Here Come the Chicks!

Every spring in northern and central Delaware classrooms eagerly await the arrival of the Embryology project. 4-H Embryology in the Classroom is provided in Kent and New Castle Counties.  In these two counties, youth are observing and experiencing the miracle of life.

Fertilized eggs arrive in classrooms on Mondays with the expectation of hatching on Wednesdays, although at times the chicks arrive early on Tuesdays and sometimes even Monday afternoons.  Each classroom receives an assortment of six chicken varieties:  Blue Hen, White Crested Black Polish, Barred Plymouth Rock, Rhode Island Red, and White Leghorn.  The eggs range in colors too, from bright white to buff to green/blue.  Students observe the eggs through piping (pecking through the egg shell) watching as the chick makes the first hole in the egg shell all the way to full emergence from the egg.  After the chicks hatch, the students watch as the chicks fluff, then move them to the prepared brooder box where they feed, water, and care for the newly hatched chicks.  On Fridays, the chicks are picked up by our extension staff and taken to local farms.

The program has a wide reach with 5350 students in 272 classrooms at 67 different schools participating.