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May 19, 2011

A Peeping Day

A few weeks ago we picked up an incubator and instead of buying chicks to raise we decided to hatch our own. The boys and I did a lot of research and learned all what to do and not to do. Our first hatch was a success with 28 out of 42 eggs hatching. We now are on our second batch of chicks. This morning they started to hatch....so far 6 have escaped their crowded quarters and are enjoying being free!!!

Here are some of the things we have learned about hatching chicks.

1. When choosing your eggs to hatch, it is best to choose ones that are clean. If they are a little dirty it is important not to wash the eggs because eggs are porous you bacteria could be transferred into the egg and cause illness or defects.  Also don't choose eggs with cracks, unusually shaped eggs, or  too big or too small eggs.

2. You can store fertilized eggs for up to 7 days before placing in incubator. Any longer than that reduces likelihood of eggs hatching.

3.  You need to keep the temperature between 99.5 - 100.5 F A little fluctuation is OK, but nothing too drastic.

4. At around (and after)  5 or 6 days you can candle an egg to see if embryo is growing.

5. It takes 21 days for a chick to hatch, no less, no more (if temps have been kept right).

6. A chick has an egg tooth to help it peck holes in the egg. A few days after it hatched the egg tooth falls off. 

7. It can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 12 hours after the chick's first 'hole' in the egg before it is completely hatched. 

8. It takes them quite a few hours to dry off completely and look like a soft, fluff chicken!!!

9. Watching chicks hatch never gets old!

Megan put together this little video of a couple of the chicks hatching this morning (this is for you Young family :) She sped up a few parts so the video would't be too long!


Forever Young said...

Wow! Thank you so much for putting that together! The kids watched in absolute fascination! Rebekah said, "I think they're saying, 'Huh? Who are you?'"

Josh and Rebecca Pauls said...

Great video Meg, I agree watching chicks hatch never gets old, it's so exciting to watch new life enter this world.

The Munck Family said...

Aw....I cannot wait to show this to the kids!But you know what I wish....wish we had been there with you;-)
Love to you all!!!

Anonymous said...

I'd never actually watched chicks hatch before - pretty cool! I have to say though, if I saw it in real I may not be able to eat eggs ever again! :)
Janet H.