June 12, 2018 9:21 pm
Updated: June 13, 2018 9:18 am

‘Miracles do happen’: Chicks hatch after eggs spend almost a month in the fridge

14 chicks hatch even after the eggs were in a fridge for almost a month


Just over a month ago, Mary Gunning’s barn burned down near Belleville.

Gunning says fire also claimed a dozen chickens and close to two dozen chicks.

“They weren’t our money-making chickens,” she said. “They were pets, basically.”

All Gunning had left was roughly three dozen eggs in the fridge.

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“I was really upset and devastated so I was just going to give them away, and coincidentally, I had a couple of friends over.”

One of those friends was Kristie Clarke, and she had an idea to try hatching the eggs in the fridge.

“Unfortunately they had been cold for quite a while but I was like, well, let’s give it a shot,” Clarke said.

Kristie put a half dozen of the eggs under a hen of her own, and two of the eggs began maturing. “Miracles do happen,” she said.

Another of Gunning’s friends, Megan Conchie, also tried hatching a dozen eggs as well. Six hatched, but Conchie says one of the chicks had a close call.

“When I lifted up my hen to check,” Conchie recalled, “I saw that she had accidentally stepped on one of the eggs and crushed it.”

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Using a light to keep the egg warm and a damp cloth to keep the egg membrane moist, Conchie painstakingly used tweezers to slowly remove the shell.

“I spent hours with this chick on the floor,” Conchie said. “I was texting Mary and I cried when it hatched.”

Gunning also used an incubator to try hatching the other eggs.

She now has a total of fourteen chicks, and Gunning says the whole experience is still difficult to believe.

“I was shocked, I guess, and it was also a little bit emotional — specially for those first couple.”

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