I’m A Mama Hen
I’ve hatched chickens with my kindergarten class. Have you ever wondered how to do this?
Once upon a time 7 eggs arrive in a kindergarten classroom. The teacher says, “Aha….that’s what this machine is for.”
Next the teacher (that’s me) and kindergarten class wait 21 very LONG days wondering if anything will EVER happen. But…………….two days before the hatching date the automatic timer changes from the picture on the top to the one below.
|See the line by Day 3 – that means it’s still turning the eggs|
Now see the 0 by Day 2 – that means it’s done turning the eggs
I was starting to stress out. Remember – this is my first time EVER to have anything that resembles a chick in my presence. The directions told me to make sure the incubator stops turning two days before the eggs are due to hatch and replace the plastic with a cardboard insert that came with the incubator. However, I wasn’t sure how I would know if it stopped turning. I was also worried about touching the eggs and potentially hurting the little friends inside. However, nothing to worry about – the incubator has an automatic shut off for egg turning (at least with this particular incubator). It’s almost as if the incubator knows what it’s doing. Ha! At least that makes one of us.
Now the turning of the eggs is off and the eggs are placed on the cardboard insert (I took the plastic out). Guess what is next??? Oh you guessed it – here chicky chicky – here chicky chicky!
First two chicks pipped (which means they poked a hole through the shell) then out came a chick. Then another one.
By day 22 ALL seven of them hatched. I went home that night feeling like a proud mama hen. However, I came back the next morning to THIS:
LET US OUT — they all said. Oh my! I think they want to be set free. Don’t worry, though, they were fine in the incubator. It’s better safe than sorry because transferring them too soon could harm them if they aren’t dry enough. The humidity in the incubator did keep a few feathers damp so I soon transferred them to the brooder. This happened to be our recycling bin with wood pellets down for a softer bedding. I gave them water with probiotics (chick boost) and some food for them. I also had a heat lamp to keep them warm. Now they look like this:
My kindergarten families took them home (a few of them raise chickens). However, we got to keep them for one more week after they hatched. I had one more job as a mama hen. I had to make sure their little cute chicky bottoms stayed clean. Yes – that’s an adventure all by itself! Let’s just say that I keep disposable gloves and rags nearby. I also changed out the water and wood pellets frequently. Once the week was over I was ready to have just ONE job – teaching kindergarteners. However, we missed our fluffy little friends. I do have to say, chicks and kindergarteners are very, very similar. They are both cute and quick on their feet!
I created a Chick Bundle of activities to do with my chick unit. It’s also a great with a Farm Unit. I have a Chick Report, Chicken Write the Room, Reader’s Theater, Game, and Vowel Slider. They are all sold separately or you can get them in a bundle. For the bundle click the picture below:
Here is a fun Farm Animals Poem/Song! Maybe the chicks will sing with you!