Incubating eggs at Irchester

This week’s labs blog is about the chick eggs that have been in the lab for almost three weeks!  We got 18 chicken eggs from Mini Meadows Farm in Northampton. There are three different breeds of eggs, all different colours. When they hatch the chicks will be different colours as well. The three main breeds we have are Rhode Island Red, Cream Leg Bar and Salmon Faverolles: The eggs are dark brown, light brown and light blue, and some are spotty. We are not sure what the spotty ones are, they might be another breed. We are keeping them all in an incubator to keep them warm, and turn them regularly just like a mother chicken would.

After 10 days we had to candle the eggs to see if they were alive or not.  Candling is where you have a special light which you put the egg on. It shines right through the shell so we can see a shadow if the chick is alive and growing, and it doesn’t show anything then the egg was probably not fertilised and will never grow into a chick. Year 4 candled them and out of 18 eggs, 13 are definitely alive and 5 of them we are not sure about. We could tell that they were alive because we could see the blood veins, a shadow and some of them were even moving!

On Tuesday we had to take the incubator off the turner, so it stops rocking the eggs. Now we have to keep the incubator closed so the humidity (the amount of water in the air) stays high: the chicks need it to hatch. They are supposed to hatch tomorrow and we are really excited! We asked children to sponsor and name the eggs: whichever one hatches first wins a prize!


About lab13network

Lab_13 is a space in a school managed by pupils for pupils to conduct their own research and experiments driven by their curiosity, imagination and enthusiasm, and under the watchful supervision of a Scientist in Residence (not a teacher!!).
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