As part of our WildLearning at school, I wanted to give the pupils the wonderful experience of hatching eggs and then raising the chicks to join our hens that we already have at school. The school agreed to buy and incubator and I introduced the idea to the 500+ pupils over two assemblies. Within this time, I explained about the difference between a fertile and infertile egg and explained how a chick develops. It is a complete miracle that in three weeks a new life is formed inside this egg… and it is something I wanted the children to experience as we are all about memorable experiences at Michael Drayton.

I found this wonderful animation, showing the speed of development inside an egg… the children were captivated!

To ensure we had success, I also set up my incubator at home and set these to hatch over the bank holiday weekend. Our school ones are due to hatch next week. We purchased a number of mixed bantam eggs from a local children’s farm and I also put some of the eggs from my hens in. I have a cockerel so there was a good chance they would be fertile.

This week, my eggs started hatching and I sent regular pictures to school to show them what was happening…

I have hatched chicks many time, but I am as captivated each time… how that chick can have been squashed inside that egg shell and also how quickly they are up, cheeping and ready to go!

Within an hour, this little chap was fluffed up and cheeping loudly..


That evening and the next day, this little guy (or gal!), who is a mixed breed from my hens, was joined by two other chicks; a lavender Bantam and an Ancona. They are totally gorgeous and addictive to watch! Without any parental teaching, they were soon feeding themselves and drinking from the drinker. I even introduced them to my rather soppy collie who was rather nervous! He remembers when I introduced him to my tiny siamese when she was a kitten…. he went up to her and she exploded into a ball of fur, claws and teeth!

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With these little chaps at home, I could not resist the attraction of popping them in my little macro studio that I use for my moth trap photography.

I then attempted to get all three together…

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At just a couple of days old, they are at their absolute most cute and I simply can’t wait to take them to school on Monday! I hope our ones in our incubator all hatch as well….. it’s going to be fun and provide lots of learning opportunities for all!