You have probably noticed that our hatch date has come and gone. Unfortunately, none of the eggs hatched and as we discovered upon candling them this last week, none of them turned out to be fertile. While we're disappointed of course, this isn't completely unexpected since our eggs came from a small local farm where only a handful of chickens reside. In previous years, our eggs came from a hatchery where 100s of chickens lived and the environment was ideal for producing fertile eggs. The good news is that we hope to secure another set of eggs from the local farm to try again. While there is no guarantee, it's always fun to anticipate the arrival of baby chicks. While we wait, be sure to try some of the experiments found here.
Spring Incubation Project-UPDATE
Our annual spring incubation project in partnership with the Darien Dragons 4H Club is on! We had to make some adjustments, but we are so excited to share an all online experience with you this year. We added a second round of eggs. As of June 10, they are expected to hatch sometime between now and the next two weeks.
Here's the scoop on this year's project . . .
- The project will be hosted in a 4H family’s home, not in the library.
- We were unable to work with the University of Illinois Extension, as they have canceled their program for this spring, but we were able to find another local source for eggs.
- We are hatching a new breed of chicken. This year, we will be hatching Serama chickens.
Don't miss a live Q & A!
Monday, May 11, 3 p.m.
Register here. https://ippl.libcal.com/event/6698881
Follow along with the 4H club as they lead us through activities that you can try at home.
- Egg Development Calendar
- Exploring Egg Shape and Egg Strength
- Egg Shell Porosity
- Spinning and Floating Eggs
- Building an Egg ViewerExit
About Serama Chickens & Eggs
Serama chickens are a very small breed. They range in height from just under six inches to almost ten inches tall. They have a very upright posture. Serama eggs also are tiny! It takes about five Serama eggs to reach the equivalent of one grade A standard egg.
- University of Illinois Extension Incubation and Embryology
- National Agriculture in the Classroom
- Science Netlink's
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.