Although we've kept a laying flock for more than twenty years, My son and I are hatching for the first time. So far, we are finding the experience both exhilarating and stressful. And we have had so many questions along the way. We set 24 eggs in our incubator. The first chick hatched out around 7:30 yesterday morning. Since then at least six more have hatched. Here's my question: how long can the first chicks remain in the incubator without food/water? I know that they are okay for the first 24 hrs., but how much longer...if at all? We've read that you're not supposed to open the incubator during a hatch, and we don't want to put the remaining eggs at risk, but we also don't want to chance losing the chicks that have successfully hatched. What we'd like to do is pull out the hatched chicks at a point where we don't see any pips in the remaining eggs. That way we can leave the remainder in the incubator...just in case there are a few more late comers. ((We know that a 50% hatch rate is about the best we can hope for). The humidity in the incubator is perfect, and the room is also quite warm and humid, so I don't think either will drop too much if we're quick, but we're not sure. Can anyone please advise us?