The waiting game

We are hatching chicks! Bringing home day old chicks wasn’t enough for us so we decided to take it a step further and bought an incubator! We have 14 eggs and for 18 days now we have been patiently waiting for the little guys to break free.

Our incubator is fully automated so you put the eggs in the little trays, set the temperature and leave them to it – the incubator turns the eggs for you.

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At 10 days you candle the eggs in order to see how many are actually in the process so that you can remove the undeveloped eggs. As you can imagine leaving a regular egg in an environment that is around 38°C with about 55% humidity is not going to end well! I had no idea how we would be certain if there were chicks growing inside until this happened…

Meet the undeveloped egg…

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And the developed egg.

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Turns out even hatching rookies like us had it sorted! We started with 16 eggs, of which 3 did not develop. We also had 6 eggs for somebody else (they weren’t sure if they were even viable) but 1 of them was, so we may have a little odd one out if it hatches.

From day 14 you need to increase the humidity to about 70% in order for the chicks to be able to move around in their shells. To do this we put a sponge in the bottom and kept topping it up with water.

At day 18 the eggs are removed from the trays and set down on the bottom of the incubator, all ready to start hatching!

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They are due to hatch any day now (it usually takes around 19-21 days) so we could possibly have 14 chicks in the next couple of days but you know, I don’t want to count my chickens…

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