Egg-hatching projects are becoming increasingly popular with teachers and primary school pupils as a classroom activity. Unfortunately, often little consideration is given to the chicks or ducklings once they are hatched.
It is very difficult to provide optimal conditions in a classroom incubator and, as a result, the chicks may be sickly, dehydrated and poorly developed when they hatch.
Chick organs often stick to the sides of the shell as a result of the eggs not being turned properly.
Animal Aid is being contacted by parents and teachers repeatedly concerned about the fate of the birds once the school has finished with them. Some teachers have reported that birds have been born with deformities and needed veterinary attention.
Animal Aid has worked alongside a number of sanctuaries in the UK and consulted with the RSPCA and the British Hen Welfare Trust to produce a fact sheet highlighting certain issues that schools should be aware of before embarking on these projects.
To download or order a fact sheet, visit: www.animalaid. org.uk/HatchingProjects.
education service co-ordinator,
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