Third graders at Riverlawn have something to peep about

By CHRIS LICHTY, 4-H Extension Agent

This spring, third graders at Riverlawn Elementary School participated in the 4-H Embryology Project through Pulaski County 4-H.

On April 29, 2014, Mrs. Poole’s, Mrs. Filbert’s and Mrs. Betteken’s class, along with the Pulaski County 4-H Office, received 30 Leghorn Chicken eggs, to set in their Automatic Brinsea Incubators. Through the 21-day incubation, students were able to candle the eggs, looking for fertilized eggs as well as chart the daily growth of their chicks, inside the eggs, through the Chicken Embryo Development Poster.  On May 20, 23 of 30 chicks hatched to the delight of the students, teachers and school staff.  The third grade hall at Riverlawn was full of ‘peeps’ both from the chicks and the students.

The 4-H Embryology Project is designed to help students gain a better understanding of life and embryonic development. Teachers and 4-H Extension Staff explained to students what was happening and why it was happening as the embryo developed.  The bird egg is an excellent educational subject for the study of embryology.  Unlike most animals, the development of the bird takes place within the egg and outside of the body of the female. The egg is small and readily available. The incubation period is short enough to maintain the interest of even the youngest student.

This project: (1) taught responsibility and caring for a living thing; (2) taught respect for life and the value of living things; (3) emphasized a “hands-on” experience with living things; (4) helped students grasp developmental processes and stages of growth; (5) introduced and explained the life cycle of the chicken to the students; and (6) introduced students to scientific processes and other areas of science.

Pulaski County 4-H would like to thank the Community Foundation of the New River Valley and Tractor Supply – Pulaski, for their financial support to purchase five Brinsea Incubators, and Brickland Farms – Midland Hatchery, for their donations of the eggs.  Thanks also to Judie Willis, 4-H Adult Volunteer Leader, for providing the chicks a loving home on her farm in Allisonia.

For more information about 4-H programs in Pulaski County, contact Chris Lichtyat 540-980-7761 or





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