Monday, August 23, 2010

Los pollitos dicen…pío, pío, pío, pío!!!!

At the beginning of this month, we finished up our 4-H project for the summer.

The incubation project was a great success because mis niños were able to see the (living) fruits of their labor, and mami didn't have to spend any money on this very educational (but fun!) curriculum.

For 21 days we carefully monitored the eggs inside our little incubator, which was set up in a corner of our living room. (See this post for pictures!) Eggs were turned three times a day (more or less - thank goodness chicken eggs are virtually indestructible), water was added daily, and a record sheet was kept. This project really went a long way toward helping my daughter to learn how to tell time. Much better than the activities and worksheets in her lesson plans.

So each morning, she would get up, write down the date, check the temperature (read the thermometer), add water if necessary, and turn the eggs. She then recorded the time, temperature, and added any comments if necessary. She did this again after lunch and before bedtime. (What do you mean a few of the last entries of the day look like mami's handwriting? Of course I woke her up at 11 pm to turn the eggs and record the day on the days she forgot!)

We "candled" the eggs every few days with a flashlight to see which eggs were fertile and watch them develop. Did you know that one of the first things you can see inside the egg is the chick's eye?!? And it was SO amazing to see the veins spider-webbing inside the egg.

And on day 21...

A pipped egg (accompanied by lots of loud "Pío, píos!")

My kids quickly set up camp so as not to miss a minute of the action (well, okay, at least one of them did)...

And before we knew it, we had them popping out all over the place...


¡¡Que pollitos tan preciosos!! Pobrecitos, they were so TIRED after hatching!
So if any of you are interested in trying this fantastic project this coming year (or next summer), talk to your local 4-H club, or start your own club. All you need is 5 kids to do so. 
Or just try it on your own. Here is a fantastic website with lesson plans and activities related to hatching chicken eggs. And you can purchase your own incubator at Home Science Tools (which is now my favorite on-line store in the world!) and you can even buy fertile eggs there :) They are quail eggs. I can't even imagine how much cuter a tiny, little quail chick would be, can you?!
Con mucho cariño!


  1. Wow! How exciting! I will definitely need to keep this project in mind for when my little ones get older. Speaking of, I really need to send you an e-mail I have tons of questions about Home Schooling. I am really, really considering doing it at least for the first two years of my Son's school years.

  2. Yay! Good for you!

    I don't know if I will homeschool forever, but I know that these first years are pretty critical for establishing standards of conduct, personal beliefs and a positive self esteem. So I'm glad I have the opportunity to help them develop their own outlooks on learning.

    If you do decide to do it, good luck. I'm always happy to talk and share what has worked for me!

  3. Monica, that is fabulous. We watched some chicks hatch last year and it left a lasting impression...and, of course, it opened the door to questions about birth and life...Love it.
    And, you know how much I love Pollitos!

  4. Jajaja!!!! I knew YOU'D like this post!! Sorry your guineas are no more. :(

  5. Wow! That is fabulous! I don't think I've ever seen this myself, so what a wonderful experience to share with your children.

  6. Great project! I think this would be fantastic even as a summer project for those who don't home-school but want their kids to keep learning over the summer. Interesting to hear that it helped your daughter with learning more about telling time; a great side effect of a science project! What do you do with the chicks after they hatch, though?

  7. Thanks, Everyone!
    @Marua, I think most of the other families returned theirs to the farmer who donated the eggs for the project. Since we used our own eggs, the chicks went right out to the chicken coop!


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