It’s that time of year when the weather starts to warm up a bit and thoughts of Spring start to spark interests of new projects. You may start thinking of planting a garden, outdoor hikes, or even camping to help enrich your homeschool experience. What about hatching chickens? We were given an awesome opportunity to experience this and even with two young kids, it was one of the most rewarding projects we have done this year. With only 28 days of love and commitment and a whole lot of anticipation, this project could be one of the most memorable!
We were so blessed to get connected with a local chapter of 4-H through an Agricultural Extension office. We were able to go there along with some other homeschool families to learn about the process and check out a simple Styrofoam incubator for free.
We only paid $6 for a dozen eggs and we were on our way to watching life form! The kids were so excited to setup their incubator and get started. If you are able to get families to do it with you, it makes it so much fun!
It taught our kids so much about commitment and patience. Every day they were in charge of flipping the eggs, checking the water for humidity, and the temperature. We kept a spreadsheet where they were able to check off their daily responsibilities and keep track of any observations they made. It was such a neat experience to candle the eggs with a flashlight and actually see the chickens developing inside the shells.
It was hard for them at age 5 and 2 to understand how long it would take, but after just 28 days, we were able to experience life in such an exciting way. I will never forget the shrieks and tears that came from the excitement of watching their much anticipated chicks come popping out of the shells. Of course ours started to hatch right at bedtime and continued on through the night. We were able to hatch 9 out of the 12 eggs, a really great turnout!
As their feathers started to fluff out we were able to transfer them from the incubator into a box filled with shavings, water, and food. The kids felt such a sense of accomplishment as they completed their tasks each day and the end result was worth every bit of the work. There are so many things that you can learn from books, worksheets, and pictures, but to watch a baby chick hatch, to hold it in your own hands, that’s real hands-on learning!
We were blessed to have a friend who took our chickens since we couldn’t keep them in our neighborhood. We are able to go out every once in awhile and visit them. They are so big now and are just starting to lay eggs. I will never forget this project and the experience that came from it. Seeing life form no matter what shape it comes is just an incredible sight to see.
Have you ever hatched chickens before?