The Countdown is on!
We are so excited to once again be hatching chicks at the Merritt Library!
Some of you may remember our chick hatching adventures in 2021, and we’re bringing back the fun this year, thanks to the hatchachick.ca program.
We can’t wait to see what the chicks will look like. They are a breed called “blue silkie” which tend to be very fluffy and like attention.
We expect the chicks to hatch on May 23. Mark your calendars!
Did we say the chicks “pip”? We sure did! Here are some basic terms related to chick hatching.
The act of looking inside the egg with a bright light source to check on development. We hope to see a little shadow inside to indicate development and hopefully even movement. Now we use flashlights, but back in the day an actual candle was used. Candling does not damage the embryos inside the eggs as long as you don’t heat the egg up too much or keep the eggs out of the incubator for too long. We candled one egg on May 1 and were so excited to see an active little shadow in there!
There are two separate pips, an internal and an external. The internal pip is invisible to us, but it is when the chick breaks a hole in the membrane to get to the air pocket inside the egg so it can breath (they are so smart already!). The external pip is when we see it on the outside of the egg, and it starts as a small cracked mound. This is the that first time we see a tiny hole break through the shell and it’s so exciting!
From that second external pip, the chicks “zip” by turning around inside the egg while breaking through the membrane and shell repeatedly in order to be able to remove the top of the egg and hatch out of it. It’s a little like a really slow motion zipper on your coat, but using all your strength to break free. Once it is mostly zipped open, they give a few strong kicks and push themselves out of the egg shell. Finally free, they’re very awkward and look like tiny wet dinosaurs, but they’ll be fluffy and cute in no time!