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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Virtual Egg Hatch – Day #5

Today’s excitement- 

  • The reproductive organs begin to form.

  • The bones of the legs begin to form.

  • The crop begins to form.

The crop of the chicken is at the base if its esophagus, its like a little pocket that food is stored in until it moves into the stomach. After the chickens eat a bunch you can usually see it bulging out at the base of its neck. 

See you tomorrow! 


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Virtual Egg Incubation- Day #4

Here is the “zoomed out” version of what is going on today. 

Still using the MRI you can see the different layers of the egg. We still can’t see any difference in our eggs. We’ll be candeling them at day 7 or 8. Candeling is basically holding up a high powered flashlight up to the egg to see if they have started growing yet. I’ll be posting our own pictures then. 

Whats going on today? 

  • The somites extend to the tip of the tail.

  • The toes begin to form.

  • The allantois is visible coming off the hindgut.

A somite is part of the embryo that will eventually develop into the chickens’ vertebrae. 
The allantois is a sack like structure in the embryo that  will help it exchange gases and handle liquid waste.


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Virtual Egg Hatch = Day #3

Look at how much the circulatory system has developed since yesterday! 

This is what’s developing today. 

  • The head begins to turn onto its left side.

  • The tongue begins to form.

  • The amnion completely surrounds the embryo.

  • The tail has appeared.

  • Wing and leg buds are visible.

  • Soon other organs such as the liver, kidneys, and lungs will appear.

There pictures were taken by MRI through that Chickscope project I mentioned before. It’s so amazing to be able to see these changes so dramatically Be sure to email me if you have any questions, would like more in depth information, or if you would like links to any other websites for lesson plans, etc. Thanks for checking back in with us! 


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Virtual Egg Hatch – Day #2

Welcome back! Here is what is going on inside those eggs today. 

  • 25 hours: The heart begins to form.

  • 33 hours: The ears begin to form.

  • 42 hours: The heart starts to beat.

So in this picture you can see the darkest spot in the middle is the beginning of the embryo. There are the beginnings of the blood vessels surrounding the embryo. 

On our farm right now we have about 50 chickens. The majority are a breed called Leghorn, they are small white chickens that lay white eggs. They are flighty and skiddish, so they are not our favorite for visiting with our guests, but they are prolific egg layers, and we do like that. 



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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-
(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. 









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Our New Aviary

We are so excited to have finally finished building our huge aviary right in the middle of our farm. We have moved our peacocks and ducks in here. The ducks are loving their new pond, click here to see a cute video on our Facebook page. 




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Cranberry Brie Bites

Cranberry Brie Bites
Makes 24 small bites

½ box frozen puffed pastry (one sheet)
½ lb Brie cheese
8 ounce jar Sakonnet Farm Cranberry Apple Relish

1. Thaw one puffed pastry sheet according to directions on package, preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Roll out sheet on floured surface until aprox 12 inch square
3. With a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut the sheets into approximately 2.5 inch x 2.5 inch squares. Press each square into a oiled mini muffin cavity.
4. Cube the cheese – about a 3/4 inch cube per muffin cup.
5. Place a cube of brie in the center of each puff pastry square. Top the brie with aprox 1 tsp Cranberry Apple Relish.
6. Bake about 10 minutes or until puff pastry corners are toasted lightly brown.
7. Let cool 5 minutes before serving


Cranberry Brie Bites, step one


Cranberry Brie Bites, step 2
We’ve also been putting little cubes of brie on crackers and warming in the microwave for about 15 seconds then topping with the relish. Much easier and still quite delish!


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