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Incubating Chicken Eggs


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We have just started incubating some chicken eggs. When I say we I mean one of our grandparents will look after them in an incubator and hand them over to us about a week before they hatch - phew!


Providing we actually have some eggs that develop we will follow our instructions to the letter when they are handed over.


I've never done this before, do you have any tips, especially with regard to hygiene within the environment and hand washing with children. Once they hatch they will be within a cage and I need to think of a way to cordon them off to supervise contact and hand washing. We will only keep them for a week as I understand they can get a little whiffy!

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Once hatched they will need to be fed and watered twice a day and cleaned out daily. Only I put my hands inside the box, to ensure no problems with germs.


Our children were fantastic at handling them. I only allowed supervised contact, and gave them the chicks only when seated on the floor, then I put them back in cage and supervised the handwashing.


Just a quick couple of tips


1. Hearing the chicks cheeping from within the eggs just a day or so before hatching ws MAGICAL!! But environment needs to be quiet so you can hear.

Also the eggs "twitch andd wriggle" just prior to hatching, and this is great for the kids to observe, but they need to look quite closely.


2. All our chicks hatched when the nursery was shut. I don't know if they were aware of the sound levels, and chose to hatch when it was quiet, or if just a coincidence, but that was my experience.


3. We found that towards the end of the week after hatching, the chicks were a bit flappy and fast for handling by the children.


Have a fantastic time with your chicks...it will be a wonderful experience for all. I can't wait until next spring when we do it all again!!!!

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Guest tinkerbell

Once the chickens have hatched they need to dry off in the incubator and them move to a place with a heat lamp to keep them warm.....My dressing up trolley has been used successfully twice now.I line the bottom with plastic,cover with a thick layer of newsaparer and then sawdust.....we attach the lamp on the bar above with masking tape and can higher or lower as is needed.

(Remember school will be cold at night when heating goes off.) The chicks are kept in the corridor ,they are noisy, we wheel them into HT office at lunch time,staff take children in small groups to see and handle the chicks., the children sit on the floor so the chicks don't fall far if the children drop them...the tiny feet and flapping can throw children.....all parents signed a permission slip ......the children must wash their hands after holding the chicks.....can't really think of anything else....good luck...we are getting our eggs tomorrow.....I am thinking of setting up a web cam!


If you see that a chick is getting distressed eg a crack and a piece of shell off but a couple of hours and nothing happening,I have helped the chick,very ,very carefully with tweezers I have cracked /nibbled some more shell away to help.....I was traumatised and there were no children around.I did ask advice on this and was told the mother hen would help the strugglers.


Don't forget to keep the water up in the incubator ,I think this chicks feathers dried on the inside of the shell and it got stuck.



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We have chicks every year, we keep the incubator in class as its a great stimulus. The chicks hatched at the end of a school day and siliarly to tinkerbell one was strugglingso we help it out. We sat the children i a circle with lotsof paper on the floor and they were all quiet and we let the chicks run around. they were really sensible. We then set the chicks up so they can be observed and provide clipboards, books related to chicks, a digital camera for the children to use. Sometimes they would just go and sit and watch the chicks, and we would watch the kids watching the chicks!

i hope the chicks are all ok and you will have so much fun with them x

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