We’ve hatched baby chicks at HEROES in the past; the first time that we hatched baby chicks was several years ago, and we had to return the chickens to the farm because we didn’t have any place to keep grown chickens! In 2021, we adopted baby chicks, and HEROES is now home to a wide variety of chicken breeds.
As part of our life sciences program, students will observe eggs throughout their incubation period, watch as the chicks hatch, and help the chicks adjust to life outside. Students will also compare the development of chickens with the development of ducks within the egg (using candling) and after hatching.
The Incubation Period
The eggs incubate for 21 days. At the beginning of each class meeting, students check the incubator for temperature and humidity. Students work together to make adjustments to the air vent and water reservoirs as necessary.
Each class, students learn to candle the eggs, chart the development of the chick inside the egg, and check the eggs for viability.
After hatching, the baby chicks are introduced to a broody hen. The broody hen adopts the chicks as her own. The students observe the relationship between mother hen and her chicks as well as the chicks development from “day old” to mature laying hen.