Sunday, March 3, 2024

Chick Hatching Project for 7th and 8th Grade:





This year Ms. Kresge's classes are hatching chicks in their classroom as an end of year science project!


You are invited to participate and watch as the chicks hatch and develop!


The students will complete various projects about the chicken breeds, variations of identifying traits, record keeping of temps and relative humidity, photo journaling each chick, Google Slide presentations, and many more STEM based activities.


The incubation process takes 21 days. We will be activating the camera prior to the 21st day so you can watch them hatching at home. The scheduled day for the chicks to hatch is May 23rd.


We had 27 eggs shipped to us from Meyer Hatchery. There were various breeds selected for their unique genetic composition. The breeds we are hatching are: Barred Rock, Buff Laced Polish, Easter Eggers, Buckeye, Black Australorp, and Black Copper Marans. If you would like to learn more about each breed you can visit their website. https://meyerhatchery.com/products/Chickens-c39349237


What is going on inside the eggs?


Eggs are maintained at a proper temperature and water is added to maintain the appropriate humidity level to avoid the eggs from drying out. Eggs are rotated multiple times throughout the day to aid in the proper development of the baby chicks.

The incubation of a chick is 21 days. The head of the chick develops at the large end of the egg, and between day 15 and 16, the chick orients itself so that its beak is near the air cell at the large end. Over the next few days the chick’s neck acquires a double bend so that its beak is under its right wing pointing toward the air cell.


About day 19, the chick thrusts its head forward breaking through the inner shell membrane and its lungs begin to function. By the end of the 20th day, the chick is breathing completely though its lungs. During the early hatching stage you may see the eggs rocking back and forth as the chick pecks at the inside of the shell. You may even see a pip hole already in the shell. It takes several hours for the chick to peck out. Using its egg tooth (a tiny sharp projection on the end of its beak) the chick pecks thousands of times. Finally the chick pips through the shell and begins to breathe the outside air. After the bird has made a pip hole it stops pecking for several hours as it gathers strength and its lungs adjust to the room air.


In the second stage, the chick begins to slowly turn around counterclockwise inside the shell. As it turns, the cutting edge of the egg tooth chips away at the shell. In two to five hours the chick has made it three-quarters of the way around. As it moves, the chick pushes with its feet and shoulders, trying to push the cap off. Squirming and struggling, the chick finally pushes the egg apart and tumbles out-still wet, panting and exhausted!


It will lay very still, extremely tired! After a few minutes it will tryout its cramped muscles and begins to get up on its feet - it takes many tries, many falls, tumbling over and over. Finally, it masters walking, the incubator heat has dried it out and you have a cute fluffy peep! This process takes about two hours after the chick hatches.


After they hatch:


We allow 2 days for them all to hatch out and dry out in the incubator so they can be the cute fluffy chicks we all love. Then they will be transferred to the brooder where food, water, and heat will be available for them to enjoy. The live web cam will be over them during this time as well. This is a fun time to watch them play.


Where will they go after the project is over?


All the chicks have a home at this point (The Soroka Coop). There may be roosters available for adoption after they are 4 weeks old. If you live in an area that chickens are permitted and you would like a ROOSTER, please email Mrs. Soroka so she can add you to the list.


Questions?


If you have any questions about this project, please send an email to Ms. Kresge or Mrs. Soroka (assisting with project). We will get back to you as soon as we can.


Thank you for enjoying this project with us!
Ms. Kresge and Mrs. Soroka