In May, we learned all about the Lifecycle of a Hen. Ms. Cartwright got eggs from farmers who had a rooster on their farm and we incubated 20 eggs, in the hope that we might get some chicks to hatch. We knew all of the eggs would not hatch, as not all of them would be fertilised.
It was really important that we had the conditions inside the incubator correct. We kept the humidity at 40-60% and the temperature at 100 degrees fahrenhite. We checked the humidity and the temperature daily to make sure they were correct. We added water to increase the humidity whenever we needed to.
We monitored the eggs every day and looked at pictures of inside the egg to see what stage of growth the chicks were at. On day 10, we used an egg lume to ‘candle’ the eggs, to see what eggs had chicks growing inside. We found that 16 eggs had signs of life inside. The eggs which had a dark patch in them had something growing inside and the eggs that had no dark patch had no chick growing. We removed the eggs that had nothing growing inside to make sure the chicks had room to move when they hatched.
On day 19, 1 chick hatched. On day 20, 3 chicks hatched. Finally, on day 21, 8 chicks hatched. We were so lucky that we got 12 baby chicks in total. We left them in the incubator for 24 hours so that their feathers could dry. We then moved them into a large box with some food and water. We also had a red lamp above them to keep them warm.
We loved getting to hold the chicks and watch them grow for the week they were in school. Ms. Cartwright then brought them home where they would continue to grow and eventually live with other hens on a farm. The chicks are one month old now and are all doing very well.
Have a look at all of our photos below!