Wild Encounters: Egg Incubation

Wild Encounters

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – This time on Wild Encounters we’re going back to the bird center and learning about their incubation process.

“Alright, we’re back here in the bird center with Sam and Sam’s going to be telling us a little bit about the incubation process today.”

Samantha Amstutz, Bird Supervisor: “So, we are in our incubation room. You might be familiar with our flamingo flock and we do keep all of the eggs in our incubation room. There’s a few reasons for that. One is for the safety of the eggs; we don’t want the eggs to get knocked off the nest…we don’t want any potential breakage to happen either. We do everything here in our incubation room.”

“How long is the incubation process?”

Sam: “For flamingos, specifically, it’s 28 to 30 days. So, they live as eggs in this room and they may or may not hatch; it depends on fertility, but we do keep very good track and records of all of our eggs. So, we’ll weigh our eggs, we’ll track the weight loss of the eggs – which we do want weight loss as the eggs grow and develop. So, we do manipulate through our machines to replicate what under a flamingo would be. So, we have higher humidity or we lower the humidity – depending on what we need – but we try to keep the conditions as close as possible to what under the flamingo would be.”

“Let’s get in to what the nitty gritty is about what these eggs are doing.”

Sam: “If you like math, all of our calculations are fun, but I enjoy candling our eggs. So, we do put the eggs under a bright light to see what developmental is going on in there, so we can keep track of any fertile eggs, we can see how the chicks are progressing under that bright light.”

“Once it’s all done, after the process is complete, where do they go from there? What the hatching process like?”

Sam: “We notice the hatching stages while the chick is still in the egg. So, it will start pushing on those inner membranes and we actually anticipate the hatch. So, we’ll move it from the incubator to our hatcher and this is where the chick will actually hatch out; and we do monitor the whole process, too, to make sure it’s hatching correctly.”

“So, after it’s hatched, how soon until they get out there with the rest of the flamingos?”

Sam : “However long it takes it to get dry and fluffy so we can return it back to the parents. So, maybe a day at the longest.”

We had so much fun learning about flamingos, and we have more to talk about! Here’s Ashlyn Williams with some Wild Encounters bonus content!

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