Lucky the Chick
Children at St John’s have raised their own chicken, as part of their curriculum project ‘In the field’.
At the end of April, the school took delivery of an incubator and eggs purchased from Thomas Alleynes Academy.
The children were extremely excited and counted down the days until they could find out how many of the 21 eggs received were fertile. On the seventh day the children carried out a ‘candle check’ on each egg which involved using a special torch to identify which eggs had baby chicks growing inside them.
Teachers explained to the children that some of the eggs would be ‘yokie eggs’, meaning that these eggs were not fertile. From the 21 eggs, the children identified that four of the eggs had a small black dot, which was in fact the developing chick. These eggs remained in the incubator and the others were removed.
After nineteen days the children removed the incubator from its rocker which moved the incubator from side to side very slowly so the eggs didn’t have to be rotated. The incubator needed to maintain a temperature of 37.5 degrees and have a humidity of 44%. In order to ensure the incubator was at the correct temperature and humidity we had a special compartment to add water. On the twenty-second day, one of the eggs hatched!
The children really enjoyed observing how the chick used its egg tooth to chip away at the shell. They also observed show the chick rotated in the shell to cut off the top and push its way out. Once it had hatched it had to remain inside the incubator until its feathers were dry. The children enjoyed watching how the appearance of the chick change and there were eager to move the chick into its egg-loo. The chick then remained in the egg-loo under a heat lamp. The children named the chick ‘Lucky’ as it was the only chick that hatched! Lucky was fed special food and given water but has now been returned to the farm at Thomas Alleyne. However, he really made an impression on our youngsters!
“I didn’t think he would be brown because chicks are yellow” Annie, aged 5
“Lucky likes it when we sing, chick, chick, chick, chick chicken” Isabelle, aged 4
“When he goes back to the farm he is going to see his mummy and daddy and brothers and sisters.” Etta, aged 4
“When he gets bigger he will be a chicken!” Finley, aged 5
"He's so tiny, fluffy and cute!" Francesca, aged 4