Hatching Baby Chicks!

Thursday, 14 May 2020

One of the chicks that hatched this year! 🐥
Spring in my classroom is one of my favorite times of year!  It’s a time of new beginnings in nature and I love teaching my class about that.  One of my favorite activities is learning about the life cycle of a chicken and incubating our very own chicken eggs!  Of course, due to COVID-19, this has really thrown a wrench in things.  But, I didn’t miss a beat and decided to bring the classroom into my home!
I have the cage all set up in my garage for the chicks when they hatch!
I have been incubating and hatching chicken eggs for over 10 years in my classroom.  The first time I ever did this was during my student teaching and we actually hatched duck eggs then.  To be able to continue the tradition, I incubated and hatched chickens at home and each day I recorded the kids daily video updates!  It was definitely a different experience than what I typically have in my classroom.  I had to find a safe place at home where I didn’t have to worry about the eggs being disturbed……so they ended up in my bedroom!  I never thought I’d have chickens in my bedroom, but here we are! Haha
I have the incubator set up and ready to go on my nightstand!
The process of hatching chicken eggs take about 21 days.  I love teaching about the life cycle with fun activities and videos.  Once we learn all the basics, we place the eggs in the incubator.  I try to let the kids be as involved as possible in the process, especially since this is likely their first (and only) time experiencing this miracle of life!  We start counting each day until we get to 21 (sometimes the chickens may surprise us and we will have some early or late hatchers). 

This year, since we weren’t at school, I didn’t get as many eggs from a local farmer.  Usually, I will get around 40 eggs, which is enough to fill the incubator.  All the eggs aren’t fertilized, so they won’t all have a chicken growing inside to hatch.  This year, I only got 12 eggs and we had chickens hatch from two of them.  The hatch rate can vary, although we “candle” the eggs throughout the process so we can see how many chicks to be expecting.

We had two chicks that hatched out of the 12 eggs!  They really surprised me this year and the first one hatched on day 20 and the second one on day 21!
Hatching chicks is definitely one of the most exciting times of year in our classroom!  I hate that the students weren’t there to experience it all first hand, but I’m glad I was able to do this for them at home and do mini-lessons and video updates.  This is definitely something you can do in your own classroom and is an amazing opportunity for your students to experience the miracle of life!  Let me know if you need any help getting this started in your classroom and I’d be happy to answer all your questions!

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