Cheesy, I know, but I can’t help it. We have five good looking chicks right now. One more cracking egg (maybe), and two that haven’t shown any signs of cracking at this point. Five is just right, since that’s how many kids we have right now.
They are finally here. First some pictures of Bill, Mr. Whitaker, Jenny, Eugene, and Batman (that’s what you get when kids name their chicks – inspired by hurricanes, Adventures in Odyssey, and superheroes). I’ll try to pick my favorites, but it was so amazing, and they are soooo cute!
And, some videos . . .
Chick making it’s “hatch line.” Each chick would first methodically peck a crack all around the egg before pushing the two sections apart. AMAZING!
The final pushes:
Just hatched chick:
And, some more information . . .i
f you would like to attempt a chick hatching of your own, I would heartily encourage you to do so. My kids are already asking when we can get more eggs and start over again. This has been an all around amazing, spiritually significant, and wildly educational experience.
First, you need to figure out a few things:
- Where to get the supplies (incubator, chicks, brooder box supplies, etc.) Either check online (through a hatchery, like McMurray’s, or a company like ENascos) or your local 4-H or Farm bureau.
- Where the incubator will be kept and how to keep track of egg rotation
- What to do with the chicks after hatching. If you went through your farm bureau they might be able to make arrangements for the chicks as well.
We contacted our local 4-H group that had classes in the spring, which we had already missed. So, they referred us to the farm bureau and they were amazing to work with. Once we signed up as members ($30 for a 15 month membership), they would loan us everything that we needed for free.
They sent us home with an incubator, brooder box supplies, and lots of materials for classroom activities and experiments. Visuals, games, quizzes, teaching material, and a video that explained it all.
A few days later we stopped by our farmer’s house and picked up a dozen eggs to place in our preheating incubator.
Twenty one days and lots of turning later, we have chicks!
The final numbers:
- 12 eggs
- 9 candled well on day 4-7
(minus 1 that had a crack in it, so really just 8)
- 8 eggs showing good growth and movement on days 7-10
- 5 chicks, and counting!
Some places that helped us for information while caring for the eggs and chicks:
- The University of Illinois Extension has a great site with lots of info. We also got all of this in print with our egg supplies, but you can see it just as easily right online.
- My favorite answer location was My Backyard Chickens. They have a wealth of information and an active message board forum with limitless answers
- Some cute classroom activities for incubation time.
Some passages of Scripture that we used in our Bible time today to tie in our chick fever:
- Matthew 23:37 (portion), “how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings”
- Psalm 139 – the marvel of created life, the omniscience of God
- Psalm 8 – the responsibility of man to care for animals and all creation
- Matthew 6:25-34 – God takes such care of creatures in nature, how much more will He see that our needs are met
An amazing experience. All of my kids thoroughly enjoyed this, even my non-animal lover who has gotten out of bed three times already to make sure the chicks are doing okay. If you can’t do it in your home, or enjoy someone else doing it, there are lots of videos to watch online and much to enjoy even if it is not beak to nose.