Updated March 10, 2017
We're in the middle of 4-H Embryology season in Lancaster County, Nebraska! As spring makes its way, Egg Cam will be more active each week. These chicks will be heading to a local farm soon and we'll be switching the camera to eggs with a hatch date in a few days. Here are a few hatch dates coming up! Be sure to check in:
- March 15: Ducks and Geese. White Pekins, White and Brown Chinese geese and Africa geese.
- March 16: Chickens, mix breeds
- March 23: Ducks and Geese: White Pekins, White and Brown Chinese, Brown African
About the chicks hatching!
Whether it is in an incubator or under a hen, the baby chicks hatch the same and look the same. Here's a description:
- When the chicks are hatching, we monitor the incubators and the brooders to make sure the chicks are well cared for.
- As chicks are hatching, we try to leave them alone and let them hatch on their own. While it may look like they are struggling, in fact, they are not. It can be a long, tiring process.
- They will be wet and gooey for a few hours. This is completely natural. The wetness we see is the albumen (egg whites) which is completely natural for the hatching process to happen. They have to be wet in order to rotate in their egg to hatch.
- The chicks will be very tired and weak once they hatch. Its hard work getting out of that egg!! You may see them just laying on their back or flopping around. Again, completely natural as they are learning to move outside of their egg. Give them a couple of hours and they will be up running.
- You may see some blood, brown colored goop and other “gross” things. These are the remains of the albumen and embryonic sac the chick lives in while developing. While it may not be pleasant to look at, it is completely natural as part of the hatching process.
- You will also see pieces of the shell as the chick hatches. We will pull the shells out when the right time allows.
- Once the chicks are strong and as dry as possible, which can be 6-24 hours, we take them out of the incubator and put them in the brooder where they will learn to eat, drink and mingle with their pen mates.
- You may also see some eggs that do not hatch. There are many reasons for this, but we will never know for sure why. We provide everything they need in order to develop and hatch. Remember, not all eggs hatch and not all chicks survive even when they are incubated by a hen.
- Area farmers provide a home for all chicks.
Thank you for supporting this important project in our area schools!
Thank you to Willie Strickland and GQF Manufacturing in Savannah, Georgia. GQF Manufacturing for designing and building a special incubator for us. This incubator lid has a large viewing area which enables us to see more of what's going on in the incubator during the hatch.
Day 7 of incubation. You'll see moving embryos, parts of the egg, what eggs look like when the embryo stops growing and eggs that were never fertile. View here.
Be sure to stop by and join us on the 4-H EGG Cam Facebook page!
For information and resources on incubating chicks, visit HERE
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