The incubator keeps the developing chicks warm and humid in a controlled environment. But what's the deal with that "egg turner" thing I added to the incubator? Why do eggs need to be turned? And how?
According to Fresh Eggs Daily:
"When you turn the eggs, you're gently rotating them 180 degrees side to side, not end to end. The purpose of turning is to keep the yolk, which will tend to float to the top, centered in the egg and to prevent the developing embryo - which rests on top of the yolk - from sticking to the membrane. By turning the egg, the embryo is swept back into the egg white, where there are fresh nutrients that help the chick develop.
"The ultimate success of a hatch can often be directly tied to properly turning the eggs. When a mother hen is sitting on the eggs to hatch them, she will not only turn them regularly with her beak, but also rotate those around the edge to the middle and those in the middle toward the edge to ensure even warming of each egg."
God's design of a mother's instinct is awesome. So, we must try to be as good as a mother hen. You could choose to forgo the automatic egg turner and do this by hand, if you prefer. But, I'm too afraid to miss a turning, so we'll stick with the automatic turner in our incubator.
What's been happening inside that shell?
(from poultryhub.org, aces.edu, and ohio4h.org)
I'm the Anatomy & Physiology instructor at New Castle Homeschool Co-op for the 2017-18 school year. As an extension to our class, my family is participating in a 4-H Embryology Program, and will be hatching up to 24 white leghorn chicks in Mid-March. If you would like to learn and enjoy the project with us, we'd love to have you along!