On March 20th, we started our latest greatest adventure..... hatching some eggs we got from a friend. We have never hatched chicken eggs before, so we have been learning as we go. From getting the temp and humidity right in the incubator, to rolling the eggs by hand three times a day, it has seemed like a long wait. Oh sure, it only takes around 21 days for an egg to hatch, but when your anticipation level is a mile high, those days tick by slowly!
Over the last couple of weeks we have been delighted to see the eggs begin to develop and grow. Of the original twelve eggs we received, eight of them were fertile. Sadly, one of the eggs stop developing early on. The other seven eggs however have been growing like champs!
Every so often the country kids and I have candles the eggs using my smart phone's flashlight feature. At first you could see all sorts of veining in the egg and the tiny embryo moving about. But as the days passed, those tiny embryos grew at an alarming rate! It is unbelievable just how fast they grow. As you can see in the photo below, the eggs became so filled with little developing chicks, that the eggs were no longer transparent.
We are nearing the end of our hatching adventure, as today is day 20 of the process. And let me tell you, the anticipation is worse than ever!!!! The eggs went into “lock down” on day 18, so all we can do is sit and peek through the incubator windows. Lock down is when you stop turning the eggs and increase the humidity in the incubator. This is a crucial time for the embryos as they get ready to make that final push into this world. You do NOT open the incubator during lock down. I feel so helpless not doing something as I have been turning eggs for days.
So I decided to read what do if something goes wrong. You know, how to extract the chick from the egg if they get stuck. Does and don’ts of hatching. You know, all the info you hope you never need but just in case….. I want to be prepared for anything! I have two children but I feel so unprepared for egg labor!
So here we sit…… staring at the incubator….. waiting for something to happen…… Come out little ones, we so want to meet you!
|The "mother ship" aka the incubator.|
Just waiting for the the natives to come out!