Using the Henny Penny Hatching Program

The Henny Penny Hatching program is widely used by teachers to provide a highly enjoyable educational experience.  The program is suitable for students of all ages and provides endless opportunities for observation and study relevant to a variety of subjects and units within their courses.

Students from Prep/Kindergarten age right through to Year 12 enjoy the experience greatly and their excitement is evident from the time they first observe the eggs rocking inside the hatcher and hear little chirps coming from within. The little ‘peck hole’ which appears in the egg next, sometimes followed by a beak, draws many comments, then the students watch with fascination and awe as a tiny chick gradually emerges and kicks itself free from the shell.

Eager eyes observe the new chick over the next few hours as it dries out, transforming into a cute little fluff-ball, before being transferred into the brooding pen where it interacts and moves around freely. Teachers and students alike enjoy watching the antics of the chicks and a number of observations and studies can be conducted while the chicks are in the brooding pen. These include observation of:

  • The amount of food consumed each day
  • The amount of water consumed each day
  • Behavioural patterns, including interactions between particular chicks and the establishment of a pecking order (use vegetable dye, which is not harmful to the chicks, for this activity)

Other relevant activities for students of various ages include:

  • Creating drawings or paintings which feature chickens
  • Creating a collage featuring chickens
  • Designing a chicken house or a chicken farm (3D sculpture or model)
  • Designing an Easter bonnet which features chickens
  • Reading and writing short stories about chickens
  • Creating a booklet about the chicks hatching
  • Singing songs about chickens
  • Writing a letter to a friend about their experience with the chickens
  • Designing a booklet on how to care for the chicks
  • Researching and presenting an assignment/oral which outlines the needs of an adult chicken

In addition, temperature readings can be taken each day, both in the hatcher and in the brooding pen, and converted into graphs. More advanced studies may be undertaken by working out the feed conversion ratio, that is the ratio of the total amount of feed consumed to the total weight of the chicks at any given point in time. For the mechanically minded student or teacher, the mechanics of the hatcher are clearly visible through the top of the clear dome, providing another avenue for observation and study.

The Henny Penny Hatching program has been widely used by innovative teachers for many years, so we encourage you to book now and let your class join in and enjoy this fabulous experience, which helps to make education so much fun! Once you have booked you will be provided with a code, which will allow you access to a range of helpful resources, including complete units (e.g. Life Cycles) as well as a variety of activity sheets for all age groups and instructions to help you with the actual running of the program once it arrives. We are currently updating our ‘Resources’ section, so new activities will be available soon.

Reminder to Queensland Teachers

Queensland teachers are reminded to click on Queensland Schools Animal Ethics Committee Approval to download an application form and other helpful information.

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