How Long Does A Chicken Egg Take To Hatch

logo by Editorial Staff | Posted on November 22nd, 2022

If you’re thinking about incubating chicken eggs, you may wonder how long the process takes. This blog post will answer that question and give tips on successful hatching.

How Long Does A Chicken Egg Take To Hatch

It takes approximately 21 days for a chicken egg to hatch. This process can be done with or without an incubator, but an incubator will help to control the temperature and humidity levels. It is generally recommended to use an incubator if you do not have a broody hen to sit on the eggs.

Baby chick hatching in nest

Other poultry eggs can take up to 30 days to hatch; for instance, duck eggs take 28 days, and goose eggs take 30 days. After the eggs sit for a few days, the broody hen can start turning them. It usually takes 5-7 hours for a chick to hatch entirely after the first crack or pip appears on the egg.

The Process of Incubation

The process of incubating chicken eggs takes 21 days on average, although it can take up to 24 hours for the chick to hatch completely. It is crucial to properly care for the eggs during incubation, as temperature and humidity levels must be monitored carefully. Once the chicks hatch, they must be cared for properly to ensure their health and safety.

Why Does It Take So Long?

It can take so long because the chick needs time to absorb the yolk sac, which is their source of food and energy while growing inside the egg.

Factors That Can Affect Hatching Times

The length of time it takes for a chicken egg to hatch can be affected by several factors, including incubation temperature, humidity, ventilation, and egg turning. Strain, health, nutrition, flock age, egg size, weight, quality, and egg storage duration and conditions are breeder factors that affect hatchability.

However, it will take 21 days for the egg to hatch in most cases. It is important to pay close attention to the process to avoid any issues.

How do you tell if an egg is going to hatch?

The average chicken egg takes 21 days to hatch. However, it is possible to tell if an egg is going to hatch as early as 72 hours after the start of the process. To do this, look for a tail, wing, leg buds, and a beating heart. You can also look for chicks that are fully developed by day 21.

How do you speed up chicken hatching?

Chicks usually handle themselves. We need patience and a few easy things, which I’ll list below.

  1. Humidify

After 21 days, boost the incubator’s humidity. This helps chicks hatch by keeping their outer membrane flexible and easy to stretch and break.

  1. Stop the Rotation

Stop turning eggs on day 19 if your incubator turns itself. Remove or adjust this to halt the spinning.

  1. Paper towels

When the eggs start to wriggle the day before hatching, drop a paper towel into our incubator. This helps clean newly hatched chicks and dry and fluff their feathers.

Carefully remove the eggs, then rapidly replace them.

  1. Set up your brooder

The brooder should be ready by day 19 or 20. Install the heat light and ensure one side of the brooder stays at 95 degrees. Newspaper and pine chips make a good substrate for a baby brooder. The newspaper and shallow bedding offer a level. Traction surface to encourage leg growth. At hatch, a chick’s legs are flexible and clumsy. A stable walking surface promotes appropriate leg development and prevents splaying legs.

  1. Be patient

There’s a reason hatching takes so long, so resist the urge to open the incubator and help a chick out. The chick’s body develops throughout the long and arduous hatch. Last amounts of blood are absorbed from the exterior veins, and the chick requires time to break from its eggshell.

This is hard to see since the girl seems to be struggling, and we want to assist. The chick’s writhing and kicking, followed by tiredness and slumber, are all part of the hatching process.

In rare cases, a chick may benefit from help, but this is a tricky and occasionally risky process I’ll explain in a future piece.

  1. Let them dry

Don’t be scared to leave chicks in the incubator until they’re completely grown. Depending on humidity, it may take 12 hours. Food and water for the chicks are good. Nutritionally, they still have the yolk. Broken egg shells are removed to save space.

  1. Split Newborns

If you have chicks in a brooder box and are adding babies, separate them for the first 24-48 hours. Older chicks can be bossy and stomp on little ones. Until babies have leg strength, they can’t run away or stand firm. Wait till all the baby chicks are walking well before mixing.

To separate babies, use a plastic shoebox or cardboard box. You may put it near the heat bulb in the brooder. Take the temperature of the box.

  1. Dip Beaks

When chicks are standing, dip their beaks in water. As Mamma Hen, you must show the chicks where the water and food are. Hold the chick’s beak and dunk it. This may need to be performed a few times a day until all the chicks are drinking.

  1. Imprint

A chick will presume the first thing it sees is its mother.


A chicken egg takes an average of 21 days to hatch after incubation has begun. If you start with fertilized eggs, you can have chicks in as little as three weeks. However, it is important to note that hatching times can vary slightly depending on the type of chicken and the conditions of the incubator.


Editorial Staff

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