questions from a first timer


11 Years
Jul 25, 2008
We have 11 eggs in our incubator, and just tonight we started hearing peeps and seeing a few tiny holes pecked in a couple of the shells. It's so exciting! Here are my questions:

1) My husband opened the incubator for a few seconds. I know this can be very bad for hatching chicks. Is it automatic doom, or can the chicks still come out okay? They're still peeping in there several hours later, so I'm hoping they're okay...

2) How long should it take frome the time they start pecking to the time they actually hatch?

3) I've heard one of our mamma hens will be a surrugate mother, but how long should we keep them indoors under the lamp before the night we sneak them under they're new mama?
Hello and welcome! Isn't hatching awesome? I've got a pip in my incubator right now and I know I won't sleep tonight for having to get up and check on it every few hours!

For your questions:

1. No, it's not automatic doom, especially if it was quick. Sometimes, it's simply unavoidable. Just don't make a habit of it!

2. From 12-48 hours. Seriously. My duck eggs always take about two days from pip to pop. Chicken eggs, I believe, tend to be quicker. But regardless, it seems like FOREVER. I have one that pipped at around 5:30 this evening, and I know it may be another day (or even two) before it hatches, and it's torture waiting!

3. I have no actual experience, but I would think you could slip them under her as soon as they are out of the incubator (at night, of course). I'm assuming she is broody already, right? I don't think you can give them to a non-broody hen successfully.

Good luck! Hatching is addictive.

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