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Chick Watch 2022

Chick Watch 2022
Please scroll down below to see updates on our 'Living Eggs' project!
Day 1:
We are very excited that our eggs have arrived today! There are ten eggs waiting to hatch. They have been placed in a special home called an 'incubator' to keep them safe. We have to make sure that the temperature remains between 37 and 38 degrees at all times. Look at the pictures below to see if you can spot and count the eggs. Can you see the temperature display to see if they are warm enough? 
Day 2
There's been a lot of chick action in Reception today!! Everyone was very excited to learn that not one, but two eggs had hatched overnight / in the early morning....Then 4 more hatched throughout the day!! Lots of times the chicks hatch when it is quieter in the classroom (during lunchtime / carpet time) but we were very pleased that we were all able to witness one hatching live! Wow!
When hatched, the chicks are very tired and need a rest! They are also a bit wet and floppy after their time in the eggs. Very soon however they gain strength and start to 'fluff up'!! We were very pleased when they started to cheep 'hello' to us!
We can't wait to cuddle them, but we know we have to wait until they are a bit bigger and stronger and out of the incubator before it is safe to do that!
Day 3:
We were excited to find on arrival at school this morning that 8 chicks had now hatched, leaving only 2 eggs remaining! It was time for these chicks to move out of the incubator into their new home, the brooder. We carefully prepared the brooder box first. The chicks need a bowl of food twice a day, some fresh water and the base needs to be lined with newspaper and wood shavings (they like to make a cosy bed out of this but also like to scratch around and kick it about!) We talked about the addition of the lamp to give them warmth. We reminded ourselves that we must never feed them anything other than the chick pellets and we must never touch the lamp, even if it's switched off, as it gets very hot!! Mrs Kingman very carefully moved the chicks one at a time from the incubator into the brooder, showing us how to 'cup' them in your hands. We look forward to handling the chicks at the beginning of next week when they are a little stronger. 
Day 4:
The chicks have been making themselves at home in the brooder today! The cheeping seems to be getting louder by the hour as they become stronger and more confident! We have had lots of visitors in Reception Class this week to meet the chicks and everyone is looking forward to handling them next week! 
Day 5:
The chicks had their first car ride to Miss Bachewich's house to visit for the weekend. They were very tired after having a busy week in Reception and have been sleeping on and off all day. The chicks are changing very quickly and you can start to see their white wings. They have even been helping Miss Bachewich with her work! 
 
Day 6: 
The chicks have been busy and have grown so much in just a weekend! They are eating more which means more clean up. They are all getting their white feathers and are flapping their wings more which you can see in the videos below. They are missing the Reception class and can't wait to see them tomorrow! 
Day 7
Back at school today we couldn’t believe how much the chicks had grown over the weekend and how much their feathers had developed. Their colouring has also really deepened so it’s very easy to see now how many boys and girls there are. We counted two boys, yellow all over, and six slightly darker girls, with two stripes down their backs.
 
In the afternoon we were very excited to all get a turn at either holding a chick or stroking them. The chicks were very excited when they got out too and started to flap their new wings and jump in and out of the tuff spot which we put out as their playground. It looks like they are already really trying to fly!
We had to be very careful holding them, cupping our hands to keep them safe (not squeezing) and staying quiet so they wouldn’t get scared. Everyone was very brave, even when they felt their scratchy feet on their hands or they tried to jump away or cheep. Well done everyone!!
Day 8:
Now that they are growing so much, the chicks are getting very hungry and get excited when their food bowl is replenished each morning and afternoon. Some get a bit over-excited however and end up sitting in the bowl!!! They make quite a lot of mess too so we have to make sure that we change their bedding and water daily to keep them clean and healthy.
We have been continuing our daily chick watch this week to see what has changed and recorded our observations through writing and drawings (see below for some examples). We've been noticing how they stretch up their long necks when they flap their wings. We've also spotted that they have 4 claws on their feet, 3 at the front and one at the back. An unusual thing we discovered is that they shut their eyes when they go to sleep, but their eyelids close from the bottom up rather than the top to bottom like us!!
 
Day 9:
The weather has been a bit colder again today, so with the doors open in our classroom we have noticed that the chicks keep on huddling together to keep warm under their lamp. This doesn't stop them jumping up and running for food though when their bowl is topped up. They are always so hungry and keep squabbling over who gets to the food first. There is enough for everyone though!!
The chicks seem just as interested in us as we are in them and can often be seen and heard pecking on the glass to say 'hello'!! They definitely still enjoy coming out each day to stretch their wings when their bedding and water is changed.
Day 10:
There was a bit of an emergency this morning as somehow during the night the chicks had split water all over their floor and the sawdust had ended up getting soaked, along with a couple of chicks!! Luckily Miss Bachewich and Miss Smith visited them early and came to the rescue giving them clean food and bedding; they definitely needed the warm lamp though to dry out their feathers!!
Shortly afterwards our Year 6 helpers came to do their morning jobs and were delighted to see how much they'd grown in a week since they'd last seen them. The week before they'd named a few of them, identifying them through physical and personal characteristics so were pleased they could still see 'who was who'!! Take a look below at what they'd noticed!!
Chick Descriptions by Year 6.
Can you work out who is who?
 
Francis likes escaping from hands, jumps over other chicks, is male, very cute and has a dark head and pale body.
Snuggles got her name because she snuggled in when held. She is very cute!!
Maggy always wants to fly and loves to practise! She is extremely funny and has really long legs. 
Nippy takes random naps and likes to admire think air!!
Chirps likes to make noise and climbing in the food bowl. She is always flapping her wings!!
After watching the chicks flap about so much, we have been talking about whether chickens can actually fly. You don't see them do it often, but they can fly a little bit. Mrs Kingman proved they could by showing us a picture of one of the chickens she rehomed a few years ago, sitting on top of her washing line!!
Sadly today was our last day with the chicks. When the 'Living Eggs' man came to collect them we all lined up to say our last goodbyes before sending them on their way to their new home. 
Bye bye chicks! We've loved having you to stay!!