Watch chicks hatch and begin to explore the world around them!
The eggs currently in the Hall of Human Life’s hatchery were laid around 21 days ago. They have been incubating in temperatures and humidity levels that help them develop. Once the chick cracks the first hole in the egg, it can take between one hour and 24 hours to hatch. All chicks in the hatchery are less than two days old.
How does a chick hatch?
After 21 days, an increased level of carbon dioxide in the chick’s blood causes a special muscle in the neck to spasm. This muscle helps the chick use its egg tooth, a horny point on the beak, to chip a hole through the egg shell. The chick then turns and pushes against wall of the shell, creating a crack that allows the chick to open the shell and emerge.
Chickens are useful to study because they lay more than 200 eggs a year, are easy to care for, and develop in a similar way to humans. Scientists use chickens to study human development problems like heart malfunction, the growth of cancer cells, and complications during arm and leg development.