Hatching eggs and raising a flock with your family can teach many life lessons through firsthand egg-sperience. Children can learn everything from responsibility to the circle of life all from the comfort of your farm or backyard. Here are 5 lessons that your children will learn from introducing a flock to your family.
Taking care of animals, especially hatching baby chicks, requires responsibility. During the hatching process, there are many tasks that you can assign and teach responsibility to your children. One task that they can oversee is candling the eggs at day 4, 10, and 17 to ensure the embryo is developing. All they will need is a dark room and an egg candler to identify whether the embryo is developing properly.
If you find that some embryos are not developing, you will need to remove the eggs from the incubator as they may compromise the health of other chicks hatching.
Once your baby chicks grow into and adult flock, you can increase their responsibilities to include:
- Provide food and water
- Collect the eggs
- Help clean the coop
They will not only feel a sense of importance, but also understand the significance of responsibility and that without them, your chickens will not survive.
2) Gentle Handling
Your children will soon realize that their newly hatched baby chicks and eggs are very small and fragile. With supervision, they will learn and adapt their motor skills to being able to handle a small chick or adult chickens when they grow. They may even form a relationship with their feathery friend. Check out this special bond a young girl made with her chicken!
3) Where their food comes from
Many children don’t understand where they food is coming from at a young age. It’s easy to believe that food comes from a grocery store and ignore the process that it takes to get there. When raising chickens, children will learn where their food really comes from. Egg collecting is a good time to instill this sense of reality with them. As they collect their chicken eggs in their basket, they will learn how food is actually produced and that it doesn’t magically appear in their grocery store.
4) Cleanliness and hygiene
Raising chickens can also teach the importance of cleanliness and hygiene. Like any animals, chickens can be messy and require care to keep them healthy. Assigning children backyard chores like cleaning the waterers, feeders, and their coops can provide them with responsibility and understanding of what it means to have good hygiene. For more information, check out the CDC’s Guide on How to Stay Healthy Around Backyard Poultry.
5) Circle of life
The circle of life can be witnessed throughout the stages of raising backyard chickens. They will be a part of the chicken’s 4 basic steps in a chicken’s life cycle:
- Starting from an egg
- Watching the baby chick hatch
- Growing into a full-sized chicken
- Watching as the chicken nests and lay eggs!
From starting out as a little egg to growing into an adult bird, children will learn that living things need nourishment to live and grow.
For more information on how raising backyard chickens can teach your children life lessons and what breeds are best suited for them, check out Fresh Eggs Daily’s, Top Five Kid-Friendly Chicken Breeds.