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An Adventure in Life

Betty Lipe, Educational Instructor

For six weeks in April and May, 67 classes in Pinellas County experienced an adventure in life. They had incubators in their classrooms and were watching chicks develop. This program called fondly Egg and Chick, or more formerly Embryology, allows youth to learn Science, Mathematics, Language Arts, and Social Skills as they explore the world of chick development.
The process of hatching chicks generates many questions about chicks from the students. Questions such as “Why are chicks yellow?” and “Can we help the chicks to hatch?” are very common as the students study the later stages.

This program takes 21 days in the classroom as the chick goes from a germinal disk on the egg yolk to a chick ready to hatch. Each day the students turn the eggs and check the temperature in the incubator. They make sure that the temperature stays at a solid 100 degrees for the 21 days. They also write stories, draw pictures, make predications, and read and tell stories about chickens.

On day 21, the excitement in the classroom is something to see. The students keep checking the incubator to see if the chicks have pipped the egg. Pipping is what occurs when the chick begins to break out of the shell. The students also learn patience as it sometimes takes 24 hours for a chick to actually get out of the egg. After the program all chicks go to homes zoned for chickens to do what chickens are meant to do.

To see a chick hatch visit:
http://lancaster.unl.edu/4h/Embryology/moviehatch3.shtml

To see a series of embryos (no chicks were killed to create the program) and see how fast they develop go to:
http://pinellas.ifas.ufl.edu/4-H/presentations/Embryo%20development%20and%20hatching..pdf