There Was No Hopa for Oprah!

This a story of our beloved chicken named Oprah.

For a school project we - my three friends and I - decided to hatch chicken eggs. I got 8 eggs from a family friend and we began the incubation process.

We all picked eggs and drew faces on them and immediately became attached to the idea of having baby chicks running around. Every day we checked up on our eggs and made sure that they had water and that the heat was somewhat right.

Now let me explain something first. We had a pretty modern incubator but for some crazy reason we were just stupid and for the life us we could not figure out how to work it. So for a whole week and a half the temperature was at 93.3 degrees Fahrenheit. Later it rose to 97.3 degrees but it was still not enough obviously. We knew that this would probably affect our eggs and our hopes of them hatching were slowly deteriorating.

Finally a couple of days before they were set to hatch, one of my partners accidentally figured out how to work the incubator.

So for those final days in the incubator the temperature was where it was supposed to be at.

The eggs as expected did not hatch on the exact date but instead, one of them was barely pipping on that day. So, two days later it was starting to come out of its shell.

Our teacher advised us to help it come out of its shell and we did. We took off part of the shell and then left it there overnight. The following morning our chick had fully come out of the shell by itself.

We thought of names and finally chose to name it Oprah after Oprah Winfrey. So we had no idea what to do with it and we had not, I repeat, we did not do any research ahead of time. We had no idea what to do and our teacher told us to leave it in the incubator so we did.

The thing was that it had already gone three days without food or water. So the next morning we came into school and it was dead. So we were upset of course because it had been our egg that had hatched. So we held a funeral at the dumpster in the back of our school to the song "Human" by Christina Perri.

We miss Oprah and we regret not having had this information beforehand. We were young and dumb. We miss our Oprah and I wish we had one more chance with her. After all the hardships she had been our only survivor. She was the one who made it but she died because of our irresponsibility.

Farewell, Oprah.

Comments for There Was No Hopa for Oprah!

Click here to add your own comments

Oh dear ...
by: Cath

So ...

I'm very sad to hear about your chick, but a little alarmed that your teacher didn't seem to advise you terribly well.

A lot of schools do hatch chicken eggs as a project and that's fine, it can teach a lot about how life develops, but of course it's important to know in advance what you'll do with the hatched chicks - especially since it's very likely that 50% of them will turn out to be males, which are generally difficult to find homes for.

It's also important to know how incubators work, as you know now. I'm sad that you clearly didn't find my series about how to incubate and hatch eggs successfully, because that would have shown you all about the correct temperature and humidity levels.

And then - poor chick! Having hatched, Oprah died because actually the advice to leave her in the incubator for such a long time was wrong. Chicks can survive for up to 72 hours post-hatch without food or water, because the yolk they absorb just before hatching keeps them sustained. But, as you discovered, they cannot survive for longer than that and in fact it's better to move them out of the incubator as soon as they are dried out and fluffy and to offer them food and water at that point.

So I'm sorry that Oprah died, but I'm also glad that clearly you learned lessons from this experience.

Perhaps if you decide to hatch again you could sign up for my course - the sign-up page is here : It takes you right through the process from before you even start to incubate your eggs, to when it's best to move chicks out of the incubator after hatching.

Thank you for telling us your story. It was brave of you to accept the mistakes you have made and I'm hoping it will help others not make the same mistakes.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Chicken Memorials and Pictures..

Link to Raising Happy Chickens home page.