I need help!!!!!! Please! this is my first go at chicken raising, and my hens just started laying but a couple months ago. Here's my problem: I went on a vacation for a few days, and had someone over to take care of the chickens. Well, the day i got home, my brothers went out and checked for eggs. They got the few they could, but said that Rose, my RIR, (rhode island red), was laying on one. It is getting cold here, and i cannot handle another chick. I know the egg is fertile because i have a rooster that has been mating with her. I got the egg from under her, which was very warm, and put it in the fridge. The problem is that i don't know how long she had been sitting on it, or how long since it was laid. I would like to know how long it takes for an embryo to form. At what point is the fertile egg alive? at 44 hours when the heart starts beating????? I DO NOT want to kill a baby!!!!!! I would love some advice. Thanks!!!!!