I do this special project of hatching ducklings with my second graders just as much for me as it is truly for them. We learn about life cycles, habitats, what living things need to survive, responsibility, and then try not to die from the cuteness.
I order the eggs online and one tentatively planned day they arrive and sit on my counter for up to 7 days. It really is odd how the eggs can just sit there for a couple days. Meanwhile I count out 28 days on the calendar to find the best hatch date. Again, a little weird to be playing “God” and figuring out when I want them to hatch. One does NOT want ducklings hatching on the weekend when the teacher is not there to take care of them. no way.
The eggs incubate. We watch. The turner automatically rotates them (because I can be responsible for living things, but not that responsible to turn them equally 3 times a day).
And then one of my students says to me, “I think I see dark spot! Like a hole in one of the eggs!” about 25 days into the incubation period. I soothe him and tell the kid that there’s no way and oh my gosh a duckling is hatching.
I’ve hatched ducklings for six years and never once watched any hatch right before my eyes.
This year? I watched four of our six successful hatches make their way out of their eggs. Amazing.
A few days later, we had these fluffy fellows peep peep peeping all up in my classroom.
I challenge you NOT to smile at some of those adorable pictures.
If only those little buggers didn’t make such huge messes*…
*Don’t worry, they now live on an egg farm, where the farmer graciously took them off my hands and they became more livestock to essentially produce more income for him. No eating