Thursday, April 15, 2010

Chicken Hatch Field Trip - Part I

Yesterday, we excitedly headed over to a beautiful farm on several acres, owned by a momma in one of our homeschooling groups to learn a bit about chicken hatching. What a perfect outing for spring!

I brought my small camera, only to discover that the girls had used up the battery on one of their many picture taking sessions that they love to do with their forgive these horrid quality cell phone pictures ;P

We met one of our friends there and headed in together...

This is a shot of the goat pen when you first come up the drive.

This is their home, next to which was an amazing playhouse with a deck (the photo didn't turn out well)...

And, of course, the "Field of Dreams" was so refreshing to see some little boys playing baseball in this huge lot. I couldn't help, but think of the movie, "The Natural" with Robert Redford - one of the greatest films of all time about America's favorite past time :D

A shot of part of the chicken coop...

We were blessed to see two male baby goats who had just been born this past Saturday (4 days old). I had never seen such tiny kids - they were so cute and frisky. We even got to see one latch on and try to nurse, though Mom would have none of it...I couldn't get a good picture with the delay on my cell phone, but wanted to put this shot in so you can see just how tiny these babies are!

We were divided into 5 groups since it was such a big turnout. This was our group getting the tour (playhouse in the background)...

After we learned a bit about the large variety of chickens that live here (including how they lay "Easter eggs", which have greens and pinks and sometimes speckles in their coloring), we heard a bit about the goats and will get to pet and play with them when we return in a couple of weeks. We then viewed more of the grounds and went into the chicken coop to hold some of the younger chickens...oh, the girls were in Heaven!

Then we went into the barn to learn about egg hatching. The children gathered around while they demonstrated the candling technique where a special light is held against the eggs to determine fertilization. Parts of the developing chicks (including the placenta) were identified and you could see those little cuties moving around inside the eggs!

We also observed two eggs - one fertilized and one not. When an egg is fertilized initially you can tell by the "bulls eye" that forms in the center. The egg on the right was fertilized. The yolks are different colors due to what the chickens ate.

The girls got to hold newly hatched chicks that were in a warmer...Both chicks fell right to sleep in the girls cosy arms (Charley insisted on wearing her favorite blue gloves the whole field trip). It wasn't that cold out - lol!

Then we had to go back to the chicken coop so the girls could hold more juvies. This pretty momma was keeping watch over some little ones...

We are excited to go back in a couple of weeks to watch some eggs actually hatch. By then the baby goats will be old enough for some lovin' by the kids and the kittens that were recently born in the barn will be ready for handling, as well! It was a lovely, long day with lots of play, fresh air, and now a seed planted within all of us of the joys of life on a farm (I might not actually have to move to Italy to get my mini-farm after all - lol!)


  1. This is so great! Being able to visit farms on a regular basis is so important for children. They really are in contact with life! Having our own farm has been such a rich experience for all of us!

  2. I am sorry we missed it, hopefully we will get to go on the next trip! What a wonderful experience the girls had :)

  3. Catherine, you are so lucky to live on a farm! How fun for your children and how peaceful and fulfilling for you and your hubby :D

    Shauna - we so missed you guys, but I hope you had fun with your relatives. Amelia will be right at home with all the animals! See you soon :D