School Hatching Projects
Some teachers place fertilized eggs in classroom incubators to be hatched within three or four weeks as a lesson on how embryos develop from conception. Hatching-project birds are deprived of the mother hen, and many grow sick and deformed because their exacting needs are not met during mechanical incubation and after hatching. Most schools do not have a veterinary budget even though some or all of the birds obviously will need medical attention.
Hatching projects place a burden on the community, on overwhelmed animal shelters, who often end up with the birds and on busy parents who ultimately dispose of birds they didn’t want in the first place. Such practices also encourage the view that animals are disposable objects instead of sentient beings requiring a lifetime of care and commitment.
It would stand to reason that hatching projects only encourage children to want to bring other baby animals like puppies or kittens into the world. Clearly we do not need to promote the procreation of any more sickly and unwanted animals.
We urge schools to stop chick-hatching projects and replace them with other alternatives utilizing present day technology such videos and models to teach children about embryo development.
Karen Davis, PhD and president of United Poultry Concerns is the foremost authority on domestic poultry has developed numerous humane alternatives to school hatching projects.