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Farmstays in Tiverton Rhode Island

Virtual Egg Hatch- Day #1

Welcome to our virtual egg hatch! I receive emails all the time asking if we have an egg hatching program, and we do, but many times the school is too far away from us or there is not money in the budget for the entire program. I hope this will be fun for kids (and adults) to watch the egg incubation process via our blog. I’ll be posting updates daily with information about what’s going on inside the eggs even if we can’t see anything yet. A couple times over the next 21 days I’ll candle the eggs so we can see the progress. And on day 21 or so I hope we can have pictures and videos of our new chicks hatching! 

First, a short explanation about the fertilization process happens. All our chickens live together in the pen and are allowed outside to search for grass, worms, bugs, etc during the day. There are boy chickens (roosters) and girl chickens (hens). The roosters fertilize the hens and the hens lay the eggs. Most of our eggs are fertile, but that doesn’t prevent them from being edible. Unless we are incubating them, like we started today, the eggs will get washed and placed into the refrigerator. This stops the development process and you would never be able to tell the difference between fertilized and non fertilized eggs. 

Here is the incubator we use, and the eggs  set in there for hatching. The eggs are placed in the automatic turner with the large side up. This is because an air cell will develop in the big side will which aid in development. 

 

 

The temperature should be between 99-100 degrees in the incubator. The humidity should be between 40-50%. There are channels below the eggs that get filled with water to keep the humidity up. There is a heater on the top of the incubator that is regulated with that metal piece on the top left of the incubator. 

The temp and humidity are regulated, and now we just wait! 

But there are changes going on in there already. The University of Illinois has an eggcelent website and education program called Chickscope. Here is what they say is going on in the first 24 hours- amazing huh? 

  • 18 hours: The alimentary tract appears.

  • 19 hours: The brain crease begins to form.

  • 20 hours: Somites appear.

  • 21 hours: The brain and nervous system begin to form.

  • 22 hours: The head fold begins to form.

  • 23 hours: Blood islands appear.

  • 24 hours: The eyes begin to form.

If you are looking for simple definitions and worksheets, here is a link to the Enchanted Learning page-
http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/birds/info/chicken/egg.shtml
(On a side note I forgot how much I loved that website- I used to find all kinds of things for my kids to do there when they were little!!)

Ok, that’s all for today. Come back tomorrow for more updates, be sure to Like our Facebook page so you can get reminders to come back and see the progress.