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Should we be incubating eggs in school?

Deciding to incubate chicken eggs in your classroom is a big responsibility and has many ethical issues whilst being an amazing experience for children throughout the school . Please read this information before you take such a big step:

If after reading the information on the above link you still want to incubate eggs in school then please think very carefully about how you will look after the chicks afterwards if you decide to have them as school pets. Make sure you have all the knowledge you need to care for the young animals in an ethical and caring way. Research what happens to the birds that you breed if you are using a company that offers to take them back. Some companies dispose of the chicks in unethical ways – sending them to be minced alive for food or giving them to birds of prey centres or zoos to feed to other animals or sending them to factory farms. Male cockerels especially face an unpleasant end as they have no financial gains for the farming industry. Please only use companies who make sure the adult birds are given a free ranging home where all their needs are met or better still rehome chickens from the British Hen Welfare Society. If you can guarantee you have the knowledge, expertise and a good home, then hatching your own eggs in school can be an amazing experience that involves the whole school as each year groups can benefit from and be involved in not only at the actual hatching stage but beyond. There are links to:

  • Y1identify and name a variety of common animals including fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals identify and name a variety of common animals that are carnivores, herbivores and omnivores

  • Y2 identify that most living things live in habitats to which they are suited and describe how different habitats provide for the basic needs of different kinds of animals and plants, and how they depend on each other notice that animals, including humans, have offspring which grow into adults find out about and describe the basic needs of animals, including humans, for survival (water, food and air)

  • Y3 identify that animals, including humans, need the right types and amount of nutrition, and that they cannot make their own food; they get nutrition from what they eat identify that humans and some other animals have skeletons and muscles for support, protection and movement.

  • Y4 construct and interpret a variety of food chains, identifying producers, predatorsand prey

  • Y5 describe the differences in the life cycles of a mammal, an amphibian, an insect and a bird describe the life process of reproduction in some plants and animals.

  • Y6 describe how living things are classified into broad groups according to common observable characteristics and based on similarities and differences, including micro- organisms, plants and animals

If you do decide you want to hatch eggs then these are some companies who appear to have high ethical standards. However please do your own research to check their claims

Eggucation – deals with rare breeds and conservation

British Hen Welfare -


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