5.22.2007

Eggsperiment #3

Cats on Tuesday may be found below. Meanwhile, back at the Hall of Justice, I am incubating some eggs.

Last weekend I set up the incubator for the first time. Yes, it looks a lot like a styrofoam cooler, with windows. But it really is a Little Giant incubator.

I let it run for awhile and it does keep a fairly steady temperature.
It took me three thermometers (including two people thermometers) to make certain I had it right--102 degrees F (39 C) for a still-air incubator.

On Sunday I put 24 eggs into the incubator, small end down. The air pocket is at the large end of the egg and should go up; this is where the chick will develop.

This incubator has an egg turner which gently rocks the eggs back and forth, so you don't have to do it yourself. (Kind of makes me appreciate all the work the broody hens do.)

This is what a good egg looks like when you shine the light through it. You can see the network of blood vessels developing.

It takes 21 days for chicken eggs to hatch. On day 7, I candled the eggs by holding them over a bright light and looking for signs of life. Eight of them had to be discarded, but 16 of them showed healthy signs of development. So far, so good.

For comparison, this is a fresh egg, before incubation. You can see the little air pocket on the left. (If you have children, or are simply curious, Mink Hollow Farm has a great website on how eggs develop into chicks, with a teacher tutorial and kids activities. I've borrowed these two egg candling photos from them.)


Hopefully, in two more weeks, we'll see a few of these.

9 comments:

Chris said...

Good grief, it looks like the labratory of an evil scientist!! Are you sure you're aiming for chickens??

DAWN said...

It's crazy, what your into these days, lady. I love the little chick picture at the end. That is the money shot for me.

Obsidian Kitten said...

Depends on whether that sneaky Gort that KnitOwl sent me has had his hands in the box or not...

Gattina said...

I hope you don't mind but I stole again two pictures !This time from Goldie and put it for Wordless Wednesday (you don't participate to that) but look how they came out when I just put them through PICASA !

Deana said...

This was so exciting...I wish we would try this instead of our one hen trying. Every time one goes on the nest a fox or something gets it.

And I loved your cats on Tuesday photos below!

Mom Unplugged said...

I just looked at the Mink Hollow Farm site and bookmarked it. Fascinating! My kids have been asking a lot about chicken eggs lately, so this will be good. Thanks!

Elizabeth said...

I'm loving all the chicky info coming through this blog! You never know what animal is going to be featured, llama, cat, chickens. Mmm we haven't seen many sheep lately. Not as photogenic?

RheLynn said...

I've heard of 'candling' eggs - but never saw what you were looking for. Neat! Best of luck for your peeps!

Dee said...

Your chicks are adorable. I hope Goldie enjoys her new home. It looks lovely.