Looking for some help hatching chicks in my class.

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by ScienceTchr, Dec 7, 2011.

  1. ScienceTchr

    ScienceTchr Out Of The Brooder

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    I teach 7th grade Science and this year I really want to hatch chicks with my students. It gives them a fantastic chance to make observations and predictions.

    We have 5 chickens now and we just moved to a new house with MUCH more land and a bigger pen (the bigger coop is coming next spring well before we would add more chickens to our flock). My husband is totally agreeable to the hatched chicks joining our new flock (in fact he is looking forward to it), so any chicks we hatch will have a happy home with us. If it works this year I will just hatch out our broiler chicks every year (presently we buy them) so every class can have a chance to do this (I just won't tell the kids what their eventual fate will be).

    So my questions:

    1. My school is on a VERY tight budget, and I can't afford to purchase a new incubator can any of you suggest ways to either build one or find an affordable (less then $100) incubator that would allow students to observe eggs daily.

    2. The chicks this year will be added to our flock of Dominiques (and one mutt chicken) - I want to keep our flock mostly dominiques so I plan to ask the breeder we got our hens from if I can drive down for some fertilized eggs but I am hoping to get a few different sized/colored eggs in there that will hatch out to good layers but of different sizes. I am hoping to have students make predictions about egg size/chick size egg color/chick color and what not. I am hoping to find some Eastereggers eggs (my daughter has specifically asked to add those to our flock) but I'm not sure what other breeds I should look at.


    P.S. I have posted here before when we first got our flock but I can't find my old screen name/password so I made a new one - hopefully that is okay.
     
  2. OldChurchEggery1

    OldChurchEggery1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Have you tried getting in touch with either your Extension office or a 4-H leader? The Extension Office may "sponsor" the acquisition of an incubator if you inquire about it. A lot of states have Agriculture in the Classroom lesson plans as put together by either the Extension Office or Farm Bureau. You might be able to get a good quality incubator for long-term use that way. A 4-H person or the FFA might know of someone to lend you an incubator for your classroom hatching.

    As for colors of chicks and size, etc. Easter Eggers would be a fun way to go since the chick down is so different from the adult feathering. If you can find a Splash anything (Jersey Giant, Orpington, etc) that would be a neat transformation to watch, too. Lots of folks on the forum have silkies. That would certainly throw the students for a loop when the chickens don't get "feathers" like you'd expect.

    Good luck! I wish more schools would let motivated teachers do fun activities like this. Darned SOL requirements taking all the enjoyment out of learning...
     
  3. WriterofWords

    WriterofWords Has Fainting Chickens

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    Do a search for styrofoam incubator construction. My class built 2 out of styrofoam coolers and glass from old pictures frames, a light bulb set up from walmart and a thermometer from WM.

    Under $20 and we always put them in with careful planning so the last three days we don't turn them are usually Sat, Sun, Monday. The two days in the weekends before that never gave us much trouble at all. The students built the incubators and loved them. Then we got an incubator from Donorschoose.org and a BYC member funded it for us. It's a site you as a teacher can go to and put up projects you need and get them for your classroom without having to worry about collecting money, paying out of your pocket etc. I can help you with that site if you want. This is a link to a project I did so my class could have a better incubation result.

    THIS IS A NON-ACTIVE PROJECT IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO MAKE DONATIONS TO IT I PUT IT HERE TO HELP A FELLOW TEACHER FIND OPTIONS FOR THEIR CLASSROOM SUPPLIES. I AM NOT REQUESTING ANY FORM OF DONATION FOR THIS PROJECT!

    http://www.donorschoose.org/donors/proposal.html?id=346747

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2011
  4. kizanne

    kizanne Chillin' With My Peeps

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    While the reviews vary greatly. The Little Giant only runs $41. You can add an automatic turner for $40 since you won't be there on weekends or just turn during the week. and then you can add the fan.

    This would be around $100 but beware. I just got mine and so far seems ok but it is certainly a low end incubator. If you can get one from the extension office or something that would be better.

    Check out the LG thread here for your self.
     
  5. ncfarm2012

    ncfarm2012 Out Of The Brooder

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    An idea in case you cannot get an incubator! Do an online activity. If your chickens will sit on them do a daily update. Each day go out and use a flashlight to show how the chick is growing inside the egg. Then have to class do journals on the growth and development.
     
  6. stoopid

    stoopid Chicken Fairy Godmother

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    Teacher, where are you? Maybe if we knew where you were, there may be someone local to help you out, maybe a donation?
     
  7. aceschix

    aceschix Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a Hova bator in the auction list right now and we could talk about some eggs. In the name of learning I could probably help you out with that. [​IMG]

    Let me know. [​IMG]
     
  8. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    [​IMG] Welcome back... Maybe check Craigslist for a good used incubator. Another suggestion is to have the class research homemade incubators and have the class build one. Maybe the class can do some kind of fundraiser to raise funds for the project or the kids can scrounge around their homes for items to use in building an incubator. Also I would set the eggs on a day like a Wednesday then when it comes time for the chicks to hatch it won't be over a weekend, as sometimes they can start hatching early and sometimes they're late, and the kids can observe the hatch. Good luck... [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2011
  9. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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  10. mstricer

    mstricer Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:[​IMG]
    You could totally have a science project, build an incubator with the kids. Maybe a note sent home looking for certain things parents might have around basement or garage. You should tell them everything, even the fate of the chickens. As 7th graders should be able to understand this. It could be a fun winter project for your class. Just thinking outside the box.
    Michele
     

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