“During the Egg Hatching Project, my students learned how to incubate eggs,” Blackshire said. “Mr. Cullen visited our class several times to teach the kids about the process.”
Some of the topics Cullen discussed included how long it takes an egg to hatch (normally 21 days), and what the incubator temperature needed to be set on (99.5 degrees Fahrenheit). He also told students that the rotator in the incubator was there so the chicks would not stick to the shell during development.
The project began on Thursday, Feb. 3. On Day 8, Cullen attended the class to “candle” the eggs to show the students blood veins, which showed which eggs were fertile. On Day 20 of the project, he again came into class to take the rotator out of the incubator.
“On Day 22, the eggs had still not hatched,” Blackshire said. “However, the students could hear the chicks chirping inside the eggs. Later that same day, cracks were visible in the eggs.”
One day later, one of chicks had hatched from its egg and students were able to see the white “egg” tooth on the end to the chick’s beak. Blackshire stated her students learned this is the part of the chicks beak that helps them break through the egg.
Students in the class were able to take their chicks home on Day 26.
“The students have been coming to school everyday, telling me about feeding their chicks and how they are keeping them warm, and what they have named them,” Blackshire said. “This was a very meaningful hands-on activity.”
The teacher thanks Sean and Kim Cullen for their hard work.
“They were very dedicated in seeing this project through,” Blackshire said. “They provided the incubator, boxes to take the chicks home in, and bags of feed for the chicks. We also want to thank the West Virginia Department of Agriculture - Animal Health Division for providing educational packets.”