Son's Science Fair Project - ***HELP US TAKE A POLL! See post #22***


11 Years
Jan 5, 2009
SE Connecticut
So my son has a science project to do for the fair and we were thinking of focusing on chickens. He is in second grade and very bright (not tooting my own horn, teachers words). Aside from hatching eggs (don't know if we'll have time for that), what else could we do. I am not very creative when it comes to stuff like this. The science fair is mid April.

The teacher is very keen on the idea of hatching eggs but I've never done it. We talked about taking eggs from known parents and based on the coloring of the parents, what the resulting chicks would end up looking like. By setting up an actual experiement, Jake (my son) can join the contest for best project.

Another issue would be getting eggs. I have roos but because all of my eggs are brown, I don't know how to figure out who's are who. He favors my Aussies and one of my Cochin. I'd likely get eggs from someone who would have a better chance at fertility.

So what do you think? Should I just go for hatching eggs out? Is there a different project I could do with the chickens? The hatching would be a big hit I'm sure, both with my son and the other kids in the school. (As it happens, the science fair corresponds to the time when I will have my new chicks arrive so my brooder will be set up at home.)

This same teacher would like hatching eggs for her own class project, about 30, breed isn't important. I would only do about a dozen.
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The project you mentioned was the first one I thought of as well. I'll keep thinking and maybe come up with something later today!
Perhaps comparing the hatch rates of refrigerated eggs vs non refrigerated eggs.

Or hatching eggs of different ages (two weeks old, one week old, set day of lay)

Or effects of different brands of chick starter on chick growth.

Or effects of different colored brooder lights (red vs white)

Or effects of different brands of layer pellets on number of eggs laid or the size of eggs laid.

Or compare the size of eggs set (jumbo, xl, etc) to the weight of the chicks hatched.
Oh I like this one!

I like this too! I also like the thought of hatching different sized eggs and checking the weight of the hatched chicks. This might be hard if we aren't there when all of the chicks are hatching unless we could set up multiple bators.
I think food color preference might be fun. Take something like popcorn or pancakes and dye it different colors. With one bird at a time offer the same food, but in different colors, say red, blue and green. Record the first, second and third choice. Repeat with new hen. Then repeat on another day with the same birds and same foods.

Do this enough times to have a good sampling, maybe two or three birds for a week. This should be enough to show results for color preference. An expansion might be to feed a neutral colored food for a few days, and then do the neutral color and other colors for a few days. This would tested if learned behavior overrides color preference.

Hypothosis: chickens like red food best
method: see above
results:Color picked first, 10 tests
Hen 1: red 5 times, blue 3, green 2
hen 2: red-4, blue-3, green-3
hen 3: red-6, blue-1, green-4
hen 4: red 7, blue-1, green-2

Conclusion: chickens prefer red food, followed by green, then blue. But some chickens like the colors pretty much the same, and some show a strong preference for red.
Last years our son 3rd grade, built a stryo bator and hatched in the homemade and in a borrowed r-com bator, and compaired hatch rates off the same batch of eggs. (3 in one 9 in the other, so compaired % hatched).

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