2023 Upcoming Hatch Dates
- Monday, Jan. 30 – Tuesday, Jan. 31
- Monday, Mar. 6 – Tuesday, Mar. 7
- Monday, May 1 – Tuesday, May, 2
4-H EGG Cam is part of the Lancaster County 4-H Embryology 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!
About Chicks Hatching
Whether it is in an incubator or under a hen, chicks both hatch and look the same. Here's a description:
- During this process incubators and brooders are monitored ensuring both developing eggs and chicks are well cared for.
- As chicks are hatching, we try to leave them alone and let them hatch on their own. It can be a long, tiring process that may take a few hours.
- Chicks will appear damp after they hatch. 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 inside the egg while they are developing.
- The chicks will be very tired and weak once they hatch. The hatching process is hard work. You may see them resting heavily moments after they hatch. After a few hours and they will be up and running.
- You may see blood and other foreign materials attached to the chicks. These are the remains of the albumen and embryonic sac the chick lives in while developing.
- Once the chicks are strong and as dry as possible, which can be around 6 hours, we take them out of the incubator and put them in the brooder where they will learn to eat, drink and interact with other chicks.
- 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. It is important to remember that not all eggs hatch and not all chicks survive even when they are incubated by a hen.
- Area farmers provide homes for chicks around 1 week after they hatch.