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University of Florida IFAS Baker Extension Service 4-H School Enrichment Series Embryology. An Equal Opportunity /Affirmative Action Institution

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University of Florida IFAS Baker Extension Service 4-H School Enrichment Series Embryology

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University of Florida


Baker Extension Service


School Enrichment Series


An Equal Opportunity /Affirmative Action Institution

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 286.26, F.S., persons needing accommodations or an interpreter to participate in the proceeding should notify the University of Florida Baker County Extension Service no later than 5 days prior to the meeting at 904-259-3520 or

fax 904-259-9034.

chicken embryology 4 h school enrichment project
Chicken Embryology4-H School Enrichment Project

Renee’ L. Gore

University of Florida


Baker Extension Service


Power-point adapted from Virginia Extension .ppt

“Beginnings of Life”

about the project
About the Project
  • Science Based, Hands-on
  • Correlated with National Science Standards
  • Extension provides educational resources for the project
    • Teacher Resource s with activity masters
    • CCS Classroom Projects grades 2-5 & 6-8
    • 4-H Embryology guide – Bob Renner
    • The Incredible Egg 3rd grade Ohio State Extension resource
    • Baker County Embryology project book, ppt and support
    • WWW Sites
http ulisse cas psu edu 4hembryo index html
  • What You Need to Know to Have a Successful Project
  • Planning and Scheduling Checklist
  • The Chicken
  • The Egg
  • The Reproductive System and Fertilization
  • Incubation
  • Trouble Shooting
  • Embryo Development
  • Answers to Commonly Asked Embryology Questions
web site support
Web site support
  • Links to other embryology sites
  • jpeg images of embryos, hatching, shell window, etc.

The 4-H Virtual Farm

and the University of Florida link to Penn State

project expectations
Chicks never go home with students

Farm home for chicks at project close.

This is not just a chick hatching project

Actively involve youth

Agent Candles Eggs at mid project

Keep Records

Help youth observe embryonic development

Project Expectations
how do i successfully hatch eggs
How do I Successfully Hatch Eggs?
  • Proper Preparation and Planning
  • Quality Fertile Eggs
  • Student Buy In
  • Good Incubation Management
  • Patience
preparation and planning
  • Choosing a workable time frame
    • 25 day time period
    • Avoid holidays
    • Electric turner to manage consistent egg turning or plan for weekend turning.
    • Wednesdays usually a good day to start eggs
incubation management

These steps provided by 4-H Agent in preparation for your successful project

  • Clean incubator
  • Setup and test incubator a week before project to begin
  • Viable, Fertile Eggs provided by Extension Service
classroom management
  • Incubator location?
    • Avoid drafts, direct sunlight, heat & AC outlets.
    • Place in “wet area” to ease in humidity maintenance and clean up from accidental overfilling.
quality fertile eggs
Quality Fertile Eggs
  • Proven Source: 4-H Poultry Club families & Livestock Extension Educator.
  • Proper Collection and Storage
    • 50-65 Degrees F.
    • 70% Humidity
    • 7 days Maximum
    • Critical Storage Temp.
    • 35-82 deg
preparation and planning13
Preparation and Planning
  • Inform coworkers and custodial staff

to avoid accidental unplugging of equipment after hours

  • Planned Power Outages?
  • Lower/higher school temps on weekends? Check with Administration
  • Tampering? Thermostat dial covered by cardboard to protect from mischief
preparation and planning14
Preparation and Planning
  • What happens to the chicks?
    • Do not distribute them to students!
  • Will you keep the chicks a couple of days to experience the brooding process?
  • Many ways to expand the project as Educator deems appropriate.
function of embryonic membranes
Function of Embryonic Membranes
  • Yolk Sac
    • Food
  • Amnion
    • Protection
    • Liquid
  • Chorion / Allantois
    • Respiration
    • Waste
    • Minerals from shell
start up day
Start Up Day
  • Presentation by Extension Educator - 4-H Youth Development
    • Beginning the incubation Process
    • Key Elements for Success
    • Special Properties of the egg
  • Incubator Warms up During Presentation
  • Eggs are Set Before Educator Leaves Classroom

Candling eggs prior to incubation

Good quality

hatching egg


Poor quality

large air cell dark yolk

Two Yolks

the importance of egg turning
The Importance of Egg Turning
  • If incubator is not equipped with Electric Turner Then:
  • Mark eggs with “X” and “O” on opposite side of eggs
  • Turning prevents embryo sticking to shell membrane
  • During school days turn eggs 3 time per day
  • Turn once per day on weekends
  • Stop turning on day 19
convenience of electric turner
Convenience of Electric Turner
  • Automatic Turner does the job for you. No need to manually turn eggs.
  • Check to be sure turner stays plugged in.
  • Remove Electric Egg Turner Day 18.
incubation management25
Incubation Management
  • Temperature
    • 99.5 - 100.5 forced Air (Dome Type)
    • 100.5 - 101.5 Still Air (Box Type) Incubator can be Provided by Extension Service
  • Humidity
    • 60%
    • Wet Bulb Thermometer 86 degrees
maintaining humidity
Maintaining Humidity
  • Incubator contains water pan
  • Importance for chick health
    • Prevent sticking to shell
    • Keeps amnion fluid
    • Keeps shell from hardening, trapping chick at hatching
    • Prevent crippled chicks
then what
Then What?
  • Classroom Presentation of Second half of the Project Around Day 14.
  • Sharing Chicken Embryo Set Depicting Day 3 through 21 Development
  • Candling Eggs.
  • Considerations for Successful Project Finish.
concentrate to the finish
Concentrate to the Finish
  • Day 17-18 Remove Electric Turner
  • No need to turn eggs after this
  • Open Air Vents blocked by tape or red plugs
  • Humidity remains even more critical. Keep water levels consistent
  • Keep Records of Hatching Statistics
hatching time
Hatching Time
  • Hatching Begins Day 21 give or take 3 days
  • Impacted by Light and Temperature
  • May take Several Hours for Chick to Exit Shell
  • Don’t help Chicks Hatch -- Struggle Necessary for Survival
and then
And Then?
  • Chicks remain in incubator until dry and fluffy.
  • May take several hours to dry
  • Once dry and fluffy place in brooder
  • Provide chick mash and waterer (available at minimal cost from any farm supply or feed store)
what s a brooder
  • Cardboard or plastic tub
  • Absorbent bedding i.e. saw dust, corn cob pellets,
  • Shop light hung low to warm chicks
safety first
Safety First
  • Check to be sure Light is Fire Safe
  • Should not Touch Brooder Surface
  • Marbles placed in Tray of Purchased Chicken Waterer Block Chicks from Tragic death drowning in water
contact us today
Contact Us Today
  • 4-H Agent will Retrieve Chicks and Transport to Farm Home.
  • Success in Experiencing Science through this project not Chick Count.

Don’t forget to clean your incubator before returning


Contact Me To Schedule Your School Enrichment Embryology Experience

Renee’ L. Gore

Extension Faculty 4-H

Baker County

1025 W Macclenny Ave

Macclenny, FL 32063

904-259-3520 or by cell 904-677-6155

Thank you to Virginia Extension for the base ppt model for this adapted version to meet our local program needs and differences

Publication BAK4H1202 Vers 1.0 04/08

Renee’ L. Gore Extension Faculty Baker County