Snuggle with Baby RI Reds

The South County Museum hosts the annual event on July 4.
Photograph by Mike Braca.

The South County Museum in Narragansett plans baby chicks’ birthdays to coincide with America’s. Red Chick Hatch is a family-friendly event on July 4 when visitors can watch Rhode Island’s official state bird — the Rhode Island Red chicken — hatch from eggs. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., museum-goers witness the baby birds peck out of their shells, or they can hold chicks that have already greeted the world. “Some people get a folding chair and sit in front of the hatching incubator and watch them crack through,” says the South County Museum director, Jim Crothers. “It’s really exciting. You can pick up a new chick that we hatch on July 2 or 3, and hold it for as long as you like.” The sixth annual event was initiated by Dr. Wayne Durfee, retired poultry science emeritus from the University of Rhode Island. It’s a way of celebrating the significance of the Rhode Island Red, which was first bred in the 1850s in Little Compton. Visitors can also get a good look at adult counterparts roaming the farm. “They can see the full-grown birds we hatched out last year,” says Crothers. “After the chicks are hatched, we will sell last year’s birds to people who want their own flock.”