Hatching Eggs

I’ve seen mistakes in books or movies regarding hatching eggs, be it chickens or dinosaurs, so I decided to set the record straight.

Here is the normal hatch sequence:


The chick starts pecking the inside of the egg and makes the first crack. At this point, you can hear peeping, feel vibration, and hear pecking. This part of hatching can go on for about a day.



The chick works its way around the egg. Once it starts this circle, it normally hatches within a few hours.



The chick pushes the top off the egg. Soon, it will pop out.



A new chick that’s still wet and tired from the struggle to escape the egg. The other chick has dried off.


egg tooth

On the tip of the chick’s beak, you can see the egg tooth, which is what the chick uses to escape the egg. This comes off after a day or so.


If you’re writing a book and someone is hatching an egg, it’s important to let it hatch on its own, not break it out like some books or movies do. Breaking it out too soon means it may not be ready to come out, which can cause bleeding, among other things like a yolk sack hanging out, which is normally fatal. Once they’ve started circling the egg, like in the second picture, helping generally won’t cause too much trouble since they’re about ready to come out.

Another common mistake is animals that pop out of the egg and are fluffy and running around. When a chick escapes the egg, it’s pretty tired and can’t walk. It also won’t hatch out of the egg all fluffy. It will be a wet mess.

I’ve had a few complications with hatching eggs. One issue is when the chick is backwards, meaning it’s hatching from the small end of the egg instead of the big end. This normally goes okay, though it’s not a bad idea to keep a close eye on eggs that are backwards. I had one chick finish the circle and get its head out of the egg, but the hole was too small for the rest of the body so I had to help it.

If anyone has egg related questions, I’ll be happy to answer them.


About Jessi L. Roberts

I live and work on my family’s cattle ranch in eastern Montana. I have a flock of chickens, a hyper golden retriever, some cows, and a few horses. I enjoy fantasy and science fiction and my head is full of wild sci-fi story ideas, some involving apocalypses and others involving aliens. I have been published twice in Havok Magazine, an imprint of Splickity.
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6 Responses to Hatching Eggs

  1. samuelehall says:

    Nice site and interesting. Maybe use larger text for us older folks.


    • Thanks for the comment! I’ll see if I can change the font size, though I’m not sure I can do it. Any tips?
      I hadn’t noticed the problem, probably because I have a setting on my browser that keeps the text large. When I turn off this setting, the text is rather small.


      • samuelehall says:

        Would have to get your web designer to do it. That’s what I was fortunate enuf to get my son to do for me.
        Chk out my blogs–accessible from my website, samhallwriter.com. We might have a mutual admiration society going. Also chk out OCW Summer Conference this August; you’re only next door. ‘Course, that could be a thousand miles away, with you in MT.


      • I do my own web design.
        Thanks. I’ll check that stuff out.


  2. Cool post! I’ll definitely have to save it for any egg-hatching sequences I write!



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