2018 marks the fifth year that Patchogue-Medford Library will be hatching baby chicks! We have been monitoring and maintaining the optimum temperature and humidity levels in the incubator since our eggs arrived on March 15. We are just about ready to increase the humidity from 48%-56% to 65% and begin the final three day countdown to hatching.
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. They can take up to 24 hours to hatch but with any luck, on Thursday, 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.
All About the Eggs
Chicken eggs have a twenty one day incubation period. Our eggs came from the Suffolk County Farm in Yaphank. We put twelve eggs into our incubator- five brown eggs, three green and four white.
The brown eggs are either Black Star chicks or Cinnamon Queen chicks. Black Star chicks are a cross between a Rhode Island Red rooster and a Barred Rock hen. The female chicks hatch all black and the male chicks hatch black with a white spot on its head. Cinnamon Queen Chicks are a cross between the Rhode Island Red rooster and the Silver Laced Wyandotte hen. The female chicks hatch red and male chicks hatch yellow.
The green eggs will hatch to be Cream Legbar chicks. They hatch in to various shades of brown with the females hatching darker in color with defined “chipmunk” stripes, a “V” on its head and a dark eyeliner stripe at it eye reminiscent of Cleopatra. The male chicks hatch lighter in color with blurred stripes and a white dot on its head. They have yellow legs.
The white eggs are from a White Leghorn mix breed and they will hatch yellow chicks. There is no way to determine the sex of these chicks when they are hatched.
See Our Chicks
Now that you know all that, you may be able to identify them as they begin to hatch. While it can be a slow process, it is totally amazing and fascinating to watch! Don’t miss out! Be sure to check the Patchogue-Medford Library’s Live Chick Cam on YouTube.
Once all or most of the eggs have hatched and the chicks are rested and dry, they will be moved to a brooder box. You can visit them in the Children’s Department of the Main Library or at the Teen Center at the Carnegie Library over the next week.
Looking forward to seeing you at PML or at the Carnegie soon! We have many stories as well as nonfiction books about chickens that you can borrow from the Library!
Mrs. Drake, Children’s Services