Thursday, February 9, 2012

Homeschool Science Is Cool!

I confess, I am currently very bored with homeschooling.  We took the month of December off and I have had a hard time getting back into the swing of things.

But... perhaps there is a chance the excitement could come back!

When we went to the VA State Fair this past year, Eden and I both had such a good time watching the baby chicks hatch.  We already know what to do with chicks.  We know we love chickens.   I really wanted some more.  Brandon was on board with that!  Watching the babies made me really want to hatch some of our own (especially since our roo is so beautiful and has such a good personality)!  Brandon was also on board with that!

So, I decided that we would turn this hatching chicks thing into a science project.  What a fun way to breathe life (literally) back into our school year!

We borrowed an incubator from our neighbor.  It is a Little Giant still-air incubator with an automatic egg turner.  They have had some pretty good results hatching with this incubator.  Because I like to make things difficult, I decided that we would build an incubator, as well.

Little Giant- holds 41 eggs

The homemade incubator is made from a styrofoam shipping container.  I got instructions from various websites and YouTube videos, but it all boiled down to 2 things, Temperature and Humidity.  Here is what we did.

Shipping container minus lid.

I cut a hole in the lid to make a window.  This is essential to view the thermometer/ hygrometer
and for watching chicks hatch!

A friend gave me a plastic lid to some discarded appliance and I duct taped it in place. 

We added a light fixture (also with duct tape) and put a 25 watt bulb in it.  The wire is to keep anything from touching the bulb.  It also forms a raised floor so that nothing touches the water in the bottom of the box.

We added a thermometer/ hygrometer to keep track of the temperature and humidity. 

We decided to collect some of our own eggs for hatching, but there are some fun breeds out there and I couldn't resist buying a few (26 is a few, right?) hatchery eggs, too!

Today we set all of the eggs (52 total) and now we wait!  21 days until fluffy cuteness descends on the Rollogas house!  I am alternating between excitement and sheer terror when I think that it is possible that *all* of these eggs may hatch.  We are hoping that half of them will hatch.

Loaded up!

Loaded up!
Eden has had a hand in building the incubator, loading it up, monitoring temperatures and turning eggs.  I'll carry you with us through the next 3 weeks as we learn about chick development and such!


  1. Amy, that is so totally cool ... what an awesome project. How about a unit study? We'll read a book about chickens, count the eggs, look for information on the history of chicken breeds, write the names of all your chicks, and finally go into the kitchen to cook eggs six different ways. Isn't homeschool fun, indeed! :) Hugs ~ Mary

  2. That is the plan, Mary! We will also make a poster and a lap book!