Step by step Lesson plan for hatching chicken eggs

Bantam Chick

Day old Silkie Bantam Chick
Day old Silkie Bantam Chick | Source
Digital Mini Egg Incubator
Digital Mini Egg Incubator | Source

Hatching Chicken Eggs

Incubating chickens in the classroom is an excellent project for all ages, and whether you have chickens on site, or a delivery of eggs to incubate, there are some simple steps to follow for hatching chicken eggs. Hatching eggs is simple and straight forward and can therefore be used for all ages of children and for science fair projects. The children will enjoy the project immensely, and it is also one that you can repeat each year without fear of the children tiring of the experience

• If your eggs will be taken from your own hens, then gather the freshly laid eggs; otherwise prepare your incubator for your delivery. Discard any eggs that seem to be dirty or cracked and never wash the eggs. Freshly hatched eggs have a protective layer that needs to be present during the hatching process and once removed the eggs could become prone to disease.

Whether you eggs come straight from your own flock, or from a delivery, you can check that the eggs are indeed fertilized through a process known as candling. Use only eggs that are sturdy and unbroken, candling the eggs with a bright like to check for fertilization. Carefully set aside the good eggs from the bad and make sure that you use the best quality looking eggs for your project.

• You need to prepare your incubator preferably a few days in advance, the temperature and humidity depending on the type of eggs you wish to hatch. Turning on your incubator in preparation for the arrival or hatching of your eggs will mean that the temperature and humidity are indeed stabilized before the eggs are put in place.

• Check your incubator is functioning correctly and that it is indeed suitable for the correct incubation of your eggs. Your incubator may be a small commercial model or a large table top one; any type if good for hatching chicken eggs just as long as it is in correct working order.

• Before you place your eggs in the incubator, you need to make sure that they are at a stable room temperature. Leave your eggs to adjust to the ambient temperature before carefully placing them in the incubator. If you take the eggs straight from the cold storage of transportation or the outdoor temperature around your flock then this will reduce the probability of the eggs hatching. Once warmed up to room temperature, carefully place the eggs into the incubator you have previously prepared to instruction, large end upwards.

• Once in place, carefully mark each egg with a cross; this is essential for the correct incubation and hatching. Once in the incubator, the eggs need to be turned daily, and tended to with care to ensure that they will hatch properly. Marking the eggs with an x on one side is an easy way to ensure that you correctly turn all your eggs each day and you do not miss any eggs.

• Chicken eggs should take around twenty one days to hatch, and it is very important that for the last three days of the incubation period the eggs are left without turning. Check the incubation period with a reliable source, gently mark the eggs with a pencil, and make sure that they are meticulously turned throughout the stated time period.

• Once the chicks start to hatch, there should be no more than a forty eight hour gap until all the eggs will hatch; after this time period, all non hatched eggs can be discarded. Carefully place the chicks in a warmed brooding box with fresh water, food and the warmth of a heat lamp. For the first days the temperature should be set to ninety five degrees, and each week the temperature should be dropped by five degrees until you reach seventy.

Incubating eggs and watching your brood grow is a very rewarding experience, and is one that even the youngest learners will appreciate. Skills that are learned during the process range from that of responsibility to counting and caring for animals. The incubation of chicken eggs requires dedication and precision during the incubation period as well as daily attention once the chicks are born. As a project, hatching chicken eggs can guarantee to capture the attention and heart of even the most difficult of learners.

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