Chickens, Chicks and Egg Farm Production

What came first?  The chicken or the egg?  No one really knows for sure but the one thing we do know is that this is a favourite amongst the children.  So what are we waiting for?  Let's get cracking!   

During this session the children learn all about chickens and egg production and the children have the opportunity to hold and touch a baby chick.

  Here the children are watching the incubator where the baby chicks are hatching and in the background the children enjoy the opportunity to hold and touch the baby chicks.

Want to know some facts about Chickens?

  • A chicken is a bird.
  • A chickens' heart beats 280-315 times a minute.
  • A chickens' body temperature normally runs at 102-103 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • A rooster takes 18-20 breaths a minute, a hen 30-35.
  • There are over 150 varieties of domestic chickens.
  • Chickens are not capable of sustained flight.
  • It takes a hen 24-26 hours to lay an egg.
  • The latin name for chicken is Gallus Domesticus.
In this picture although it may be difficult to see the children are learning all about baby chickens or chicks, and what they are fed.

More Chicken Facts:

  • Chickens come in an infinite variety of colors and patterns.
  • Chickens lay different coloured eggs, from white, to brown, to green, to pink, to blue.
  • A chicken can have 4 or 5 toes on each foot.
  • A chicken takes 21 days to hatch.
  • Chickens were domesticated about 8000 years ago.
  • Americans consume 8 billion chickens a year.
  • All domestic chickens can be genetically traced to Gallus Gallus, The Red Jungle Fowl.
  • It takes 4 lbs.+ of feed to make 1 dozen eggs.
  • The chicken was once considered a sacred animal symbolizing the sun.
  • Breeds were developed to provide plumage for ceremonial costumes.
  • The first Poultry Exhibition was held in the United States on November 14, 1849. There were 219 exhibitors, 1023 birds, and over 10,000 visitors.

 

 
  Even More Chicken Facts:
  • One trait, called Melanosis, causes chickens' bones, ligaments, skin and tendons to be coloured BLACK.
  • In 1925, hens laid an average of 100 eggs a year. In 1979, the World Record was set by a White Leghorn who laid 371 eggs in 364 days!!!
  • A hen lives an average of 5-7 years, but can live up to 20 years. She'll lay eggs her entire life, with production decreasing every year from year one.
  • An egg starts growing into a chick when it reaches a temperature of 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

 

Want to Listen to the sounds a chicken makes?

The Egg

 

Description of Egg Parts:

SHELL Bumpy and grainy in texture, an eggshell is covered with as many as 17,000 tiny pores. Eggshell is made almost entirely of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) crystals. It is a semi permeable membrane, which means that air and moisture can pass through its pores. The shell also has a thin outermost coating called the bloom or cuticle that helps keep out bacteria and dust.

INNER AND OUTER MEMBRANES Lying between the eggshell and egg white, these two transparent protein membranes provide efficient defence against bacterial invasion. If you give these layers a tug, you’ll find they’re surprisingly strong. They’re made partly of keratin, a protein that’s also in human hair.

AIR CELL An air space forms when the contents of the egg cool and contract after the egg is laid. The air cell usually rests between the outer and inner membranes at the egg’s larger end, and it accounts for the crater you often see at the end of a hard-cooked egg. The air cell grows larger as an egg ages.

ALBUMEN The egg white is known as the albumen, which comes from albus, the Latin word for “white.” Four alternating layers of thick and thin albumen contain approximately 40 different proteins, the main components of the egg white in addition to water.


CHALAZAE
Opaque ropes of egg white, the chalazae hold the yolk in the center of the egg. Like little anchors, they attach the yolk’s casing to the membrane lining the eggshell. The more prominent they are, the fresher the egg.

VITELLINE MEMBRANE
The clear casing that encloses the yolk.

YOLK
The yolk contains less water and more protein than the white, some fat, and most of the vitamins and minerals of the egg. These include iron, vitamin A, vitamin D, phosphorus, calcium, thiamine, and riboflavin. The yolk is also a source of lecithin, an effective emulsifier. Yolk color ranges from just a hint of yellow to a magnificent deep orange, according to the feed and breed of the hen.

Descriptive information taken from the Exploratorium website

Useful links about Chickens:

Check out the following links:

Wikipedia - on Chickens


View a video on Chickens from a past Agricultural Education Day
(1.19 Mb, MPEG Format, click here if you have problems)
 

Useful links about Eggs:

Visit the Egg Farmer's of Ontario's Website by clicking on their logo below:

 

 

 

Click on this link from the Egg Farmer's of Ontario to view a short 4 minute video:

Egg Farm


Main Beef Bees Chickens Dairy Machinery Alpacas Grains & Hay Horses Pigs Sheep Curriculum