On Tuesday, April 5, CAPS placed twelve eggs in our incubator, located in my office on the Lower Level of the Library. Six of the eggs are dark brown and two are light brown. These eggs will hatch into either Black Star chicks or Cinnamon Queen chicks. Female Black Star chicks hatch all black and the make chicks hatch black with a white spot on its head. Female Cinnamon Queen chicks hatch red and the male chicks hatch yellow.
Three of the eggs are white. The white eggs are the White Leghorn breed and they will hatch the familiar yellow chick that we all remember from the cartoon character Foghorn Leghorn. There is no way to determine the sex of these chicks when they are first hatched.
And finally, we had one green egg. Green eggs are Cream Legbar chicks that hatch in various shades of brown. Females hatch darker in color with a defined “chipmunk” strip or “V” on its head and a dark “eyeliner” stripe at the eye. Male chicks hatch lighter in color with blurred stripes and a white dot on its head. These chicks have yellow legs.
Now that you know all that, you will be able to identify them as they begin to hatch on Monday, April 25. Be sure to watch the Patchogue-Medford Library’s Live Chick Cam on Youtube so that you don’t miss these eggs hatching!
For the last 18 days, we have maintained the optimum temperature and humidity levels in the incubator of approximately 100 degrees and a 48%-56% humidity. Later today the eggs will be taken out of the automatic eggs turner and laid down on the screen inside the incubator and the humidity will be increased to 65%. This begins the final three day countdown as the chicks prepare to hatch. With any luck, on Monday, the eggs will begin to show signs of pipping by the chick. The chick will use a special egg tooth to peck its way out of the shell. This egg tooth is only there on the chick for the first 12-24 hours. The hatching process requires a great amount of exertion on the part of the chick. The chick alternates between periods of activity and lengthy periods of rest. Chicks can take up to 24 hours to hatch. While it can be a slow process, it is totally amazing and fascinating to watch! Once all or most of the eggs have hatched and the chicks are rested and dry, they will be moved to a brooder box.
So don’t miss out on the action and educational experience this year! The chicks will be around for about a week if you would like to come down and see them in person too! We have many books about chickens that you can borrow too in the Children’s and Parents’ Services Department as well as in the Adult
Looking forward to seeing you (and the chicks!) soon!
Mrs. Drake, Children’s and Parents’ Services