Emily's Eggs


Emily is working on a class project which is to do a photo essay of something.  This summer we
found an old egg incubator in the science room at school which looked like it had not been
used in many years.  We brought it home and cleaned it up.  It was built in 1985, but still
worked perfectly.  Emily decided that she really wanted to try hatching chickens, so she
combined two interests into one - school photo essay with incubating eggs.

Emily contacted the Sinclair Family Farm (www.sinclairfamilyfarm.com), and they were kind
enough to provide 12 eggs for Emily to incubate.  This is the story of the eggs.  For those who
don't know, the eggs need to be kept at 99.5 degrees and a "wet bulb" temperature of 86 degrees.


December 5, 2012 - 9:05pm

                Today I set up the incubator and made sure everything worked.  It is old and I was a little worried that it might not work properly, but thankfully it does!  It even automatically rotates the eggs every hour which will be great.  That way, I wonít have to do it manually. 

At first, I had some trouble getting the table level so the water trays inside the incubator would fill properly.  I ended up setting the incubator on top of a wooden board to help create a firm level surface and that seemed to fix the problem.  The wet and dry thermometers are in the center of the incubator so depending on the time of day/night, I have to use a flashlight to read them.  After doing a little research on line, I found out that the company our incubator is from (Lyon) still has the exact same one.   I guess it must work pretty good if they still sell the same one after all these years.

                I am ready to go and can hardly wait to get some fertilized eggs!



December 9, 2012 - 3:00pm

Dry bulb: 99F  Wet bulb: 86F

                Today we picked up a dozen fertilized eggs from Sinclair Family Farms in Penryn. What a pretty place!  They have a lot of animals and everyone was very friendly.  Karen was very nice and is almost as excited about my project as I am.   Taylor gathered the eggs for me to take.  I am hoping for the best since the only indication that these eggs have been fertilized is that there was a rooster living with the hens. My fingers are crossed that the rooster did his job!

As soon as I got home, I placed the eggs in the incubator which has been running most of the day so the temperature is stable. 

I am super excited and worried all at the same time.  I hope I do a good job with this project and have many baby chicks to take back to Karinís farm.



December 10, 2012 Ė 8:22am

Dry bulb: 99F Wet bulb: 87F

                The eggs look pretty good and the temperature and humidity is the same. Yesterday, I was a little worried that the incubator might not rotate the eggs over night so I asked mom to help me monitor them every few hours.  I guess I worried for nothing because everything worked okay.  Now me and mom are a little tired. 



Dry bulb: 99F  Wet bulb: 88F       

                The eggs are different sizes and the incubator knob which helps the rotation was resting on one of the larger eggs.  I donít know if this matters, but I changed the order of the eggs anyway so that a smaller egg is in the spot near the knob.  I was worried about opening the incubator because I didnít want the heat to escape, but the temperature is still good.  So far everything is doing well and I hope most of them hatch.  I think I will sleep better tonight.



December 11, 2012 Ė 9:48pm

Dry Bulb: 100F  Wet Bulb: 89F

                Nothing much happened today, so far so good. It takes 21 days for chicken eggs to hatch, so I guess its pretty much a waiting game right now. The wet bulb temperature increased 3 degrees which worries me because I am trying to keep a constant temperature and humidity level inside the incubator. I decreased the amount of water going into the incubator which will hopefully bring the humidity level back down to 86F.


December 12, 2012 Ė 7:18pm

Dry bulb: 100F Wet Bulb: 87F

                Iím getting a little bit worried because Iím not sure the eggs rotated today.  This worries me because the eggs are supposed to roll 180 degrees every 4 hours or so. They do this for the same reason we roll over in our sleep, which is to relieve the pressure that restricts the nerves and impairs circulation. If an egg doesnít get rotated, it could lead to paralyzed feet, crooked toes, or to be so weakened that they would not be able to escape their shell when hatching time comes. I just manually rotated them, but I will not be able to turn them again in 4 hours (I will hopefully be asleep), so letís keep our fingers crossed and check again in the morning.


December 13, 2012 Ė 7:13pm

Dry Bulb: 99F Wet Bulb:86F

                I woke up this morning and realized that I had no assured way to tell if they had rotated, because if they rotated an even amount of times, it could look like they hadnít rotated at all. Which is what happened, (or at least I hope is what happened).  So I can up with an assured way to tell.  I placed a pen on the rotating arm so that when and if it turned the pen would fall off and I would be able to tell that indeed it did rotate.  I am very much so hoping that this will work.


December 14, 2012 Ė 7:25am

Dry Bulb:100F Wet Bulb:87F

                It worked!!! When I woke up this morning the first thing I thought about was ĎDid they turn?í as I raced in to check on them.  The pen had fallen on to the table, so I knew that they were turning.  I was overjoyed. 


December 15, 2012 Ė 4:27pm

Dry Bulb 99F  Wet Bulb: 87F

                Every thing is looking great.  The water bottle was almost empty, so I refilled it.  Now I know it lasts about 1 week.  Tomorrow I am going to candle the eggs to see which are and arenít fertilized and which eggs probably will and will not hatch.  I am super excited, and hope for the best outcome possible.


December 16, 2012 Ė4:46pm

Dry Bulb: 100F  Wet Bulb: 86F

                My dad and I made a candler out of a empty toilet paper roll and a flashlight. 



We will use this by putting the egg on the open end.  This will illuminate the egg and allow us to look inside.




You can see my sister and my dad candeling the eggs I also took notes and pictures.  As we took each one out I wrote a number on the end of them so that we could keep track of each ones progress. We found that we have 5 perfect eggs were you could see the dark spot of a chicken, a good sized air bubble, and in most cases the spot was moving!  4 were questionable, and we are pretty sure that in three of the eggs there is nothing but bacteria forming.

                I am very excited and am very hopeful that I will become a mother hen!

We put the top back on the incubator and after a little bit I came back to make sure the temperature had settled and the eggs turned.