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2020 Upcoming Dates
- Hatch dates: Tuesday, Jan. 28–Wednesday, Jan. 29
- Chicken eggs set in incubator: Tuesday, Feb. 11
- Hatch dates: Tuesday, March 3–Wednesday, March 4
- Chicken eggs set in incubator: Tuesday, April 7
- Hatch dates: Tuesday, April 28–Wednesday, April 29
About 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.
4-H EGG Cam is part of the Lancaster County 4-H Embryology 4-H school enrichment program. Since 2002, 4-H EGG Cam’s live view has given classrooms, families at home and anyone on the internet the opportunity to watch chicks, ducklings, guinea keets and other poultry hatch. Eggs are usually on 4-H EGG Cam January through early fall. We usually hatch chicken eggs, but sometimes other poultry eggs are featured! Thank you to GQF Manufacturing for designing and building a special incubator for 4-H EGG Cam featuring a lid with an extra large viewing area!