Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Poultry Lessons - Blogging Through the Alphabet

Many of my readers are aware of the fact that we have chickens. We started raising chickens about 3-4 years ago mostly for the eggs, but occasionally we do harvest a few to eat. The harvested birds are usually roosters, troublemakers, etc. Many of my readers also know that I have been in the process of creating an ornithology science class for Grace's 9th grade year. Yesterday I was writing lesson plans for this class and the idea came to me to also include some study of chickens into her bird study. The book above is one of my favorites, mainly because of the beautiful watercolor pictures inside. This book also has much of the basic information a newbie chicken owner would need to know. So I thought I would share the Poultry Study with everyone else in case you were ever interested in doing it with your child. It is very simplistic and can be added to or taken away from to make this more in depth or easier for the young people. The pictures above from the book represent what we started out with. Our original flock was 6 old english game hens and 1 americana. Then about six months later we added 6 Buff Orpingtons. Then we had one go broody and didn't have any eggs to sit under her. We acquired 6 more eggs from a friend that were Buffs and Barred Rocks. Now anything else that hatches are mixes of all the above mentioned breeds. My birds have been very healthy and I am always reluctant to bring in any birds from other sources. So we just breed our own and end up mostly with mixes. Everyone but the Old English hens are good layers.

Grace will read the above book which is The Illustrated Guide to Chickens. It is 187 pages long and I plan on her reading 10 pages a day along with the other scheduled materials for this study. Here are a list of questions she will need to research and answer:
  1. What happens when a chicken goes broody?
  2. What temperature is best for baby chicks?
  3. Who are the biggest predators of chickens?
  4. What breeds are the best egg layers?
  5. What are young male chickens called?
  6. What are adult male chickens called?
  7. What are young female chickens called?
  8. What are adult female chickens called?
  9. At what age do most chickens start laying?
  10. What is molting?
  11. How many hend do you need to feed a family of four?
  12. What are some important items you need in a chicken coop?
  13. How long does it take for an egg to hatch?
  14. How many eggs will a hen lay in her lifetime?
  15. How much room in a run should each bird have?
  16. What is free ranging?
Our newest batch of babies.

Activities I have planned:
  • Collect eggs from different breeds, weigh the eggs and compare.
  • Incubate a set of eggs.
  • Draw and paint favorite breeds of chickens or photograph.
  • Create egg recipes and dishes.
  • Pick a breed of chicken to research and discuss.
One of the babies that hatched in April.

I am linking up with Blogging Through the Alphabet at Ben and Me and The Barn Hop at The Prairie Homestead.


Nicole said...

We just picked up a dozen eggs today to incubate and hatch! They are due to hatch on the 8th. We will keep them for about a week and then they are "off to the farm". I had my first boo boo today (already). I marked them with a sharpie marker and then read in my book to only do it with a pencil or wax crayon. I was afraid I had just poisoned them. But, I read on forums that says that's not true. Let's hope for the best!

Wendy62 said...

We enjoy our chickens, too. I think my 13 yo could answer many of those questions. :) Maybe I need to have him work of a chicken study, too. :)