Question: if an egg is opened early, and the chick is alive, is there any way to save it? Situation: My broody started sitting on eggs 23 days ago. 20 days ago I marked the eggs so that I wouldn't mix them up with other eggs that kept showing up in the box. The eggs were all brown; around day 18 all I could see was an airspace in each egg. On day 22 I put a stethoscope to the eggs and could hear nothing. I broke one open and it was completely undeveloped -- looked like a regular egg, just a little less than fresh. On day 23 I removed 2 eggs. The first was intensely and amazingly rotten and leaked green at the first small crack I made. I threw both eggs away and heated some essential oil to make the house liveable. (I had put the eggs in a plastic bag, opened it only enough to put my hand and an exacto knife in, and poked a tiny 1/8" long crack. That's all it took for Stink Bomb City.) Today (day 24) I took out the one remaining egg and just tossed it into the woods instead of bringing it into the house. It was alive. There was a fully-formed fetus -- legs, beak, eyes, down -- and a lot of egg yolk (seemed like a whole egg yolk), and a little blood. It was breathing. I was horrified at what I'd done. It was not big enough to fill the egg. Since it's still hovering around freezing here, I quickly took it into the coop and put it back in the nest. The broody took a minute to come back to the nest and didn't seem to notice it. Then she pecked at it. At that point I figured she would either mother it or eat it, and I didn't stay to see. My guess is this particular egg was laid the day I marked them. Or I marked the calendar a day or two off. I will never again open an egg before it explodes or a whole month has passed. My question is -- if for any reason an egg is broken prematurely, at what point is the chick viable outside the egg? Was this one, fully formed and breathing, but small and with a lot of unabsorbed yolk, too young to survive? Or was it saveable? I found a homesteading website that recommended wrapping the chick in a wet paper towel and putting it in a warm place, but I'm not sure how close to hatching an egg has to be for that to work. Thanks for any information or advice.