Even though the incubator was in place to be Mommy hen, my fellow partner and I felt like Mother hens as well. Our excitement was over the top. To the point that I even drove 15 minutes to her one night very late because in a panic of trying to find my school keys, I was scared of killing the babies. It was almost comical when I found the keys in my coat pocket the next day.
Day 13, the ladies came back in to, "Candle" the eggs to see which had baby chicks. At the end of candling all 23 eggs, we sadly yet gratefully only had 3, "duds."
What an amazing experience this was! For our preschools to see a baby chick within the egg, moving and turning was so neat. Their little oohs and ahhs, were the sweetest.
This is a photo of how the chick looks on the inside verses the egg on the candling machine. The ladies with the extension office also left us replica eggs of how the chicks look inside each day. The nature specialist had the pleasure of opening the particular egg each morning to share with the class. It was so cute watching each child investigate the eggs in the science center each day.
I even had the pleasure of showing a fourth grade class egg candling. The baby was much bigger on day 18, and it was wiggling all around. Of course the older kids thought it was pretty awesome as well. Our daughters felt pretty supreme to be able to show their friends how life was being "created" in a tiny egg.
On night 20, I had to run to school to get Benadryl as Bryar was having an allergic reaction. When I peeked in on the eggs, seven were already starting to crack.
It was literally impossible to sleep that night. I tossed and turned, then I even arrived to school an hour early to find this baby had already arrived.
That morning I almost couldn't walk away from the incubator. We all watched during the baby as five more babies arrived. When one would hatch, another would start peeping to cheer on the next, then they would peck shells to help another out. These guys know team work at birth!
We now have 17 babies, playing in a trough for the next week. They eat, play, and sleep their day away. We've been able to play with them during center time. At other times we draw pictures of chicks, or make 3D art projects. I am also certain that they have all been named 600 times. :) The only name that has stuck is Luna.
Isn't she/he/it beautiful?
At the end of this week the babies will be coming home with Charli Beth and I. The hens that she received for her birthday stopped laying a few months ago. We sadly sent them to live their days with the Amish families nearby. She was okay letting go of the hens, unlike the poor Guinea pig that stole her heart. I'm thankful for a child that knows farm animals verses pets, although I'm certain we are making several chicks into pets now. They're just too cute not to!
We will not be keeping every chick that comes home with us. We will be keeping the hens, and will return others to the farm they came from in another county.
This honestly, has been one of the most memorable experiences within preschool. The excitement and smiles as they watch the chicks, has been an understatement of joyous. We may teach letters, and rhyming words daily, but to see the beauty of life is something they will remember forever.
I can never say thank you enough to the UK extension office for hosting this program at our school. They have helped and cared for each baby each morning and afternoon. I hope they know just how much they are even touching the lives of tiny tiny hearts all over!