Author: Toni Dauwalter

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?  Well, according to my kids…’Mom! We get the eggs from a chicken, duh.’  I guess they might not be that into philosophy, but they sure are into baby chicks!  Spring is synonymous to tiny chirps coming from tiny fluffy chicks in a tub in our kitchen.  We have had baby chicks in our house every year for the past seven years, so for my kids it truly is part of every spring.   

Here is a picture of my daughter hanging out on the porch with her ‘chick’ (which is probably about 3-4 weeks in the that pic) and Cooper holding his ‘favorite’ chick in the car after leaving the Farm Store to pick them out.  Yes, I love them as much as the kids…my husband would tell you there were many times he came home late from work (he’s a CPA, spring is busy at work for him!) and the kids would be in bed and I would be sitting on the floor holding chicks…

After becoming a Regional Specialist with MN Ag in the Classroom, I thought it would be fun to share this exciting experience with others by helping teachers hatch eggs in their classroom.  Last year I helped two schools with this process – and let me say, the teachers & staff loved it just as much as the kids! See the below picture of Victoria Elementary’s first grade team holding their newly hatched chicks! 

SO, after all the talk of e-learning and the children being stuck at home for a while I came up with a plan to try to share this experience virtually.  Okay – that’s not the true story…actually, me and my kids thought ‘what will bring us joy right now during this weird time?’. Obviously we thought – baby chicks!  And since I have this MAITC Loan-able Teacher Kit – Hatching Chicks that has an incubator that wasn’t being used at the time, we quickly ran over to the neighbor’s house to get fertilized eggs.  You see, we have chickens too, but we do not have a Rooster. The neighbors have FOUR roosters, so their eggs are fertilized and have a great hatch rate (this is the farm we got eggs from last year at the two schools I helped hatch eggs).  The incubator has room for seven eggs, so we currently have seven eggs incubating in our dining room. Sharing this with all of you is where we got stuck. You see, I’m not a social media person. I don’t have facebook and I don’t really have a clue how to take videos that are cool enough to share.  So, like a lot of things in life – I’m ‘wing-ing it!’ (good chicken pun, huh). My fourth grade son is on board and we have tried to take a video each day to show the eggs and share some chicken facts. It’s not amazing. But it’s real. We are going out of our comfort zone (me online – not my favorite thought), we are learning something new, and we are trying to share a little joy with you all.  Although you won’t be able to hold the baby chicks, hopefully you can feel like you are part of the process and you can learn something new. Maybe you can talk your teacher into doing it in their classroom next year. Or maybe the anticipation makes you excited and seeing baby chicks will make you smile. We hope so. In the meantime, bear with us as we try to navigate a whole new world of social media and virtual sharing.  

We would love to have you ask us questions that we can answer online or in a video and if you are a teacher – I would LOVE to help you develop some e-learning activities to go along with this.  

Here is a picture of the incubator:

Update: The eggs are cracking!

The chicks have hatched!

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