Announcements Resources

The 4th Graders Hatched a Plan


Arnold 4th graders would like to announce the “hatch (not birth)” of 15 baby chicks. They’ve been anxiously anticipating their arrival, checking the temperature and humidity in the incubator several times a day, waiting... waiting... for the sweet little sound of peeping chicks. Now that they are here, the students realize just how noisy 15 chicks can be.

We researched a process for injecting food coloring into the eggs. So, with Mr. Swingle’s help, a few diabetic syringes, food coloring and paraffin, we proceeded with our experiment on the 12th day of incubation. Of the 34 eggs that we were incubating, we injected dye in only seven of them, hoping for chicks that would be red, blue, green, purple, and one that we injected two different colors. (The picture shows two of the colored chicks.) Since most of our chicks that hatched were dark colored, it is difficult to see some of the dye. Each fourth grader has become a self-proclaimed “chick expert” through this study. Even though several of my students have chicks, they learned more about mass production of chickens in the United States, and about the incubation process.

Johnathon Lamphear was amazed that there are over 250 million chickens laying eggs in United States layinghouses. Devin Peterson was intrigued by the ways eggs are graded. (Silas Cool was too, so he and his dad did their own grading experiment for breakfast one morning.) DJ Brooks was impressed by the number of parts of the egg. Chester Oberg thought it was cool that female chicks are born with so many yolks, before they even begin to lay eggs. Silas Cool thought it was pretty cool that yolks will be white if you feed the hens white cornmeal. (I can see another experiment coming at the Cool household.)

Other facts that my students wanted you to know - It takes the hen 24-26 hours to form and lay an egg. That the stringy white chalazae actually keeps the yolk in the center of the egg. White Leghorns are the most common chicken used for egg laying. It takes chicks 21 days to hatch. The only difference between brown and white eggs is their color. Just before hatching, the chick pokes a hole in the air sac and breathes with its lungs for the first time. China is the top egg producer and the United States is second.

Chicks imprint the voice of the person they hear, so the fourth graders are their mom/dad.