Meeting Our Newly Hatched Chicks

Hatching Young Minds

Visitors passing the Kindergarten classroom of Onekama Consolidated Schools this week are greeted by the sounds of excited children… and the chirps of their newest guests.

Each Spring, Science lessons are – literally – brought to life in James Kudlack’s Kindergarten classroom as the students watch eggs hatch into baby chicks and then raise the chicks until they find a new permanent home.

Since 1999, Kudlack has set up an incubator in his classroom to give his students a front seat view of the first stages of the life cycle of a chicken.  This year's eggs were donated by Daniel Jones and the Jeff Wisniski family.

All of the eggs are first marked with an ‘X’ on one side and an ‘O’ on the other. Students take turns each day turning the eggs from X to O, and then rotating them back again the next day.

“Mr. K. showed us pictures each day of how big the chick was inside the egg,” explained student Delaney McCarthy. “On the first days, they looked like a period with a tail. Then they started getting beaks and wings!”

By Tuesday, May 13, all of the eggs had hatched, and the Kindergarten students gathered around to meet their newest classmates.

With each Spring’s hatching, Kudlack’s classroom becomes a heavily visited spot. It is not only the Kindergarten students who are excited for the chicks’ arrival, but also all of the older students who were once wide-eyed Kindergarteners watching this miracle take place.

 (Above) The children listen to a book about chicks read by Ava. In the picture she is turning the book so everyone 
can see the picture.  (Below) Every few days the children told in words and pictures what was happening with 
the chicks.  These writings were done May 12 when the first few chicks pecked their way out of their shells.


I've been privileged to take photos of Mr. Kudlack and his students hatching eggs for many years.  Today Mr. K. and I recalled all the times the late Dennis Zupin was helping the chicks along.  These photos were taken May 13th.  Those taken through two sheets of glass are a bit "splattered and fingerprinted".  ~Barb Eldridge