by Lisa Tome
The incubation and embryology project for local students was a little different this year.
Mostly because the chickens had already hatched.
"It was interesting this year. Last year, they hatched here. This year, they brought the chickens and we showed a short video of hatching from last year," said Thomson Estates Elementary kindergarten teacher Bill Clouser.
Due to an incubation issue, chickens didn't hatch in kindergarten and Pre-K classes. Instead, chickens were purchased at a local store and were observed by students. "The kids get it. They know something went wrong with the hatching," said Clouser.
"The students voted here and we named them. We have John Cena, Aze, Butterfly, and Sonic. We're keeping them until just after spring break. I took them home with me last weekend," said Clouser.
Kindergarten student Viktor Jensen was excited to have chickens in his classroom. "We measure them. They are five (inches) tall. My friends feed them. They are fuzzy and cute," said Jensen.
Matt Stephen principal at Thomson Estates Elementary School, said although the project is different this year, it's still one to watch. "It's awesome to have anything real life in the classroom," said Stephen.
Through Maryland Extension and grant funds, Cecil County 4-H is providing the incubation and embryology project at all the local elementary schools. After the three weeks are up, the chicks will become a 4-H project for local families. Later, the same chicks may appear at the Cecil County Fair in projects from foster families. The chicks are also offered up to be adopted at schools. If no one takes them, they are then offered to those who work in the County Administration Building.
Anyone who adopts the chicks receives information, and start up quantities of food and bedding.