We had lots of birthdays to celebrate in our classroom today--eight to be exact, at least as of the time I left school this afternoon. We incubated 13 chicken eggs, and so far, eight have hatched! We know that there are more likely to hatch this evening and overnight, as several more eggs were "pipped," meaning they have the first hole/crack in the shell which means a chick is working its way out. There are two eggs I am not sure about, but if we have 11/13 hatch, that is considered excellent in the world of chicken embryology. In fact, a hatch rate of 50% is considered normal.
The students in our class were excellent scientists and took great care when turning the eggs. Maybe this helped our hatch rate?! In any case, we are all extremely excited about the new babies in our room. They hatched on Day 20 of incubation, which is on the early side, as 21 days is the average incubation period. But, as I explained to students, human babies have a due date, but the actual birth does not often happen on that predicted date! With chicks, it's a bit more exact, but it helped everyone understand that we did keep the correct count of days and that's just nature for you! :-)
|Two of the first three chicks that hatched overnight.|
|It's neat to watch the chicks gather together and huddle near eggs to "cheer on" the chicks still trying to hatch.|
Tomorrow I will move the chicks from the incubator to a tank with food, water, and a heat lamp. They need to stay in the incubator until they are fully dry. The chick on the left must've been one of the first-born. It's already bigger and is nearly dry.