Hatching project gives kids ‘egg-citing’ insights

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SUBMITTED BY SALT SPRING ISLAND POULTRY CLUB

Poultry enthusiasts are sharing their chicken love with children by supporting hatching projects at Salt Spring Elementary (SSE). 

With proceeds from 2021 poultry club calendar sales, two clear-topped incubators were purchased for school use. 

“It was so special to be able to do this project with expert assistance and guidance. Watching these eggs develop into chicks was a real highlight for my students,” said SSE teacher Janisse Browning. “They loved counting down to hatching day and it was so exciting when they did.” 

Fertile eggs were provided by poultry club board members Julie Nowell, Ted Baker, Danielle Osiek and others; Amber Billard compiled clear incubation instructions; and Robin Jenkinson, who is also the SSE garden instructor, offered to work with teachers on this educational project. 

Special moments included school visits from hens and a duck in the new outdoor dome tent, and also candling the eggs and seeing the movement of new life inside. Most exciting, of course, was watching the wet chicks push out of their shells, then gently holding them after they’d rested and fluffed up.  

On Thursday after school, six families took chicks home, either to start new flocks or to augment existing coops. As poultry club members, they now have Facebook and list-serv access to a plethora of island poultry experts, should questions arise. 

Also this week, Fernwood Elementary School’s K-1 Nature Class started a hatching project with help from teacher Andrew McPhee, and grades 3 and 4 classes at SSE will begin theirs after the Family Day weekend.

To support more of this work, people are invited to become a member of the Salt Spring Island Poultry Club or to purchase a 2021 calendar, featuring photography by Ramona Lam. More information can be found at saltspringpoultry.com. 

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