Posts Tagged ‘Araucana Chicken’

This last weekend we had the opportunity to watch chicks being born.  It was an exciting thing to see that first little pip and a chick bursting forth out of its shell.

Chick starting to hatch

We also did some experiments prior to the hatch.

1. Rubber egg  

What you need is one raw egg, one jar, and vinegar.

Gently place the egg in the glass jar.

Slowly pour in the vinegar until the egg is completely covered.

Store jar covered for at least 72 hours to a week. The longer the better

Then i had my children guess what would happen to the egg.

What does happen to the egg?

The vinegar causes a reaction with the calcium carbonate (the chemical that makes up the shell) breaking it into its calcium and carbonate parts which releases the carbonate in the form of carbon dioxide. You can see this reaction taking place almost right away in the form of carbon dioxide bubbles forming on the egg . The calcium part is left floating around in the solution. 

Some of the vinegar will also sneak through the egg’s membrane and cause the egg to get a little bigger.

You can see here on these eggs the leftover calcium after the carbonate separated.

Then we decided to see how far they could bounce before they broke.My son’s egg didn’t make it very far only a few inches. My daughters egg on the other hand made it to about a foot before it broke.

The second experiment we did was to test the strength of an egg.  This one was super easy. We just need one raw egg.  I then let each child squeeze each egg as hard as they could with one hand.  The egg does not break. Why?  The shape of the egg is what give it such strength. Eggs are similar in shape to one of the strongest architectural forms,  a 3-dimensional arch.  The curve the shell distributes pressure evenly all over the shell rather than just one part. By putting your hand around the whole egg the pressure of you squeezing it is distributed evenly all over the egg. However, eggs break easy when uneven forces are applied,  like when you crack it on the side of a bowl.   This is how a hen can sit on an egg and not break it (the weight of the hen is evenly distributed over the egg)  but a tiny little chick can break through the eggshell (the pecking of the chick is directed at just one spot on the egg)

The third experiment we did was to see how a chick breaks through its shell.  We just used a raw egg and an opened up paperclip.  I let each kid try to scrape through, without poking it directly into the egg.  It takes a long time, and their hands and patience with this experiment grew tired. They were then able to understand and appreciate the hard work it took for the chick to break out.

Now for some super cute pictures of our chicks! We had a total of 7 chicks hatch. Three did not make it.

The only black tufted chick that hatched. Look at those tufts!

Blue double tufted.

Clean faced white chick 

Clean faced lavender chick 

This breed of chicken defiantly lives up to its difficult name so far.  Out of 26 eggs 7 hatched and 4 survived, 2 tufted and 2 clean faced.  This whole experience of hatching always makes me in awe of the power of our living God and savior who makes all things.

Homeschool hatch part 1

Homeschool hatch part 2


Update pictures at 2 weeks:

Update 1/2013


Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer,
And He who formed you from the womb:
“I am the Lord, who makes all things,
Who stretches out the heavens all alone,
Who spreads abroad the earth by Myself..”

Isaiah 44:24

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This is my young breeding trio of bantam Aracanas

The Araucana is a challenging breed of chicken which ideally has ear-tufts, is rumpless and lays blue eggs. They come in a variety of colors in both large foul and bantam (minature). Tufts are a group of feathers that grow from a protruding flap of skin located near the ear called a peduncle and are only found in this breed of chicken.

This lovely pullet is from Smith Wonderful Poultry. http://www.swpoultry.com

Araucanas are rumpless which means that they do not have a tail or a tail bone.  These unique traits make the Araucana chicken one of the most unusual and in my opinion one of the most beautiful breeds of chicken, but they also cause a number of problems that make this breed changeling. The tufts gene is lethal when present in both parents and result in a 25% in shell mortality.  The tufts do not breed true and only a tufted bird carries the tufted gene.  If both parents are tufted  50% of the chicks will be tufted 25% dead in shell and 25% non-tufted (clean faced). If only one parent is tufted you will get 50% tufted and 50% clean faced. This means that a flock will always be a mixture of tufted and clean-faced birds. Unfortunately, many of the tufted birds will have uneven, small, or one-sided tufts. Birds with large showy tufts are rare and highly prized.  Rumplessness is a trait that also causes challenges to the breed. Even though the gene is non-lethal, it can have an effect on fertility because the lack of movable tails can cause mating difficulties and reduce fertilization.

Where did these chickens come from?  According to The Araucana Club of America; “Araucanas have a most interesting and controversial history, having originated in a remote area of Chile ruled by fierce Araucana Indians who resisted European domination until the 1880’s. The distinctive traits of blue egg, tufts and rumplessness originally were found in two distinct breeds from this region. The first breed, named “Collonocas”, laid blue eggs and was rumpless. The second breed, called “Quetros”, had unusual tufts, but was tailed and laid brown eggs.”  The Araucana that is standard today in America is thought to be a result in the breeding of these two Chilean breeds.

The Araucana is frequently confused with other blue-egg-laying chickens. The only recognized blue laying breeds in the US are the Ameraucana, (tailed and muffed chicken)  and  Araucana. Most chicks sold by hatcheries or feed store are not a true breed but a mix of a blue laying breed, usually Ameraucana,  and some other breed resulting in a mixed possibility of egg colors (blue, green, and brown) and hence are named the Easter egg chicken.

Blue/green eggs from my Easter egg chicken. White egg is added for contrast.

Here is a picture of a common feed store Easter egg chicken.  These are one of my favorite and one of most dependable laying chickens I own.

So why am I telling you all this?

This last friday (October 5th)  I set some large foul Araucana eggs in the incubator.  I bought the Araucana eggs from two different people on the East coast.  The first box I received was left dented and oozing on my front porch.  The postal service did not take care with it nor did the sender do an exceptional job packing.   I really hope the ten that were not broken will hatch and weren’t completely scrambled in the mail.   The second package arrived the next day. I received a call from my local post office at 5:30 am to come and pick it up at the loading dock. The box was in perfect condition.  Even if the box had been banged around in transit I am positive the eggs would have made it.  This was an excellent packing job!   I had to wait at least 12 hours to let the eggs settle before I could put them in the incubator. We are keeping them set at a constant 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit and 45% humidity.  They will remain in the incubator untill they hatch on the 26th (hopefully).  Chicken eggs take on average 21 days to incubate and hatch.

This next weekend the kids and I get to candle them to see how they are developing. I can’t wait to see the miracle at work inside of those eggs and have an opportunity to show the kids how..Great is our Lord, and mighty in power! Psalm 147:5

I have also planed a few fun experiments and lessons around this hatch over the next few weeks. Homeschool so much fun!

Learning the parts of a chicken egg.

For the Lord Most High is awesome;
He is a great King over all the earth.  Psalm 47:2


Homeschool hatch part 2

Homeschool hatch part 3

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