Classroom hatching projects

Classroom hatching projects

Many teachers undertake hatching projects with their students as a way of teaching the life process of reproduction in animals.

However, not all of those who embark on these projects appreciate the impacts that they may have on the birds involved and also on the children who take part.

Some of the problems with hatching projects:

• Due to the artificial conditions in a classroom incubator chicks may be sickly and poorly developed when they hatch

• Once hatched, the chicks are unable to form a bond with their mother

• Once their purpose for projects has been fulfilled, many chicks will be killed

• Animal rescue centres are often asked to rehome unwanted birds after the hatching projects have finished, putting a strain on their limited resources

• Hatching projects can reinforce the idea to the children that animals are disposable objects instead of requiring a lifetime of care and commitment

• They present an unnatural and inaccurate picture of how birds are born and raised and do not involve the parents at all

Neil Winn-Williams at Foal Farm Animal Rescue Centre describes the effect of hatching projects on animal sanctuaries:

There are better, kinder ways to teach children about animal life cycles and reproduction: