When the baby chickens were still in the shells, my dad, Mario, bought two dozen.
He showed me the eggs on the 10th day with a flashlight to see which were developing. We checked five and only one was not developing. On the 20th day, we heard them chirping in their shells. It was weird because if you were quiet enough, you could hear them.
When they were born, I was sleeping. I woke that morning and went downstairs. There were only six chicks. We had to leave them in the incubator to dry. We went out for two hours and found five more had hatched since we'd left.
It was time to build their home. We took two cardboard boxes and made a hole in the side of one. Then we latched the boxes together and made the same hole in the other box. Then we put wood shavings on the bottom and filled the feeder and a waterer. We connected the heat lamp to make sure it was 100 degrees in the box. Then we moved the chickens into their first home.
When the chicks first began to walk, we had to teach them to find water and food. So we had to dip their beaks in the water and tap our fingers where the food was.
My experience with new chicks was one of the most exciting things in my life. I also learned that all they do is sleep, eat, drink, and go to the bathroom. We ended up having 17 chickens. I am so excited to watch them grow up and learn more.
Cara Grace-Nizich’s fifth-grade class, JFK Elementary School, West Babylon