But, we aren’t heading to Venus. We’re heading to the hatchery. Our chicks are scheduled to hatch tomorrow, and if all goes according to plan, we should be picking them up this weekend.
Astute readers out there might remember that I had originally mentioned hatching eggs ourselves. I’d thought it would be an educational and fun experience for my kids. I stuck with that plan up until about a month ago. I did a lot of research on incubators, and hatch rates, and survival rates, and male to female chick rates, and finally realized there were too many variables for us. Since we live in the city, we only wanted to end up with 3-5 female chicks. Figuring out how many eggs to put in the incubator to end up with that number and what to do with the males (no roosters allowed here) was causing me way too much anxiety.
I finally decided we’d get ready to go chicks this round, and then perhaps try hatching a few eggs ourselves next year. That way we can get the girls we want now, and if we end up with a bunch of rooster babies next year, when they are old enough they can go live on someone else’s farm (ahem dinner table) and we’ll still have our old hens.
The woman I was planning to buy fertilized eggs from also sells ready to go chicks, so she tossed some into her incubator for us earlier this month. A teacher friend recommended this cool development guide that she uses in her classroom to help us count down the days. Rather then buy it, I decided to mimic it with a plastic easter egg.
First, I googled image searched chick development, and printed out one of the charts (I adjusted the scaling to get them to print the correct size).
Then I cut each day out, and put it inside a plastic egg. Since we usually spend Easter at my parent’s house, all of our plastic eggs are there. If I’d had them handy I might have used one egg per day, instead I just grabbed this fun gold egg from Duane Reade.
Wala! Super easy. It worked perfectly fine to put all the days in one egg. Everyone was excited each morning to open the egg and see how the chicks were growing.
Although Violet (or perhaps I should say General George Washington) kept telling everyone who would listen that we are going to have chicks from golden eggs, so in hindsight perhaps the color choice wasn’t the best for my very literal three year old.
This morning we reached day 20, which means tomorrow they hatch! Not the best shot of our final chick chart, but I always have to take the picture REALLY quick to keep the number of people dabbing down to a minimum.