I decided (sort of late in the summer, yes) to incubate some eggs from our 8 Rhode Island Reds and 1 Ameraucana to begin replacing our layers. We have 1 roo. We saved 3 dozen eggs over the course of a week or so, keeping them in the cool basement and turning them each day. After accumulating the desired number, I placed them in the incubator on a Sunday morning around 1am, and used an automatic egg turner. My hatch was pathetic--16 surviving live chicks (2 or 3 of which I had to help out of their shell), 2 others were deformed (1 with an external brain, the other had splayed legs) and 1 other hatched but died soon after. The thing is, I disovered the first one beginning to pip when I went to remove them from the automatic egg turner, and once he hatched the others soon followed, a day or more earlier than they should have. When we figured the rest of the unhatched eggs were not going to hatch, we broke them open and found 4 or 5 infertile, 5 or 6 fully developed but dead, one was rotten, and some were in various stages of development. Not a good experience. Anyway, the 16 seem to be doing quite well in their brooder. My question is regarding how soon they begin feathering out. It's been a couple years since I hatched any and I don't recall their wing feathers coming in this quickly. At the age of 3 days or so their wing feathers were visible, and now that they're about 4 or 5 days old those feathers are approaching 1" long! They literally appear to be longer each time I check on them during the day. Is this normal?