PHOENIX AGRICULTURE SCIENCE CLASS HATCHES CHICKENS
Story by Michelle W., Phoenix Student 11–24-2015
Phoenix student, Jadyn W., checks on the eggs in the incubator.
The Ag Science class is doing something new this year – hatching chickens.
Science teacher Lindley Hession said the class has been learning about “phylogeny” this year. According to the dictionary, phylogeny is the “evolutionary history of a kind of organism or genetically related group of organisms.”
“We have learned how birds are closely related to reptiles,” said Lindley. “We have discussed genetics and how feathers are modified scales. Some dinosaurs may have had feather-like projections covering their bodies.
Lindley added that the class has also been learning about egg parts, how a chicken develops and the egg industry. Lindley said the eggs the class is hatching came from the Oregon Cooperative Hatchery.
“Michelle Waddell and Erin Reid brought freshly fertilized eggs from their farm and talked with us about the incubation process,” said Lindley. “I’ve never hatched or raised chickens before but I’m looking forward to it.”
During the past few weeks, students have been checking the daily progress of the eggs inside the incubator, including turning the eggs so they can be thoroughly warmed. So far, two of the eggs “died” due to unknown reasons.
On Nov. 18, Michelle and Erin returned to “candle” the eggs. During the candling pro-cess, eggs are held up to the light of a candle or a bright flashlight. One can then see if there is a viable chicken fetus inside. “It was really cool! We could see the chick moving inside the egg,” said one student.
Unfortunately, one of the eggs “exploded” during the candlingprocedure. Lindley said that the chick inside had been dead before they candled it and that there is a 65 percent hatch rate for eggs in an incubator. The remaining eggs are expected to hatch sometime during Thanksgiving week.
“I’ve raised chickens before and I enjoyed it,” said student Tashi Risley. “I’m looking forward to being a godmother to these chickens.”
Lindley said the long term plan is to raise the chickens on campus to produce eggs for LOFT and CSA boxes.