Both Year 5 classes are very excited after taking delivery of some freshly laid eggs from our friends at Surrey Docks Farm. The pupils will be helping to incubate the eggs over the next three weeks, leading to the hatching of some spring chicks.
Our friends from the farm addressed both classes to explain the science behind the project. We heard about the role of the mother hen back on the farm. Her job is to keep the eggs warms so that the chicks can grow and then hatch.
Year 5 will be setting up an incubator to reproduce this process. This gently warms up the eggs and rotates them every sixty minutes.
The pupils heard how it was important to consider the health of the chicks. We need to let the incubator complete its course and not disturb this process.
We held a class discussion about how sometimes the eggs might not hatch. This is a valuable exercise for the pupils to think about life and the process of growing.
Once the eggs have hatched then the chicks will spend a short time in the Year 5 brooder. This contains a heat lamp to keep the newly borns warm.
The Year 5 pupils will make sure that the chicks have enough food and water to help them grow during their early days. They will be returned to Surrey Docks Farm once they are strong enough to survive on their own.
Our session finished with a useful Q&A exercise. The Year 5 pupils wanted to know why can’t hens fly, what is the eyesight like for the chicks, and how many eggs does a hen lay a year. We were surprised to learn that this figure can be as high as 280!