The birds are chirping, the bees are buzzing, and allergies are flaring. That's right, it's springtime in Alachua County. The Alachua Branch has fertilized Ameraucana chicken eggs (they're blue!) and an incubator, so follow their journey from egg to chick. Here is some key information:
- The incubation process takes approximately 21 days, and the estimated hatch date is April 17.
- We are using a Pro Series Farm Innovators digital incubator with a fan and automatic egg turner. The digital display shows us what day we are at in the process as well as the temperature and humidity level.
- We are starting with 11 eggs, although some may not develop and will need to be removed.
- The parents are brown and lavender Ameraucana chickens, which are known for their egg laying capabilities and blue eggs.
- Eggs will be "candled" by using a bright flashlight to see through the shell to observe the development process of the chick. Candling will take place on April 4, 10, and 14 at 4:15 PM in the Alachua Branch meeting room.
- The incubator should stay at a temperature between 99.5 and 101.5 degrees with a humidity level of 50-60%, so we will only open it at the designated candling times.
Want to learn more about chickens? We have some great books for kids and adults.
Here's an update: One egg had stopped developing by the first candling session, so that left us with ten eggs. We only candled the eggs twice more, and it was so much fun to watch the change and development. Five of the ten eggs successfully hatched. It's difficult to tell why the other five didn't hatch successfully, as there are many things that can go wrong and sometimes the chicks aren't strong enough to hatch. The Youtube video shows our 5 succesfully hatched chicks back at their farm. They are healthy, happy, and growing each day.