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Does 21 days include the day the eggs were set?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Penny Pacific, Dec 29, 2008.

  1. Penny Pacific

    Penny Pacific In the Brooder

    Oct 11, 2008
    Hi! I have never hatched out chicks before or had a sitting hen so I'm not sure when the eggs should be hatching. My bantam hen decided to start sitting so I took her inside the house and let her sit on some eggs in a cardboard box. I gave her three eggs from larger hens (all different kinds) because I had no fertile bantam eggs available. I gave her the eggs at 3:30 Tuesday afternoon on December 9. I wasn't expecting them to hatch till tomarrow afternoon, because I thought that is when 21 days would be over. To my delight, I heard some peeps last night around 9:00pm, but I thought it would be quite a while till the chick would actually hatch. Then at 9:00 O' clock this morning I looked into her box, and to my surprise their was a wet chick in their that had just hatched!!! [​IMG] I am wondering if I calculated the time wrong, or if this is just a very early hatch? I haven't heard any other peeping from the other eggs, and am wondering if I should give up on them, or still consider tomarrow to be day 21 on which they should hatch. When do you start counting the days? Does 21 days include the day the eggs were set? I hope someone can tell me. Thanks!
  2. jhm47

    jhm47 Songster

    Sep 7, 2008
    Yes, you count the day that the eggs were set. And---21 days is just a rule of thumb for the hatching date. Some eggs actually hatch on day 19, and some take 22-23 days. Depends on the breed, and also on the conditions that the eggs have been kept at while incubation is taking place. A couple days of below normal temps will lengthen the incubation period. Give your unhatched eggs a couple more days. The chick will live just fine without food/water for at least 48 hours. The hen will likely know when it's time to leave the nest with her baby. Good luck!
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member 11 Years

    If I set them before noon that day, that day counts as Day One. If noon or after, I count the next day as Day One.
  4. Rufflemyfeathers

    Rufflemyfeathers Songster

    Nov 20, 2008
    Astatula Florida
    [​IMG]Mine have been hatching on 20 days 3 batches now as all same..have not lost any that hatched..
  5. sewincircle

    sewincircle Songster

    Nov 19, 2008
    Central New York
    Congrats!!!! [​IMG] Babies!!!!
  6. the1much

    the1much Currently Birdless Hippy

    Quote:thats how i do it too,,,, and if eggs were mailed to me, i dont start day 1 till 24 hours after i stick them in the bator.
  7. deerman

    deerman Rest in Peace 1949-2012

    Aug 24, 2008
    Southern Ohio
    I count the next day as 1. To be right if set say at 10 AM day one would be 10 am the next day.

    Just like a Baby born on Sunday it a week old on the next Sunday.

    21 Day + or - 2 day to hatch.

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