spring has hatched!

I recently got to relive something I hadn't experienced since third grade-- the hatching of baby chicks!!  Though I'd had a chick-sitting stint over the holidays, I hadn't actually witnessed the cycle of life, chick-style, in a very long time!

A wonderful volunteer at my job (volunteer doesn't even begin to describe all she does!) was the one to facilitate this project by ordering the fertilized eggs and incubating them for 21 days...

mock mama: the incubator rotates the eggs and 
keeps them at a steady 99.5 degrees F

For her first lesson, she let the children candle the eggs and see the outline of the developing embryo inside.  We also used a stethoscope to listen for the chicks' heartbeats and a magnifying glass to see the pores on the shell which allow the forming chick to breath.  Then, two weeks later... the chicks arrived!  She even captured the birth of one in this video (which she condensed down to 4 minutes from about 25).

The kids were completely captivated by the video, which was adorable to watch-- especially when their "awwww!"s turned to "ewww!" as the gooey chick's first foot cracked through and its sticky little body started to writhe out of the shell.  (I must admit, I had a similar reaction when I first watched the video!)

It felt like a true celebration of spring to witness the miracle of birth...what a memorable experience at any age!