Tuesday, May 6, 2008

DAY 16: Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Temperature Range: 100
Turned the eggs: 3 times – 10:30 am, 4:45 pm, 10:00 pm
Water added today: No

Did I mention anywhere that this whole process takes about 21 days?
I have gotten so many questions in the past 2 weeks about why we are doing this, how we got started, and what we are going to do with the chicks. Since this was an uneventful day, I’ll answer those questions here.

Why are we doing this?
We love opportunities for hands-on science. Children learn best through hands-on activities and are most likely to remember things they actually experience, rather than just read or be told the information. We love animals and my older children were each present for the birth of their younger siblings, so this is right up our alley. It’s also a great way for us to remember how amazing the formation of life is and what a wonderful God we have to create each living thing according to it’s own likeness. It’s a great reminder of how delicate life is. We are making an investment of time, energy, and love ineach of these eggs. The very idea that they won’t all hatch, which is realistic, is distressing. Will it be because of something we did or didn’t do? Because of the very formation and reproduction of it’s own cells? Simply because God didn’t will it… So much to discuss here with the children.

How did we get started?
I belong to a couple local homeschool groups and several homeschool email lists. The opportunity to hatch chicks came through on one of the email lists. It was basically for teachers and there was an application to complete and a deadline to meet. After much discussion and several budget revisions, we decided to go ahead and apply. We met the deadline and paid a small fee for one 3-hour class on egg embryology. It wasn’t a whole semester – just one evening for 3 hours. Now we just needed an incubator.

I called our local school district to inquire about borrowing an incubator if they weren’t using it. Good idea, but they don’t have any. Several years ago parents became concerned about the risk of Salmonella, so the school stopped participating and liquidated their incubators. Neighboring school districts still participate, but I didn’t make additional calls. We’ll just get one from Farm & Fleet.

The program is organized by our local University of Illinois Extension Office.

What are we going to do with the chicks?
Well, we can’t keep them. Where we live, we are not permitted to keep chickens. We have enough chick feed for several days and we have a list of local farmers who expressed interest in chickens. While we are not limited to those farmers, we are limited to our state because they are not supposed to cross state lines without some certificate of health, which we do not have.

I know a few people who may be interested, considering they are free chicks. After all, if someone is interested in raising chickens – why buy them when you can get them for free? So, I have put the feelers out and am waiting for confirmations before I call the farmers on the list.

These are White Leg Horn Chickens

No comments: