Follow the progress!
Arriving April 13!
Like last year's incubation project, our annual spring incubation project in partnership with the Darien Dragons 4H Club is on! We had to make some adjustments due to the COVID restrictions and the library's renovation, but we are so excited to share an all online experience with you this year. The eggs are expected to hatch around May 2.
Here's the scoop on this year's project . . .
The incubation project will be hosted in the library on the second floor. Although the library will be closed for renovation the weeks of April 12–April 25, you can view the incubation station daily on the 24/7 Egg Cam along with videos on eggs, incubation, and chickens that members of the Darien Dragon 4H members have created. Patrons also can visit the incubator station once the library is open to visitors again on April 26.
- The Darien Dragons 4H Club is working with the University of Illinois Extension team to provide the eggs for hatching.
- This year, we will be hatching Leghorn chickens again.
Online “Egg-cellent Stories” with Miss Heather
Wednesday, Apr. 28, 4 p.m.
Online: All About Eggs with Darien Dragons 4H
A live online, Zoom activity and Q & A with members of the Darien Dragons 4H Club.
Wednesday, May 5, 4 p.m.
About Leghorn Chickens & Eggs
Leghorn chickens originated in Tuscany, Italy, and were brought to North America in 1828. Leghorns are one of the best egg laying chicken breeds. They can lay between 280 - 300 eggs per year. Leghorns can be a variety of colors, brown, black or buff, but most people have seen the white variety. Roosters weigh about eight pounds and hens are around five pounds. These chickens have orange/red eyes, a yellow beak and legs. Their feet have four toes. Leghorn chickens are known for their independent nature and eat small amounts of feed compared to other breeds. Learn more.
- University of Illinois Extension Incubation and Embryology
- National Agriculture in the Classroom
- Science Netlink's
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How long does it take a chicken egg to hatch?
A: It takes around 19 days for a chicken egg to hatch.
Q: What do you call a baby chicken?
A: A baby chicken is called a chick. It can also be called a pullet (young hen) or a cockerel (young rooster).
Q: What do you call a group of chickens?
A: A group of chickens is called a flock. A group of baby chicks is called a clutch or a peep. A group of hens is called a brood.
Q: What happens to the chickens next?
A: The chicks stay in the incubator for about 24 hours. They dry off and get stronger. Then, we will move them into the brooder, which is a safe, warm box where they have food and water there. The chickens will stay in the brooder for about 10 days. Then we will be taking them to live on a farm where they will continue growing until they are laying eggs of their own.
Q: Why aren't they eating yet?
A: Baby chicks don't need anything to eat or drink for about 48 hours after they've hatched. They absorb the yolk inside the egg just before they hatch so that they will have the energy they need to get out of the egg before they need food again.
Q: Where will they live forever?
A: Chicks will go to a farm in Warrenville. The lady raises them and collects the eggs.
Q: What happens to the eggs that don't hatch?
A: The 4H participants will open them to learn more about why they didn’t hatch and they will dispose of them.
Q: Why don't they hatch?
A: There are so many reasons an egg may not hatch. The most common reasons are temperature, humidity, sickness, or if they were never fertilized.