The chicks are back. For the 6th year, the world can watch eggs hatch via the streaming video OSU Chickcam.
The popular event launches today and documents the baby chicks as they hatch. The cameras will remain on until 5 p.m. April 3.
Since it launched in 2014, more than 80,000 people from around the world have watched Chickcam on the Oregon State University Extension Service website and more have seen it livestreamed on TV station websites.
Faculty and staff at the OSU Extension Service in Clatsop County have cameras set up remotely to bring the Chickcam to the public. With schools closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, adults can use the Chickcam as an educational tool for their children, or watch it on their own.
“We have worked hard with OSU to pull this all together amid the governor’s ‘stay home, save lives’ order,” said Lindsay Davis, administrative office manager for OSU Extension in Astoria. “We began incubating the eggs before the outbreak and had to quickly adapt to bring incubators, technology and information out of the office as our doors closed to abide by the order. Currently, we have the incubators located off site with a staff member to stream the hatch and give 24-hour care to the eggs and baby chicks.”
Once the chicks hatch, they move from the incubator to a brooding pen where they remain until they are able to regulate their body temperatures. The camera will rotate between the incubator and brooding pen until the chicks are ready to move into an outdoor environment. Once they’re big enough, the chickens go home with OSU Extension 4-H members, who care for them and show them at the county and state fairs.
“The chicks are well taken care of,” said Jared Delay, 4-H program assistant in Clatsop County. “After the baby chicks get big enough, they’ll be rehomed so that local 4-H youth continue learning about raising chickens, egg production and showmanship.”