Here at the Glen Ellyn Public Library we love animals and try to find ways to bring them to the Youth Department whenever we can. In the past, we’ve had a worm compost, a “Read to Dogs” program, hatched monarch butterflies, and invited sloths, baby wolf pups, ostriches, reptiles, tarantulas, and chinchillas to meet our members. Now, we’re about to start a chick hatching project!
Next month, we will place white leghorn chicken eggs in an incubator where they will live until they hatch about 21 days later. GEPL staff recently attended a 4-H Incubation & Embryology training session sponsored by the University of Illinois Extension. There we learned about controlling temperature and humidity levels as well as having an automatic egg turner to avoid handling the eggs as much as possible.
After a lot of research, we purchased the HovaBator Genesis 1588 Advanced Egg Incubator which features a digital display of the temperature and humidity and has an automatic egg turner. We will set it up about a week before the eggs arrive to make sure everything is in working order.
Eggs usually take three weeks to hatch, so be sure to stop in often and check on their progress. We might even have a contest to name them while we wait!