Sunday, March 15, 2009

Counting Chickens

I have not laughed so hard in I don't know when!

A couple of weeks ago, I set up the incubator in my classroom to hatch some chicks. For twenty-one days, I diligently monitered the temperature and water levels to make sure that I didn't fry my eggs. My students would peek through the lid to see what they were doing.

On Monday morning when I arrived at school, I was greeted by one of my girls, bearing the news that we had baby chickens! You would have thought it was Christmas and that she had gotten the coolest toy ever.

Baby chicks ready to come out of incubator

By the end of the day, about 5 or 6 of the eggs had hatched, but I still had not moved them out of the incubator, letting them get really dry. The next day I set up a brooder in my classroom so that we could get them out.

Setting up the brooder

With the assistance of some of my older students, We made our new little friends as comfortable as possible... a nice toasty heat lamp and grits for their first meal... And then we waited to see how many of their friends and siblings would hatch.

Tuesday morning, I entered my classroom to find my students all gathered around the incubator. Each held a chick in their hands and were watching intently as one of the eggs in the incubator began to open. Named 845 (although I don't think they could tell you at this point which one he is) my first period class got to witness the miracle of hatching first hand.

Back to the live chicks... as each one moved around the classroom, they toted a little friend. Each chick was given a name... Baby Daryl, Kenflo, Woodrow, Dot-Head... and the list goes on. By the end of the day, each one had about 6 or 7 different names. Each kid with a sweatshirt on would stick the biddie in their hood or pocket and try to sneak out with them. At the end of each period I would have to walk by each student and listen to make sure they weren't peeping... And I'm not talking about just the girls... I mean my huge mean high school boys were walking around petting small chickens like the abominable snowman used to pet Buggs Bunny.

Big Boys playing with Little Chickens

Apparantly, no one is immune to the call of the chicks... since the two state FFA officers who were visiting both thought they needed to take pictures with our class pets before leaving!

That being said, I am thinking about a fundraiser... I figure if I charge a dollar a period to hold a chicken while you do your work, I can make up for the economic downturn in our budget within just a couple of days!