Then it was back to work. The work of watching chicks!
Whenever I have had the chance to go to the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, I spend most of my time looking at the chicks hatching. It is my favorite part of the whole museum. I'm always disappointed that I have to move out of the way for people who are shorter than I am.
After years of dreaming about hatching my own chicks I finally did it. Since we studied life cycles in science, it fit into the curriculum perfectly! It has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Hearing a chick make peeping noises before it even shows signs of hatching is just the most delightful thing in the world.
There are some important things to keep in mind before trying this yourself! Find someone who is willing to take the chicks once they are too big to stay in your classroom. Make sure that people are will to take roosters and hens! I was lucky to have three people tell me they are willing to take any or all of our chicks.
Once you place the eggs in the incubator DO NOT open the incubator. Whoops! I didn't know that. Luckily, my eggs made it anyway. The temperature and humidity needs to be fairly consistent and opening and closing the incubator can kill young chicks. Imagine the excitement in our classroom when students were actually able to see four eggs hatch.
Chicks poop. They poop a lot! Changing the bedding material frequently is important as is proper hand washing after handling the chicks. We handle our chicks a lot! We read to them and I had one little guy telling them how to regroup before subtracting! It will be a sad day when they fly the coop!
Finally, you will become attached. You will hear chicks peeping even when they aren't anywhere near. You will find yourself having to go back to school to check on them every night after supper and staying for several hours holding and talking to them about your day. You will marvel at their growth and worry about their development.
I have been putting Sparty, Clover, Martin, Cutie, Boxer, Wilbur, and their siblings out in the hall for the rest of the school to enjoy. If I see anyone near the box, I watch carefully. I make sure that no one harms MY babies. I couldn't help but think of how much more God loves and watches over me. He bought me with His Son Jesus Christ and now He cares for and protects me. "...how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings..." Luke 13:34
Of course you can check out these books about chicks on Amazon...