Hatch patterns: the journey from egg to chick in 21 days.

Incubating and hatching your own chicken eggs is an amazing experience - but if you've not done it before, it can feel quite stressful.

How to incubate and hatch chicks. Pin for later.

In these articles, I take you through the hatch patterns on all twenty-one days of the incubation cycle.

So you'll know exactly what should be happening and what you need to look out for at every stage.

Do you feel like this?

Are you excited - and at the same time terrified?

I'll let you into a secret - I was more nervous hatching chicken eggs for the first time than at almost any other time of my life. I fussed about like the proverbial mother hen, worrying about anything and everything that could go wrong. 

Occasionally, when I thought I'd done everything wrong, I cried.

If you feel a bit like that, you need to know - it doesn't have to be that way!

There are very definite patterns from the start of incubation right through to hatch day. Recognising them, and knowing something about the different stages of hatching will help you identify whether your eggs are following the right path.

Even if you're not hatching eggs yourself, it's a fascinating journey to see.

Once you've done it you'll feel eupohric, satisfied, elated, proud - and confident enough to do it all over again. You'll be hooked - I guarantee!

So join with me here and let the journey begin!

How to use this page.

Hatch patterns follow a fairly predictable path over the 21 days of incubation. You'll find a lot of information here, and a lot of real life pictures to help you see in detail what goes on at each stage.

I've split this topic into several pages, each one covering a different part of the process.

Click on any of the links or pictures to go to that page.


Hatch patterns, days 1 - 7

The same patterns happen no matter which chicken breeds or what size of egg you incubate. 

This article covers the first seven days of incubation: what's happening inside the egg, and what you can expect to see from the outside, looking in.

The hatching process, days 1 to 7.

Stage 2: Days 8 - 13

The middle phase of the hatching process is among the most exciting.

Use your candling devices to see the spider inside, and watch the embryo grow, day by day.

Get to know how big your chick is now, and which body parts are developing every day.

Link to the developing chicken egg, days 8 to 13

Hatch patterns at days 14 - 19

This is when it starts to hot up! Your chick is getting ready to hatch, but what can you see as it begins to fill the egg? 

Does it move? What does it look like at this stage? And what should you be doing, day by day?

This article covers it all.

The hatching process link to days 14 to 19

Lockdown

How to lock down your incubator - link.

To ensure a successful hatch, the incubator should be locked down at the end of day 18 - earlier for bantam eggs. 

If it's not done properly, chicks can die or struggle to hatch.

This article describes the five simple steps you should take to make sure your incubator is properly set up.


Step 4: days 20 and 21

Three weeks of excitement mixed with worry and anticipation, and your chicks are almost here. But we're not out of the woods yet.

Let's talk about  what to expect as the chick prepares to move out of the egg, and what you should be doing as you wait for the big day.

Link to days 20 and 21 of the hatching process

Hatching: your questions, answered

Hatching questions, answered - link.

There are ten questions which almost everyone who incubates chicken eggs asks as the chicks come to hatch.

This article answers those questions, based on my experience of twelve years' hatching.

From how long it takes to hatch, to when to move a chick into the brooder - it's all here.


Hatching happy chickens - the course!

If you're thinking of hatching your own chicks you might like to join my more detailed 28-day "hatching club".

It's a day-by-day guide to how to plan and what to expect.

It explains the process with text, videos, images - and there's a private Facebook group where you can ask questions and post pics of your own brood.

Come - hatch with me!  Click here for more.

Preparing to incubate and hatch? You may find these related articles helpful, too.

Choosing an egg incubator - link.
Brinsea's Mini Advance incubator - an honest review (link).
Brinsea's Octagon 20 incubator review - link.
How to candle chicken eggs - link.
What does incubator lockdown mean? Link.
Incubating and hatching your own chicks - book review - link.
All about caring for new chicks. Link.
How to reduce stress, the chicken way! Link.
Free newsletter. Link.
Link to Raising Happy Chickens home page.