Spotlight Saturday - Incubating Eggs! | Grade 2 Hullabaloo: Spotlight Saturday - Incubating Eggs!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Spotlight Saturday - Incubating Eggs!

It's one of my favorite times of the year! Egg hatchin' time! This is my third year of incubating duck and chicken eggs with my second graders, and I am just as excited and nervous as the first time. This fun project complements our science unit for this marking period -- life cycles, habitats, and animal adaptations and interdependence. It provides opportunities for children to record observations, read and research the needs of ducklings and chicks, track their development over time, and learn about the care of animals. As I said, it's one of my favorite times of the year! 

We have 13 assorted breed duck eggs in the incubator right now. It takes about 35 days for ducklings to hatch, although, it depends on the breed. We have Pekin, Black Swede, Cayuga, and  They've been in for 8 days. My brother, who has the original chickens that we hatched in the first round, is sending me chicken eggs. These eggs will go in the incubator on Monday. 

If you look closely, you'll see letters on each egg. The letters represent the breed of the duckling-to-be. 

These eggs require a constant temperature of 99.5 degrees, Fahrenheit and a humidity level of 55%. 
Yesterday, we candled the duck eggs. Candling is the process of shining a light on the egg to see if there is an air pocket (critical for the duckling to breathe from until it pecks a hole in the shell come hatching time), and blood vessels. With the lights turned off, and the children seated on the carpet, I began candling. The "candle" is a special, low-wattage light that is shaped so it fits snugly to the end of the egg. 

It was so exciting for the children, but equally so for me, because it's often difficult to introduce a concept that children in this affluent neighborhood haven't already experienced. They may live in an area that has a rich history of farming, and our school may sit on land that was once farmland, but the children don't have exposure to the intricacies of egg development and hatching. Their ooohhs and aahhhs were so much fun to hear!

As I shone the light on each egg, we would see the blood vessels and air pockets in them. There were a couple that I penciled a question mark on, because we couldn't see anything except an opaque blob. We will invite our neighboring second grade classes to come see the candling process on Monday or Tuesday, and if there are no signs of blood vessels, we'll discard those eggs. No blood vessels means the egg is infertile. 

In celebration of egg-hatchin' time, I am discounting my Great Chirping Chicken! Expanded Notation & Comparing Numbers to 1000 until Tuesday, September 15. Go grab your copy!

No comments: