Hi, everyone! We’ve been busy running, running around here. It’s ball season, and with two kids in ball we are gone nearly every night and most weekends from May through the first part of July. I’ve been wanting to post about our experience hatching eggs this spring, though.
Sometime in April Buddy watched a video about how to hatch and candle eggs. One of the best things about homeschooling is that when your child shows an interest in something, you can go down that rabbit…or in this case, chicken…trail. I called our local extension agency (here this is the organization that runs our 4-H program, I’m not sure if the organization is the same in every state) and asked if we could get an incubator from them. We had to wait until the schools were done this spring, but since we aren’t on a school timetable that was no problem! They rented us the incubator for a small fee, and even found the eggs and a home for the chicks so we didn’t have to. So, a few weeks ago, Buddy was thrilled to get his incubator and chicken eggs:
We started out with twelve eggs. One was a little cracked when we got it, so I was sure it wouldn’t hatch. Another one got a little crack in it when we turned them. We did the hand-turning and learned a lot about chickens in the three weeks we had to wait. Finally, exactly twenty-one days later we had pips! A pip is when the chick begins poking a hole in the egg with his beak.
It seemed like it took forever, but we finally got a chick later in the day. The funny part was, it wasn’t one of the ones that were the first to pip.
By the end of the second day, we had eight chicks altogether. Not too bad! We had three that didn’t hatch and one that got rolled over during hatching and died part-way through. So, nine fertile eggs out of twelve. I think we did a good job with the turning! Aren’t they cute????
Now for the unfortunate, life-lesson part of hatching eggs. One of our little guys was born with deformed, curled-in feet. I read about it on the internet and attempted to help him. His feet got a little better and he could eventually stand, but he won’t ever be completely normal. He was good enough to go out to the farm and let the farmer decide what to do with him. I’d rather not know.
We had a blast hatching the eggs and taking care of the chickens for a few days. We have a friend with a pair of fertile ducks, so we are thinking about hatching duck eggs next year! Check below these eggciting photos for some incubation links!
Egg Hatching and Chicken Links:
- Science Net
- PDF Activity Books
- Blue Room Pinterest Board
- Teacher’s Guide
- University of Illinois
- Embryo Photos