The Chick-Inn

Well to say we have been getting up with the chickens around here would be a very true statement! It is science fair season and both of the girls have been heavily involved with projects for school. Lei Lei has developed quite a fondness for chickens (thanks to Aunt Carrie's farm) and wanted to try and see which method of hatching in an incubator would work better. She had one incubator with an automatic turner and one that we hand turned.

I have always been and probably always will be a sucker for anything animal related, so we have turned the dining room into a hatchery!  Literally the incubators are sitting on a table beside my silver trays.  Guess what we haven't served for Sunday lunch in 3 weeks!?!  I actually may never be able to eat chicken again after this whole experiment but that's another story.

So we started with 20 beautiful fertile eggs from Aunt Carrie's.  They are Silver Laced Wyandotte chickens and they are such a pretty bird.  This pair is from Carrie's farm. Aren't they great?

We kept a hygrometer and a thermometer in each incubator because heat and humidity are VITAL to a successful hatch.

Candling was my favorite part of this adventure.  You can see what is going on inside the egg.  For reference this is an Egglands Best right out of our refrigerator so you can see what a non fertile egg looks like.  Clear as a bell! 

This is one of our fertile eggs on day 12 with veining and an air sac and that little dot opened and shut when we were candling and we all freaked out!

This is an egg where an embryo started but quit for some reason.  The blood ring and the air sac show that there was an embryo at some point.

After we were convinced that there were some eggs that were not viable I cracked them open to see what it looked like on the inside.  If you look close you can see the blood ring from the picture above. 

As the chicks grow there is less and less room in the egg and the air sac becomes larger and larger.

My budding scientist took notes after notes about each egg.

I am pretty sure she enjoyed this experiment as much or more than her chicken loving sister.

And finally on day 20 we had an early bird!  The next ones to hatch would give me a scare and then a bigger scare but they made into the world with a lot of prayers and fretful hands. 

The things we have laughed the most at is how fast and easily they can follow asleep.  One second they are looking at you and the next...

So here is our trio, Earlie, Rosie and Lollie.

Leighton's board is due this week and she has worked so hard preparing and reading and TYPING.  She didn't want to hand write anything because "she is in 5th grade now."  Her typing took longer than the chickens did to hatch and in the end she enlisted the help of her sister and they finished it together.  We also got a lot of use out of Hadleigh's new Silhouette.  Wise investment of her Christmas money.  They can use it for school or crafts or just about anything.  That little machine is amazing.  Here is Leighton's finished product.  

She hand drew all the stages of the embryo and I was so excited with what she learned about that. 

This experiment taught us all sooooo much including God's amazing handiwork.  We brought eggs home from Aunt Carrie's at Christmas and they sat on our counter beside our Christmas cookies until it was time.  We put them in gave them heat and moisture and now we have babies.  Only God can do something that amazing and be that detailed with a tiny little bird.  I stand in awe of him once again.

Hadleigh's project was just as fun and we had to ask for help from some of our 4 legged friends.  I will post about that soon! Now I'm off to get my little chickens out of bed and on with our day.