Look What’s Hatching!

Chicks BANN2

When Kunkel 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Krystal Firster, heard about an opportunity to turn her classroom into a mini farmyard she knew it would be perfect for her inquisitive students. In partnership with the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences, 4H representative, Heather Freeland, delivered an incubator, supplies and eggs for each student.

Trio holding embryos

Aydan Miller, Maddy Heagy, and Kyle Kinsey
show embryos at various growth stages.

The fourth graders carefully wrote their initials on their egg so they knew which egg they were responsible for turning three times a day. Every few days, students “candled” their eggs by placing them on a cardboard contraption that rested on an overhead projector. The light from the projector lit up the egg so students could view the contents inside the shell. Candling the egg allowed students to look for disease and watch the growth progress of their chick. Sadly, three chicks never made it to the hatching stage due to disease and improper development.

After three weeks of caring for their eggs, the 4th graders were super excited when the first “pip” was discovered. Baby chicks are born with an egg tooth which allows them to “pip” or crack their shell. The egg tooth falls off during the chick’s first day of life. After hours of hard work laboring to escape their shells, the wobbly, wet babies staggered around the incubator until their feathers dried enough to provide them with warmth. The fluffy chicks were then transferred to an aquarium where they had their first taste of food and water. Over the next few days, Mrs. Firster’s room was filled with constant peeping as the newborns experienced life outside their shells. But shortly after, the students had to wish their chicks farewell when Ms. Freeland transferred them to their new home at a local farm.

Chicks VID PIC

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