hatchingsoonThe eggs are here!

Visit the 2nd floor Kids & Teens area to experience our annual spring incubation project in partnership with the Darien Dragons 4H Club. The Club is working with the University of Illinois Extension team to provide the eggs for hatching. This year we are again hatching Leghorn chickens, and they are expected to hatch around May 16.

The incubation project can be viewed in-person any time during IPPL open hours. View the 24/7 Egg Cam here.

For questions, email Mid-Kids Librarian Amy M. at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


About Leghorn Chickens & Eggs

Leghorn chickens originated in Tuscany, Italy, and were brought to North America in 1828. Leghorns are one of the best egg laying chicken breeds. They can lay between 280 - 300 eggs per year. Leghorns can be a variety of colors, brown, black or buff, but most people have seen the white variety. Roosters weigh about eight pounds and hens are around five pounds. These chickens have orange/red eyes, a yellow beak and legs. Their feet have four toes. Leghorn chickens are known for their independent nature and eat small amounts of feed compared to other breeds. Learn more.

Drop-in Activity

For the duration of the incubation project, stop by the Kids & Teens activity table during library open hours to enjoy a chicken-themed craft!

Registered Programs

Mini STEM Explorers: Egg Science
Tuesday, April 19, 4-5 p.m.
For grades 1-3. Discover more about all kinds of eggs from the animal kingdom. Register here!

Egg-cellent Stories
Tuesday, April 26, 10:15-10:45 a.m.
For families with kids 7 & under. Cluck on over to IPPL for stories, rhymes, and songs all about eggs and chicks. Before or after storytime, don't forget to check out the incubating eggs in the Kids & Teens area! Register here!

Eggs to Chicks Workshop
Wednesday, April 27, 4-5 p.m.
For grades K-6. Discover the science and tools that turn a chicken into an egg in this hands-on workshop presented by members of the Darien Dragons 4H Club.  Register here!

Incubation Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long does it take a chicken egg to hatch?
A: It takes around 19 days for a chicken egg to hatch.

Q: What do you call a baby chicken?
A: A baby chicken is called a chick. It can also be called a pullet (young hen) or a cockerel (young rooster).

Q: What do you call a group of chickens?
A: A group of chickens is called a flock. A group of baby chicks is called a clutch or a peep. A group of hens is called a brood.

Q: What happens to the chickens next?
A: The chicks stay in the incubator for about 24 hours. They dry off and get stronger. Then, we will move them into the brooder, which is a safe, warm box where they have food and water there. The chickens will stay in the brooder for about 10 days. Then we will be taking them to live on a farm where they will continue growing until they are laying eggs of their own.

Q: Why aren't they eating yet?
A: Baby chicks don't need anything to eat or drink for about 48 hours after they've hatched. They absorb the yolk inside the egg just before they hatch so that they will have the energy they need to get out of the egg before they need food again.

Q: Where will they live forever?
A: Chicks will go to a farm in Warrenville. The lady raises them and collects the eggs.

Q: What happens to the eggs that don't hatch?
A: The 4H participants will open them to learn more about why they didn’t hatch and they will dispose of them.

Q: Why don't they hatch?
A: There are so many reasons an egg may not hatch. The most common reasons are temperature, humidity, sickness, or if they were never fertilized.