Updated: Mar 9, 2019
This year was our first time incubating and hatching chicks. Every spring we purchase chicks and add them to our brood of fine feathered barn friends, but this year we borrowed this little incubator from our FFA teacher, and laid six eggs within its clear see through walls and waited for their fruition. At fourteen days we candled the eggs to see which ones were viable and we had, what it looked like to us, three eggs with chicks inside. We did try candling the eggs at seven days and saw some veining, but left them all inside the incubator until the second candling when we could truly see the dark image, veining and the chicks move away from the candlers' light.
It takes 21 days to hatch chicks, and with our abundance of snow and frigid below zero temperatures this has been on great little project that sprinkles a glimmer of spring into our Montana world. We could hear our first chick 'peeping' inside its egg before it pecked its way free, and our oldest son caught it hatching. His video is below. The chick was very wet and floppy for about 24 hours, as seen in our video, until it got its 'chicken sea legs' under 'em. Then it fluffed up, and was ready for the great big wide open world. Well, actually...the wide open world within the confines of an oversized tub, filled with wood chips, feed, water and a heat lamp beaming warmly down upon its new life. This is a link with information on "What is an Egg candler?", and I've added an image of the different states of the chicks development when candled, above. I also wanted to share this Youtube video, below, about chick development, because I thought it was very interesting.
We've enjoyed this hatching process so much, and love that we can share these little critters development from egg to hatching birth with our children. I think we'll definitely invest in a little incubator as we add more feathered friends to our flock.