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Farm Bureau Women’s Committee Brings Lesson on Incubation to Clinton Primary

Over the last few weeks, the Farm Bureau Women’s Committee has been working with area schools to introduce third-grade students to the process chickens go through during their first few days of life. At Clinton Primary School in Hope, the ladies brought six incubators with six eggs each for the third-grade classrooms. The students were able to observe in real time the process of incubation and hatching over the course of about 25 days. The incubators were bought with grant money the committee applied for three years ago, when the program began at Clinton Primary. Since then, the program has also been conducted at Garrett Memorial, Blevins, and Spring Hill.

The students get to interact with the eggs during the incubation process, as well as getting to hold the chicks after they hatch. In addition, each student gets an activity sheet, a chick book, math sheet, embryo information, and a calendar to track the process during incubation. The students also practice hand sanitation after any interaction with the chicks once they’re hatched. The ladies from Farm Bureau come around to the schools once or twice a week during the process to help the students and answer questions.

The eggs that are hatched into viable chicks are used as laying stock for the following year, with their eggs being used in the same program. In addition, the committee also donated eggs to the community, including the elderly. Doreen Antley mentioned that currently about 345 dozen eggs have been donated this year through the program, up from 325 dozen last year.

Throughout the program, Antley said, the students also learn life lessons. Some of the chicks don’t ever hatch, teaching students the fragility of life. Also, Antley and the other members of the committee show the students how, even if one of the chicks is born crippled, the other hatchlings don’t shun or bully it. So far, Antley said, the program has proven popular with both students and teachers, and she hopes to continue it for some time to come.

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