Furry fun in Jeffords lab

Something’s hatching on the second floor of the Jeffords Center — geese, ducks, and chickens to be precise. Science Professor Peter Kimmel’s Developmental Biology class had already hatched seven ducks and four geese as of last Thursday.

And the chickens on Thursday were well on their way as well, with one gosling just barely starting to break out of his shell at about 2 p.m. Thursday.

Kimmel has been hatching geese on alternate years for the past 14 years, and this year’s batch is one of the strongest yet. The average hatch rate is 75 percent and he’s expecting to exceed that this year.

The geese were barely a day old when their pictures were taken and the ducks were just two days old.

“We keep them until the end of the semester, then give them to local farms in the area where they are raised fully,” said Kimmel.

The eggs are kept in incubators for three to four weeks, until they hatch. The incubators are kept at a constant temperature of about 99 degrees Fahrenheit, with 55 percent humidity.

The geese eggs are donated by farmer Robert Landon, the chicken eggs are ordered from a biological supply company and the duck eggs were purchased, strangely enough, on EBay, Kimmel said.

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