Thank you for your questions, Mrs. Warner’s class!
– The incubator makes a good environment for the eggs – one very similar to what the mother hen would create. The incubator has a heater in it that keeps the eggs around the same temperature that they’d be at if their mother hen was sitting on them. Mrs. Voight also adds water to a special section of the incubator which helps keep the air a bit moist or humid… again, just like it would be under the mother hen. Finally, we have a tray that shifts the eggs back and forth because the hen would normally shift them around in her nest.
– If some chicks do hatch, we will give them time to dry out – they will be wet and tired! (Look at the bulletin board outside of Media.) But, you guys are right, there could be hatched chicks and hatching chick in the incubator all at the same time. So, we try to be quick when we need to remove a chick that is ready to go to the “peep palace”. One of us opens the incubator just a bit, the other carefully removes the chick and quickly gets it to its new heated home. They have never been aggressive to us – we haven’t had any try to peck us.