“A spring visit to the historic village of Tiverton Four Corners in coastal Tiverton, RI, offers shopping, strolling, and plenty of tasty treats.”

Click here to see Aimee Tucker’s post and beautiful pictures from her recent trip to Tiverton Four Corners, and our Schoolhouse, on behalf of Yankee Magazine. 

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Virtual Egg Hatch- Day #17

So between the blizzard (that wasn’t) and starting to paint at the new house- I forgot to post for a couple of days- oops! I was so nervous about losing power during the storm and then what would I have done with the incubator? But thankfully that wasn’t an issue. 

I candled the eggs last night and they all look about the same except for one. Its so hard to see in them now because the chick is so big that its mostly dark. The flashlight can’t shine through where the chick is. Since I last posted, here is what has happened in he eggs:

  • Fingers of the wings are covered with feather papillae.

  • The left and right collar bones fuse to form the wishbone.

  • The embryo turns its head toward the blunt end of the egg.

  • The skull has begun to ossify.

  • The scales, claws, and beak are becoming firm.
  • The embryo turns its beak toward the air cell.

  • The chorioallantoic cavity lines most of the inside surface of the egg shell.

  • The beak turns towards the air cell.

Tomorrow we take the eggs out of the turner and they stay still until they begin to hatch. We also increase the humidity in the incubator above 60%, this makes it easier for them to dis attach from the shell. We should start to hear them peep soon, that’s always exciting! 



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Virtual Egg Hatch – Day #13

Again, not much new today. The chick is just getting bigger and stronger. 

  • Fingers of the wings are covered with feather papillae.

  • The left and right collar bones fuse to form the wishbone.


Here is a large collection of lesson plans involving chicks & hatching. 

This is a picture of the aviary we built last summer at our farm. Our peacocks live in here and the ducks come in and out, they prefer the bigger pond outside the aviary. We built it so tall because the peacocks like to sleep up on the rafters way up high. Years ago we had one peacock who lived with the chickens. They all went into the coop at night and he would sleep way up high in the tree right outside the coop. Even now they choose to sleep outside no matter what the weather. 


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Virtual Egg Hatch – Day #12

There aren’t many big changes going on in the eggs today. 

  • Scales appear on the lower legs.

  • The embryo continues to grow and move.

  • The ribs begin to ossify.

This is a scan from the top of the egg showing the blood vessels supplying blood to the chick. 

Here is a link to Enchanted Learning’s heart anatomy lesson– a printable simple drawing of the heart and a glossary of terms. 


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Virtual Egg Hatch – Day #11

So on day #11, even the MRI experts are having a hard time taking pictures of the chicks because if all their movement. Here is what they got. 


And this is how the chicks are developed today. 

  • The toe claws begin to curve downward.

  • The bottom of the feet become padded.

  • Feather germs on the back and tail appear as long, tapering cones.

  • The beak begins to harden.

  • The comb appears serrated.

  • The embryo begins to draw calcium from the eggshell for its growing bones.

In their discussion today they give very clear instructions on how to dye the chicks. You know, you’ve seen those pictures around Easter- 

Apparently it can be done very safely and is useful when studying genetics of your hatching process. Still…. I’m not sure I would feel comfortable injecting the egg. What do you think? 


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Virtual Egg Hatch – Day #10

We are halfway there! You are not going to believe the dream I had last night… that all the eggs were filled with little baby people! I’m sure it’s because my niece had a baby yesterday- but SO WEIRD!

Here is what is going on with the chicks today:

  • Claws begin to form.

  • The comb is visible.

  • Flight feathers appear.

  • Feather tracts appear over the sternum.

  • Lower eyelids develop.

The American Egg board has some cute learning tools for preschool and Pre-K kiddos. You can fine their website here


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Virtual Egg Hatch – Day #9

I’m so excited to share great news today! Jonathan and I candled the eggs last night and we are having excellent results so far. We have 40 eggs in the incubator, and out of those 40 36 are growing! I’m thrilled that the eggs were so fertile. 

The candling process is pretty simple. We have a high powered flashlight that we shine through the eggs. At first, it takes some inspection to see if anything is going on. Because you haven’t compared it to an unfertilized egg. One you see what that one looks like, you can tell if the chick is growing in a second. We tried to take some pictures to show you. It was totally dark in the room so the pictures aren’t that great, but I bet you can tell which is which.

 The one on the left is  fertilized and growing.      The one on the right is not. 

The air sac is towards the top of the fertilized egg, that is the lighter spot. If you look closely in the darkest spot of the egg you can see almost a circular shape? That’s the chick. What we noticed right away was the movement of the chicks inside the eggs, it was like they were dancing in there! None of us remember this from previous egg hatches. It was so cool! We took a video, again quite difficult to see, (as you can here me commenting in the video!) but it’s there. I posted the video on our Facebook page, here is a link. 

Fertilized egg video

So I hope you are enjoying this as much as we are. My son and I were discussing it last night. We usually don’t think about what’s going on with the eggs nearly this much until the very end. I am currently setting up two schools with what they need to hatch their own and another school we are just a resource for the chickens to live with us after the hatch (they are the experts that let the ducks roam the classroom I posted about the other day). So it really feels like spring is right around the corner! 

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Virtual Egg Hatch – Day #8

Here is the exciting news now that the chicks are a full week old:

  • Three rows of feather germs are visible on the tail.

  • The nictitating membranes (inner eye lids) begins to form.

  • The egg tooth begins to form.

  • The bone marrow cavity of the femur begins to form.

It looks like they candeled their egg for this picture- I hope I have the same luck. Maybe tomorrow….. 

Here are some of my favorite pictures from a duck egg hatch we did with a local school system. That brave teacher let them roam all over the classroom! They dressed him up too- remember the Wonder Duck show? Is that even on any more? 




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Virtual Egg Hatch – Day #7

On day # 7 

  • A row of feather germs appears on the tail.

  • The sclera of the eye begins to form.

  • Feather papillae appear on the thigh.

  • The leg bends at the knee.

I am finding this day by day so amazing. Usually I don’t give the eggs much thought during the first couple weeks, other than to keep the temp and humidity on target of course. But that the beak is already developing and the legs are bending- that’s just amazing. 

I’m looking forward to candeling them in the next couple of days, I hope I can take pictures too but we’ll have to see. Here are the MRI scans from day 7. 


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Virtual Egg Hatching- Day #6

There are some amazing things happening inside these eggs and they are not even stable enough for me to take them out and candle them yet! 

  • The beak becomes visible.

  • The wing bends at the elbow.

  • The allantois begins to fuse with the chorion.

  • The ribs begin to appear.

  • The gizzard begins to form.

  • The intestines begin to loop.

Here is the MRI picture of the egg:

Click here for Enchanted Learning’s series of printouts all about birds. 

Please follow us in Facebook and join in he conversation about the farm and egg incubation. 


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