Saturday, May 19, 2018

NEW CHICKS IN ROOM 6: A Classroom Visit

Four day old chicks. The thermometer monitors the temperature in the cage.
The children in Mrs. Best’s kindergarten class in Room 6 at Haynes School in Los Angeles have just hatched eggs, and now have five fluffy chicks cheeping in a cage in their classroom. Four of the chicks have brown markings. One is black. As the children waited for the eggs to hatch, they learned about chickens and eggs in my book Hatching Chicks in Room 6. That book follows a previous class as they went through the egg hatching process. This is a project that Mrs. Best does every year with her students.
Art projects done by the children. Some of the eggs they incubated had brown shells. Others were green.
Last week I went to visit the chicks and spend time with the children. I read some of my books and we talked about birds and eggs. I brought my ostrich egg to compare with the chicken eggs they had just hatched. The ostrich lays the largest egg of any bird. It is equivalent to two dozen chicken eggs and weighs three to five pounds! (My egg, which I bought a long time ago, has a hole in the end of the shell where the contents were taken out so it does not weigh so much.)
I learned about ostriches when I wrote about them in this book.
The incubation period for an ostrich egg is 42 days, twice a long as it takes a chicken egg to hatch.
Ostrich egg. It is the largest of all bird eggs.
The children and I also talked about birds that don’t fly, such as ostriches and penguins. Chickens can easily fly from the ground to their roosts. So, even though a lot of people think that chickens don’t fly, they do.
The chicks are already starting to grow wing feathers.
The chicks are growing fast. By the time school is out for the summer in a few weeks, the chicks will be ready to go to the henhouse, where they will finish growing up.

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