Saturday, June 1, 2013
Chicken Lessons-Part 2, Incubation
A hen can't sit on a nest and watch chicks at the same time. So nature has devised a way for the eggs to all hatch within a few days of each other.
A hen that is going broody will lay an egg about every day. In this hen's case, it took her eleven days to lay nine eggs.
If a fertilized egg is left at room temperature, it will just sit there, not developing into a chick. However, once a hen warms it to 100 degrees, then the incubation process begins. This allows all of the eggs to hatch at about the same time.
For chickens, the incubation period is about 21 days. So, if this hen continues sitting on her eggs, and if the eggs are fertilized, then I expect to see little yellow heads sticking out from under her sometime around June 18 or 19.
She does not know that's the due date, but that's the subject for another blog.