Updated: May 16
Some of you have seen chicks hatch in an incubator before. Mrs Rogers has hatched chicks in Kindergarten in past years. Mrs Bordin and Mrs Ramsay like to hatch out ducklings in their class.
Chicken eggs take three weeks to hatch chicks. (Duck eggs take four weeks.) A mama hen can sit on them for that time to keep them warm, or you can use an incubator. An incubator is a machine that mimics a hen by keeping the eggs at a consistent warm temperature. As you can see, our eggs are all different colours because our chickens are all different breeds.
I put a dozen eggs in the incubator on May 2. Everyday the eggs must be turned so that the chick grows properly. On Day 7 you can candle the eggs to see if a chick is growing inside. Candling is when you hold a light under the egg and see what is inside. Sometimes you can see the chicken embryo. Some eggshells (like green or dark brown) can be difficult to see through.
Here is a picture from one of the eggs. Do you see the black spot inside? That spot is the eye. At the top of the egg is the air sac. The sac will get bigger as the chick grows.
We had twelve eggs in the incubator at the beginning. One egg had small cracks and had to be thrown away. Bacteria can get into the cracks and make the egg go bad. A rotten egg would be a disaster inside a warm incubator. When I candled the remaining eleven eggs I could see air sacs and egg spots in all of them. Successful candling doesn't mean that all the chicks will develop, or survive but it is a very good start!
Check back later this week to see pictures of what your classmates are growing at their homes!