything written down. i noticed before a chirping out f the inky and one of them is pipping already. the other eggs are quiet. i can also hear moving about scratching sounds in there. i think its just the one egg at the min. topped up the water and dampend sponges quickly, then replaced the lid. do you think all is ok or is something wrong poss. thanx and hello!!!

    Bookmark   April 5, 2010 at 10:32AM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

Usually the cause of early hatching is that the temperature during the 3 week period was a bit too high on average. It can be difficult to maintain an even room temperature during incubation, so the incubator in turn can fluctuate more than it should, they can be fussy. I had one of my last batch of chicks hatch out on day 19 also and he's just fine. :) The others hatched a couple on day 20, and most of the rest on day 21. Now they are all 5 weeks old and doing great, no ill effects from being a tad early with the early birds (sorry).

Just don't rush it and keep the chick in the incubator as long as possible--opening it right now may endanger the other eggs. Chicks absorb the last of the yolk just before hatch and this can sustain them for up to three days after hatch, so don't worry about him needing to eat or drink within a day or so if he DOES come out early. Keep us posted on the hatch!

Don't panic, trust in Mother Nature and the egg. They've been doing it longer than we have! :)

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   April 6, 2010 at 5:14AM
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I opened one of my eggs since it was on day 25 of incubation. I thought it would be dead, but it was bloody and moving and hadn't absorbed the yolk sac. I put the egg back in the incubator. What should I do? Keep waiting for the other eggs to open themselves? Will the one I opened survive? HELP!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 12:56PM
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Our chick has cracked most of his egg, and is breathing outside of the shell. He has been stuck like this for about four hours... How long will it be untill he is out of the egg itself???

    Bookmark   January 1, 2011 at 2:10AM
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Hi I have incubated 20 eggs I candled them and they were all growing but only 5 hatched, what do you think caused that?

    Bookmark   January 16, 2011 at 2:54AM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

There are many possible causes for hatch failure, anything from older parent birds to temp and/or humidity that fluctuates too much to bacteria entering the shell. Do you know at what point in the incubation they died? Also, if you tell us about your setup (what kind of incubator, etc.) it may help.

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   January 18, 2011 at 2:59AM
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I've never incubated the eggs, we usually let the hen do her work and then put all the chicks in another cage with a heat lamp and food, water, etc. Doing this makes them more likely to survive, but also lets them hatch very naturally. Good luck though! hope they all come out good.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 11:46PM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

Oh sure, if you are gonna cheat and let a HEN do all the work... :)

Just kidding. Yes, hens make us humans with incubators look totally stupid though. The fun of incubators is that you can watch the entire hatch process. Hens tend to clamp down on the babies and not let us peek. Boo. :(

Since the end result is cutie fluff balls, can't complain either way!

farmerboy98, serious question though--do you take away ALL of the broody hen's chicks or leave a her a few? If you take them all, doesn't she freak out? I wasn't clear on if you eventually put her back in with the chicks and how that worked out...

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   January 29, 2011 at 3:23AM
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We usually take all the chicks, and the hens don't seem to mind to much. We don't always get all of the chicks though, we cant always catch them all. And once the chicks began to feather up a bit, we release them all into the "herd".

    Bookmark   January 30, 2011 at 1:17AM
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My first chick hatched yesterday,,,,Its now almost 24 hours old, It is not walking and mostly lying on its side....Do i need to be concerned,,,what should i do

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 10:42AM
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I am on day 19 and three are pipping. One has pipped a hole about half the size of a dime. I can see his little beak working but he hasn't made much progress since this morning (about 9 hours). The temo is at 100 degrees and the humidity is 86 degrees. Is he okay? Should I add more water to raise the humidity? Thank you!

    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 9:52PM
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I've got eggs on day 24, with no pipping. How much longer should I wait before giving up on this batch?

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 10:09AM
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My chick pipped 3 days ago but still has not came. Out it just chirps alot what do I do?

    Bookmark   May 8, 2011 at 12:28PM
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My first chick is still connected to his shell. There is a cord connecting him, maybe the chalazae from his butt to the inside of the shell. Is this normal? He's been out for a few hours and hasn't been able to disconnect. He's moving around like crazy with the shell still hanging from him. Help please!

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 3:55PM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

It's probably the umbilicus. Leave it be, even if it is annoying him. It should dry out and come loose naturally soon. Once he's dry, fluffed out and moving around and standing strongly on his own and you take him out and put him in the brooder box, check his little belly button--make sure he doesn't have a mushy navel. If it seems OK he should be fine.

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   May 18, 2011 at 4:51AM
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my eggs r piping but 1 hatched bu it died soi put 20 more eggs on bc my hns wont lay on them do u know y idk but i hear piping should i help it

    Bookmark   June 11, 2011 at 9:41PM
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I recently started incubation Turkey and Chicken eggs. The shells of the turkeys are very hard and the chicks have trouble emerging. The chickens do not however. The manual says both can be incubated, but I'm thinking the humidity is different.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2011 at 10:26PM
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Today I looked at my incubator and saw that there was a small hole in one of the eggs. I have about 14 eggs and they are all moving. 2 more eggs have holes; it�s been about 6 hours since the first one had a hole. There is not much progress. How much longer will it be until they get out, or until I need to step in?

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 11:51PM
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Hi, my eggs did hatch and I was wondering how long do I have to wait until I can start handling them? Thanks! Kaity

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 2:50PM
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Man the last 36 hrs have been a rollercoaster. woke up yesterday to baby chicks hatching a day early. as the day progressed I heard lots of peepimg and saw lots of them pipping through. I had 30 eggs I collected from my hens. out of the first 3 one never finished pipping and died in its's shell. By bedtime 9 had hatched. When I woke in the morning only 2 more had hatched and 5 more had died in their shells. The temp was fine. I added more water to the incubator thinking the humidity was off. Now I have 2 very sticky chicks. UGH! I have several eggs left and am not even hearing peeping now. Should I give them another couple of days?

    Bookmark   February 17, 2012 at 10:18PM
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HELP !!!

I have a double yolk egg hatching,,,, the first is out,,, and the second is alive, but not doing any egg pipping on the other end,,,, assuming that's where it's air sack is,,, the first came out of the more pointed end,,, any tips or advice on helping the other making it !!!

thanks in advance,,, RAY

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 9:27AM
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we just started incubating this year. the chick eggs are duds (i dropped two after we pulled them from incubator and they were just regular eggs) but the turkey eggs are almost 100% fertile. we have had three hatch succesfully, one never broke it's shell, one died at 2 weeks, and now we just had one break it's first pip then begin to die. after 5-12 hours (it broke it in the night) it was getting weaker and quit peeping. i began to break off shell and wait, then decided it wasn't going to make it anyway so we worked on getting it out. now i know that it needed maybe a couple of more days. it was wet and bloody, and the yolk was on half of it. head was at narrow end. was there something wrong with it, or did we mess up?

    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 8:57PM
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Hi all !! me & my husband are new to this we've got 9 eggs in a incubator 1 hatched today on the 21st day how long shall we leave the rest before taken them out! And how long can the chick stay in the incubator before putting it under a light? Hopefully I'll get some help thank u!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 8:19AM
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I'm worried have a chick that hatched and its alive and breathing, but the yolk sack is not in its body. What do I do?

    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 8:17PM
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