main content starts here

Chicks egg-spected in the classroom

Photo of Fisher chick hatching projectWhat comes first? The chicken or the egg? Students in Mrs. Higgins’ and Mrs. Nowalk’s classes at Fisher Elementary find out during their chick hatching project. Students have an opportunity for a hands-on experience with hatching chicken eggs.

Sarah Hardy, an aide at Fisher Elementary and an organic farmer with Organic Valley, set up an incubator with 42 chicken eggs in Mrs. Nowalk’s classroom. The eggs will sit in the incubator for 21 days before they begin to hatch. The students have observation journals and are recording daily what the eggs look like.

The chicks can actually be heard cheeping inside the eggs for two days before they begin to hatch. The chicks will use a special egg tooth to help them peck their way out of the egg. The students are very excited waiting to see them hatch!

Mrs. Hardy has a variety of breeds on her farm that lay a variety of colored eggs. The eggs the students are observing are brown, blue, white, green, and pink. The chicks from different colored eggs will look different from each other. Students can’t wait to see what each newborn will look like.

To learn more about chicks, the two classes have read several non-fiction books. Mrs. Hardy gave a presentation to the 2 classes about chickens and how the chicks develop and hatch. The students were very curious about the eggs and asked a lot of great questions. Some of the questions asked were:

When they grow up will they be mothers like their mothers?

  • Some will, if they are female but some will be male chickens.

Why are the eggs different colors?

  • The different breeds of chicken lay different colors.

How do the chickens breathe inside the egg?

  • The eggs have an air sac inside for the chickens to breathe. There are also tiny holes in the egg shell that you cannot see, but air can go in and out through those tiny holes.

How do the chickens look when they hatch?

  • The chickens are wet and slimy. They are wobbly and have to learn to stand.

When do you feed the chicks?

  • Not until they hatch. The egg has all the nutrients that they need while they are inside the egg.

Will chicks have legs when they hatch out of the egg?

  • Yes, they have all their body parts and are completely formed when they hatch.

Do the moms help the chicks learn to fly?

  • Yes, she will encourage them to fly by flying up the high area and calling to them.

Keep posted for more information when the chickens hatch!