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Author Topic: Hatching in Class  (Read 1793 times)


  • Joined Oct 2010
  • East Sussex
    • My Blog
Hatching in Class
« on: March 23, 2015, 01:29:51 pm »
Hello all!

Our eggs are due to hatch in the next day or so. I know they need to dry off in the incubator for the first day or so but after that.... I have a heat lamp at the ready but what's a safe container to use with a heat lamp that will a) keep the chicks safe and b) let the children see them? Bit worried about fire risk...?

The staff are taking turns to do night shift at home! After that we have a farmer who's going to have them to replenish her stock after the fox depleated hers!

Also when could they come out to be observed by the children? Do they have to stay under the lamp all the time?

Thanks all.

Melanie.  **NOW UPDATED**
twitter - @southscouse


  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Hatching in Class
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2015, 01:46:13 pm »
Depending on the eggs and your incubator Melholly, the hatch may be spread out over several days. The first out bumble about as well, disturbing other eggs and slowing them down. We use a red lamp on 24 hours for the first week and put them in a cardboard box. The problem you may have is someone burning themselves on the lamp because it has to be quite low to get sufficient temperature. The box needs to be high sided to prevent draughts and also have areas where the chicks can escape the heat. Very shallow drinkers with pebbles in to prevent drowning because chicks fall asleep instantly at any time. It will be 6 weeks before they can go without any heat.


  • Joined Oct 2010
  • East Sussex
    • My Blog
Re: Hatching in Class
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2015, 05:08:52 pm »
Chris, that's really helpful thank you.
There's only 4 left in terms of eggs! It was good to know that I can use a heat lamp with a cardboard box. I can keep the kids safe by having them away from the side of the lamp so I'm pretty sure that'll be ok.

Funny, I've chickens of my own but always just done it with a broody outdoors! Pressures on with the class!!

twitter - @southscouse


  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
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Re: Hatching in Class
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2015, 05:15:41 pm »
I used a polystyrene box with wooden supports across the top to rest the metal heat lamp holder, to keep it away from the sides.   Meant we could remove the heat lamp temporarily to inspect the chicks and they didn't lose heat because of the heat retaining properties of polystyrene.
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age


  • Joined Jul 2014
  • Jersey - for now :)
Re: Hatching in Class
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2015, 05:34:27 pm »
I use an indoor rabbit cage with a lift up part in the top - its plenty tall enough around the sides to keep them out of drafts (although I sometimes add a bit of cardboard too and the heat lamp fits in the middle bit

Its this one : 


  • Joined Oct 2011
Re: Hatching in Class
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2015, 07:30:59 pm »
we use a dimer switch to turn lamp down as they grow
it saves moving lamp up just turn it down


  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Kent
  • HesterF
Re: Hatching in Class
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2015, 10:00:15 pm »
My kids school hatches chicks in reception class every year - I'm taking them hatching eggs in next week so you're a bit ahead. They've got a wooden box for the brooder with the heat lamp in one corner so the kids can all look in and see what the chicks are up to. It works much better than my electric hen at home - not particularly better for the chicks but for the kids because they can see what the chicks are up to. You can get the chicks out to handle pretty much from the start. Maybe wait until they've fluffed up and are on the run but beyond that they can come out to be held (gently) for a wee while at a time. And actually it helps with the bonding - they'll get used to being handled. Ours get passed around and they all have their photos taken etc. They grow so quickly and the children tire of them within a week or two so it makes sense to enjoy them while you can.


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