Embryology at C.C. Mellor

IMPORTANT UPDATE:

Unfortunately, we will not be getting our eggs on April 20 as scheduled. The hatchery with which Penn State Extension 4H was working has shut down due to the recent cases of avian influenza. The University is working to find a new hatchery. We will update this page and social media as soon as we know more.

Where do chickens come from, and how do they grow? We’ll be learning about chicken life cycles as we incubate and hatch chicken eggs in the library.

This egg-citing eggs-periment is happening thanks to Penn State Extension 4H! They’ll be dropping off our eggs on April 20 and will come to collect the babies to take them to their farm after they hatch and we’ve had a few days to get to know them (no, they don’t get to stay and grow up to be our resident C.C. Mellor chickens). In between you can stop in to visit in the children’s department and follow along on social media for all the latest updates!

Chicken eggs usually take 21 days to incubate. Here’s a rough schedule of when we expect things will be happening — but, of course, nature can sometimes bring surprises!

April 20 — Today’s day one! We’ll candle the eggs before putting them in the incubator.

April 21 — The eggs are still getting used to the incubator, so it’s important that we don’t disturb them for a few days.

April 22 — The eggs are still getting used to the incubator, so it’s important that we don’t disturb them for a few days.

April 23 — Day four! Today we’ll candle the eggs to see what’s happening inside!

April 24 — Today we’re letting the eggs rest. They’re hard at work growing in there!

April 25 — Today we’re letting the eggs rest. They’re hard at work growing in there!

April 26 — Today we’re letting the eggs rest. They’re hard at work growing in there!

April 27 — It’s day seven! Today we’ll candle the eggs to see what’s happening inside! We may be able to see an eye or heart!

April 28 — Today we’re letting the eggs rest. They’re hard at work growing in there!

April 29 — Today we’re letting the eggs rest. They’re hard at work growing in there!

April 30 — Today we’ll candle the eggs to see what’s happening inside!

May 1 — Today we’re letting the eggs rest. We’re halfway to the projected hatch date, Day 21!

May 2 — Today is day 13! We’ll candle the eggs to see what’s happening inside!

May 3We’re just one week away from the projected hatch date!

May 4 — Today we’re letting the eggs rest. They’re hard at work growing in there!

May 5 — Today we’ll candle the eggs to see what’s happening inside!

May 6 — Today is the last day the eggs will stay on the egg turner! Tomorrow we’ll set them on their sides to get in position to hatch!

May 7 — Today is day 18! We’re taking the eggs off the egg turner! We’ll set them on their sides so the chicks can get in position to hatch! It’s important that they aren’t disturbed now.

May 8 — Today we’re letting the eggs rest. They’re hard at work growing in there!

May 9 — Today is one day before our chicks’ projected hatch date! They’ll breathe the air in the air sac before they hatch!

May 10 — Today is the chicks’ projected hatch date! Hatching is hard work and can take hours or even days!