- Mittagong Public School -
“Hatching chicks has been such an exciting and enjoyable experience. Every day when the kids arrive at school, they head straight over to the chickens, so do the parents and staff. Thank-You for providing us with such a fantastic learning experience”
When Can I do a Program?
The Hatching Chicks Program is done over a 2 week period.
We will deliver to you on the first Monday of the 2 week period. It will take only 5 minutes for us to set up. You are required to watch the instruction videos before we deliver and have a table ready in a suitable spot. We will then return on the Friday of the second week to collect everything. You can do the program at any time through the school year depending on availability. The earlier you book the more chance you have of getting the date you would prefer.
Can the Chicks Hatch on Different Days During the Week?
Yes when you book the program you can let me know what days you have different groups of children and I can start incubating the eggs at different times to coincide with the days you would like them to hatch.
What do I get?
On the delivery day I will bring along an incubator and 10 to 12 eggs that are due to hatch over the following week. I will also bring the brooder box which is where the chicks will live for the following 10 days after they hatch. You will be supplied with everything you need to care for the chicks including: chick food and a supply of wood shavings for litter on the bottom of the box. I will also leave you with a book containing written instructions and educational material and lots of craft activities. There is Instructional Videos and a PDF version that can be downloaded under Instructions and activities.
Where can the program be placed?
It is best to set the incubator and brooder box up in an area of your centre/room where the chicks will be easy to observe. Not much space is required, the incubator is 30cm in diameter and the brooder box is 60cm x 30cm. Both the incubator and the brooder box can be set up on a small table beside a power point as both will require power. It should be in a spot that does not get direct sunlight coming through a window as this will overheat the chicks.
What do we do With the Chicks Over the Weekend?
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Can the Children Handle the Chicks?
Yes the chicks are not timid and they enjoy being handled gently once they have recovered from hatching. As they grow older they love to be taken out of the box for a run around. You can ask the children to sit in a circle and place the chicks in the middle, this is also a good opportunity to let the children handle the chicks while they are sitting down. You can make a temporary enclosure out of large building blocks to put the chicks in inside or outside in the warmer months. You will need to stay with them outside as they are prey for crows and currawongs.
Do They Require Much Work to Look After?
No during the first week the chicks will not need much attention as they are so small, they sleep a lot and do not eat or drink very much. During the second week you will need to change the litter in the bottom of the brooder box and fill up the food and water containers daily. This is a chore that children enjoy doing.
Can we Sell the Chicks to Family and Staff?
Yes you can. If you sell them your centre keeps the money and we recommend $5 each, or you can give them away however at this age it is impossible to know which chicks are female and which chicks are males. Rooster can be aggressive and very noisy. We do offer a rooster pick up service and details and cost of this service are outlined in the PDF mentioned below. Please ensure anyone taking chicks has been given a printout of information on this website under the Instruction page – PDF “Rearing Chicks & Ducklings” before they have made the decision to take chicks home. Chickens and Ducklings like to have other Chickens or Ducklings for company so we recommend selling them in groups of at least 3 or 4. If you would like to know more about what happens to the chicks after they are picked up from you please see “Chicken Welfare” on this website.