Planning and Developing the Embryology Program
Thoroughly review all materials in this website before picking up the eggs. You may "pick and choose" from several alternatives.
Read through Bulletin (LA0950) From Egg to Chick to get an idea of what will happen. This is available from University of Illinois Extension offices.
Order books for reference, if you would like, through your local library. See reference list and description.
Do the Webbing activity.
Testing the Incubator
Set up the incubator and regulate the temperature.
Test incubator with distilled water in water channels to make sure that the incubator holds 100.5 degrees F.
Have students build their own incubator using the instructions found in Building an Incubator.
Setting the Eggs
Set eggs on Tuesday or Wednesday to avoid weekend hatches.
Start eggs in the afternoon (more likely to hatch during day and not overnight).
Mark eggs with X and O (for turning), and placing in the incubator. Place X up in morning, O up mid day, and X up in afternoon. The next day place O up in the morning, X up mid day, and O up in afternoon.
Have pupils draw a picture of an incubator and label its parts.
Here are some suggestions for hatching chicks in the classroom and some supplemental activities you may want to do.
Equipment You Can Build
- Post a job list for the entire time of the unit, assigning pupils to turn eggs, and later, feed, water, and clean the brooder box.
- Open 7-day embryo after finding a likely prospect using the overhead projector (must have light source under the stage of the projector) for candling or candler built by students. Preserve the embryo.
- Open a 14-day embryo. Be sure to place chick so students can see direct yolk to navel connection, explain how yolk is drawn inside later. Illustrate and label parts. Preserve the embryo.
- Share selected parts of the book Window Into an Egg, by Geraldine Lux Flanagan. Look at it's development photographs. Read the description of actual hatch to class or read Inside an Egg by Sylvia A. Johnson. This book includes the same information.
- Include vocabulary words from incubation and embryology in a spelling test.
- Draw chickens in a farmyard and hide incubation and embryology words.
- How fragile is an Egg?
- Why are eggs important?
- Divide into small groups and play the egg game.
- Record temperatures on the Temperature Comparison Chart
- Record observations made. Use handouts using "My 4-H Record."
- Record information on Egg Rotation Chart in "My 4-H Record."
- Test the strength of an egg's shell.
- Test eggs for freshness.
- Conduct a calcium test with raw eggs.
- Conduct a controlled experiment.
- Discuss the role of eggs.
- Explore career opportunities in the poultry industry.
- Divide students into small groups. Have each group search out facts about chickens. Ask each student to do a research report.
- Study the egg.
- Study the chicken.
- Study development of the chick embryo using drawings provided. Contact your Extension office to borrow slides of embryonic development.
- List and look up unfamiliar words i.e. poultry, fowl, chick, incubator, hen, rooster, brood, clutch, and egg. Discuss each.
- Study egg shell porosity.
- Have a class meeting to discuss: What will our chicks see, hear and do when they hatch and what will they need? What will I need to do when the chicks hatch?
- Make a hall mural showing chick embryonic development.
- Make a Hatch Day hatch record on a sheet with empty eggs. One empty egg for each egg in the incubator. Draw in chicks as they hatch and indicate time. Put a cross on those that hatch and die. Write "Dud" on those that do not hatch, so all are counted.
- Observe the chicks. What do you see?
- Have a class meeting to discuss: What you learned about chickens that you didn't know before this activity?
- Illustrate manila folder or envelope and title it, prepare to collect material about chickens. Each pupil makes one farm scene with the chicken "family." Note: This may be either in portfolio or journal format.