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Valley Chicks: Incubating chicken eggs helps student learn about food web

Valley Chicks: Incubating chicken eggs helps student learn about food web

Valley Teacher Megan Mott

Megan Mott’s Farm to Table class at Valley Academy has gone to the birds… literally. Students are learning about the global food web, and Mott is taking her students on a journey to discover just how their food ends up on their kitchen table. Students are learning about the farm-to-table process through gardens, orchards, field crops, beekeeping, fishing, hunting, and of course, keeping chickens. Mott used school egg incubators to incubate eggs from fertilization to hatching. This week the chicks are hatching.

“It is always my hope that students who only have experiences with the grocery store begin to recognize that their food is grown or raised by someone. I’m an advocate for sustainability, and I hope that students begin to take an interest in developing habits for a sustainable future. It just so happens that keeping chickens is a really great example of one way a person can produce food,” said Mott.

Community members Dana DeLancy and Lisa Lawrence donated 72 eggs for the class to incubate. DeLancy connected Mott with other farmers and homesteaders in the area who were excited about the project. Once the eggs were delivered, former Valley teacher Bob Brown came to Mott’s class as a guest educator and taught the students about the 21-day incubation process and how to simulate the mother hen's natural process for hatching her chicks. The class conducts daily temperature and humidity checks, and Mott stops by Valley on the weekend to ensure everything is going well.

This week the school is a buzz with excitement as the eggs start to hatch. Baby chicks were offered up to Valley families, many eager to adopt them and establish their own flocks. In addition to hatching chicks, the students have planted garden boxes and begun to develop a school-wide composting project. “This has been an amazing project that has connected students to their world!,” exclaimed Mott.  

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