Monday, May 16, 2011

Anxiously waiting...

Our 4 little chicken eggs have been incubating for 16 days now. Inside the incubator, temperatures have been averaging 99.9-100.1 degrees and humidity levels have been between 45-55%. Near perfect for our (hopefully) developing chicks! We opted NOT to candle them, hoping that they're fertilized and developing. (My Mom's chicks came from the same flock and 80% of her eggs were fertilized.) The eggs feel heavier...Only 5 more days to hatch!
Oh, candling? A candler can be a simple tool (with a 1" diameter circle out of out a side and a BRIGHT flashlight shining through) to see inside a developing egg. Candling is usually done to see if the egg is fertile AND to check to see if the animal seems to be healthy and developing normally. We watched this COOL YouTube video of a 8-10 day chick MOVING inside the egg!
We've been watching You Tube chick hatching videos too, which led to watching other egg hatching videos like ducks, Robins, turtles, owls, and snakes. We especially liked watching the ducks. Perhaps incubating ducks next spring for a project?
In preparation, we visited the hardware store for supplies and put together a simple brooder - a chick coop - from a clear plastic box (so we can watch them easier), a lid with the middle cut out and wire attached over the hole, bedding, a couple of bricks, a heating lamp, and a plastic feeder and water dish.
Our Brooder Without Bedding and Bricks to Raise Water
Testing the Temperature Inside the Brooder
I'm a bit apprehensive. We've incubated chick eggs twice before. And both times resulted in no chicks. My Mom thinks our humidity levels were too low, especially the last few days when humidity needs to be raised to 85%. We didn't monitor humidity so closely the first 2 clutches. The kids are optimistic that we'll end up with 4 cheeping, fuzzies by the end of the week. Not long to wait now!


  1. So neat!! Thanks for sharing with us, I can't wait for your eggs to hatch :)

  2. What a cool project! I hope you DO get four fuzzy chicks!

  3. Hey! Thanks for stopping by! I can't wait to see if you get chicks! We had a sparrow lay eggs in a flower pot on the front porch. I've been keeping an eye on them and they *should* be hatching some day this week since the normal incubation period is 11-14 days. I'm hoping the momma hasn't abandoned them.

  4. Baby chicks are so exciting! We've had them several times, and we will have more this year. We love to watch them grow :)
    This kind of real life science is the best!

  5. How exciting! Good luck. I hope you get some chicks.

  6. Watching the baby chick life grow is fascinating to both kids and adults alike! Are you raising chickens to keep in a hatch for eggs?

  7. Awesome videos! How exciting!! Your brooder looks nice - I hope you get chicks soon!

  8. Why couldn't you have put this post up back when we were studying birds?

    All of these you tube videos are awesome!


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