Ever since making the decision to home school, I have been looking forward to hatching chicks. I had never done this before, but it's pretty common to see eggs and little chickies in primary classrooms around here during the last weeks of the school year. I almost changed my mind about doing this, because our Spring ended up being so crazy and a bit unsettled, but in the end I decided just to jump right in. I bought an incubator, ordered fertilized eggs from a farm in Wisconsin, got in touch with a farmer who is willing to take the chickens after they hatch, and read up on the process.
The kids were very excited when they found out what we would be doing. The day that we knew to expect the egg delivery, they were so eager for the mail to come. When we got home from running some errands and saw the "EGGS" box on our front porch, we were all super excited. We opened up the box, and I have to admit that I was a little surprised that they looked just like eggs we get at the store. =) I knew that they would look similar, but for some reason I wondered if I would be able to tell that they were a different. Nope.
|We ordered a dozen; she sent us 15. Although I placed all 15 in this one crate, they came "packaged" quite differently....only 2-3 per tray, with layers of trays in between as padding.|
What? Doesn't everyone have an incubator in their living room?
I learned two very important lessons on Day 1: 1) once the incubator's temperature has stabilized, LEAVE THE KNOB ALONE and 2) don't put any water in on the first day as it will likely be humid enough at first (I added water, probably a little too much, on the first morning and the humidity shot up way too high). Seriously, I pretty much camped out in the living room that day to make sure that the levels stayed normal.
Finally, after a day of some frantic adjustments on the incubator, and some crazy high humidity readings that I needed to lower, it finally stabilized at a smidge above 99.5 degrees (99.5 degrees is the ideal incubation temperature) and between 55%-60% humidity. Phew!
traditionally incubated. =)
|I had bought this book last summer, with this project in mind, and it has been a good resource.|
Typical incubation time for chicks is 21 days. Meredith made us a calendar to count down the days until our chickies hatch.
I have to admit that I have already gained a bit of an affection for these soon-to-be-chicks. Knowing that a little life is growing inside each of the shells is a daily reminder of God's amazing ways. I am hoping to do some egg-candling in a few days so that we can see the progressive development of our "babies".