On Tuesday, April 23, Hoover’s Hatchery delivered 42 fertilized eggs to Indian Creek Nature Center, where they are now incubating in the hatch exhibit in our Exhibit Hall!
Hoover’s Hatchery has generously donated eggs for two years. This year, ICNC selected the ISA Brown breed for their egg laying ability — typically 300 or so large brown eggs per year! ISA Browns are a docile bird and therefore extremely easy to work with. When they are hatched they are red and white in color.
It takes 21 days for a fertilized chicken egg to hatch, so we are anticipating our first hatching around May 14th. Between now and then, our incubator will stay at 99.5 degrees and between 50-55% humidity for the first 19 days of incubation. Then, the humidity will increase to 65% for the last three days to allow the chicks to stay slippery and move around in their shells. We will be candling the eggs to test for fertility and growth around April 30th and May 8th.
After the chicks hatch, they will live in the Exhibit Hall for a few days before they move out to Etzel Sugar Grove Farm. While they are at Amazing Space, they will live in a brooder (a small container filled with pine shavings, a feeder, waterer and heat lamp).
“Hatching chickens at Amazing Space and then moving them to Etzel Sugar Grove Farm will build the connection between agriculture and food,” said Indian Creek Nature Center Executive Director John Myers. “This is a great educational opportunity to build this connection for all ages.”
Curious about the process? Come visit us to learn more!
Tune in around May 14th for updates on hatchings. We can’t wait to see these little eggs hatch!
Sounds so exciting! I remember going as a small child with my grandma to the train station to pick up a big box filled w/chicks that we took to her farm and gently lifted put into the warmth and sweet smell of the brooder house! What dear, tiny little balls of yellow fluff they were! Will visitors be able to see the chicks hatch out of their shells?
What a wonderful memory, Ann! Yes, visitors will be able to see the chicks hatch! We estimate this to take place around May 14, but we can’t predict the exact time.