Harlow’s Pet’s Corner is getting ready for a massive increase in population. The center is currently incubating around 60 eggs which will have a survival rate of about 70% and 100% if looked after by the mother hen herself.
Paul Griffiths, a member of staff at Pet’s Corner for 17 years, said “Mother Hen always knows best”.
The process of incubation is carried out via a machine called an incubator which cradles and keeps eggs at the perfect temperature for their growth into hatching chicks. Pet’s corner incubates around 120 eggs a year in the spring and summer to allow for the greatest chance of survival.
The farm starts the breeding process and begins collecting these eggs to hatch, any eggs that aren’t fit to be hatched are given to the other animals, after that they spend 21 days inside the incubator before seeing the world for the first time. The chicks actually have food inside their eggs which they are able to feed on meaning they will be fine for their first 24 hours and when they are light and fluffy they are ready to be moved to their next home.
After that they are moved to large, well lit and well cared for cages inside the farm and are kept together with heated lamps to ensure they are warm enough and if any of the chicks are struggling to grow like the others they are moved to another cage and given extra care.
Once they then become more independent they will find a new home; this can either be Pet’s Corner itself or given to a farm which will continue to raise it and hopefully one day lay their own eggs.
Paul hopes that projects like this and the Corner itself can continue to hold the public’s interest saying that his goal for it is to give “education, teaching people about the animals, and they don’t need to be students they can be anyone.”