Incubating Newbie - Classroom Project?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Korn, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. Korn

    Korn New Egg

    Jan 26, 2012
    Last spring, my husband and I bought chicks and built a coop and started our own family of chickens. We have 2 Rhode Island Red hens and one RIR rooster and 4 Plymouth Rock hens.

    Anyway, we want to see if we can get chicks from our eggs and, being a high school Biology teacher, I wanted to make it a classroom project. My question is, what are the major concerns with incubating and hatching eggs in the classroom? What equipment is absolutely essential? Will the fact that I'm not at school on the weekend make this difficult to pull off? Approximately how long will it take to incubate and hatch the eggs?

    Again, I'm a total newbie and I have NO CLUE what to do. I just started my research, but I figured a more direct route to get answers to my questions would be helpful.

    Thank you!
  2. amynbrent

    amynbrent Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 15, 2011
    Dryden, MI
    I have just started hatching myself, last May is my first raising chickens. I have left for weekends and had eggs in the incubator and never had a problem. I have a styro foam incubator from Tractor Supply and an egg turner. Both were about $40 each. I have a thermometer that also has the humity level on it. As long as no one is disturbing the incubator and your humidity and temp is where it should be my opinion and from my experience they will be fine. The only thing is you will have to time hatching for when you will be there, 21 days is the norm, lockdown on day 18...I think you can do it w/o any issues.

    Good luck!
  3. midget_farms

    midget_farms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2008
    Dunlap Illinois
    Welcome! & Congrats on wanting to do this with the kids. I think its very important to teach such things to the children!

    Here is the condensed version of hatching eggs.

    1 - Collect the eggs - Keep them in an egg carton at room temp. BIG END UP until you have all the eggs you want. You can safely collect eggs for 7 days w/o decreasing your hatch rate. Ain't mother nature cool!
    BTW - you need to turn the eggs at least 3 times per day. Most elivate one end of the egg carton & then the other.

    2 - dont wash them

    3 - incubate them - you can buy or build an incubator. The eggs will need to be turned 3x per day up until day 18. It takes 21 days to hatch a chicken. Dont count the day you set.

    As mentioned before you can buy an automatic egg turner. In those models its pretty much set & forget! There are only 2 things to worry about when hatching eggs.

    Heat & Humidity - any store bought incubator will manage both pretty well but you will want to keep an eye on it & follow the instructions that come with.

    The eggs can be handled and played with all through day 18 & it is a seriously cool thing to candle an egg & show the embryo development.

    From day 18 on - you remove the turner & set the eggs back in for hatching.

    Here is where most people have difficulty. YOU CANT OPEN THE INCUBATOR! After playing with the eggs for nearly 3 weeks to be cut off suddenly is tough.

    You can fudge this rule a little bit right up until the first PIP. A PIP is when the chick cracks the egg to begin the hatching process. After that if you open the incubator for any reasn you risk killing the chick. We call it shrink wrapping. The egg membrane drys out suddenly because of the drop in humidity & its lights out for the chick.

    Anyway - we will all gladly help you through the process if you like -

    almost instant answers to your quesitons here & tons of very smart people.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by