For Teachers

Letter to Educators



Why Study Rare Breeds?

ALBC Conservation Priorty List


~ K-2 Overview


~ 3-5 Overview



Farm Visits


One component of the second grade unity is to complete an embryology project. (hatching eggs)

Plan the embryology project well in advance and secure materials funding. Keep in mind that these supplies will be used for many years, by teachers in several classrooms and possibly by a few schools.

Rare breed chickens are beautiful, hardy and often welcome on small farms. You will need to schedule the ordering and hatching of the eggs to coincide with the field trip, and secure homes for the chicks at the host farm or another farm in advance. The hope is that students will have the opportunity to deliver the chicks to their new home during their farm field trip.

In general, you will find willing and happy support from small farmers who raise rare breeds. You will be providing them a service (hatching the eggs) and also helping contribute to something they believe in – saving rare breeds. The opportunity to share with children is also often a joy. Welcome to the effort!

Embryology activities may be supported through your agricultural extension office or 4H representative. You may want to involve your local Agricultural Extension agent and utilize their assistance in doing an embryology project for the first time. While it is not difficult, there are many steps and there is experienced help available. The unique addition in this unit of securing and hatching rare breed eggs rather than the standard "layer" or "broiler" chicken may be new to them, and bring with it the added component of managing the emotional side of the sometimes lower hatching rates than is typical of the industrial breeds.

Students need to be prepared that some eggs might not hatch.

You may choose to purchase eggs from a hatchery or from a local breeder. Contact the ALBC office to find a breeder in your area. You can check out the Heritage Chicken section of our website, - to find hatcheries and other sources for eggs.

Classroom incubater and brooder kits are available online from a variety of different websites. Again, if you have questions, please call the ALBC office.

Finally, consider asking around. The entire incubator equipment and first few days set might be borrowed from a local farm.

Feel free to contact the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy for further assistance in locating specific farms which raise rare breed poultry or for small farm organizations in your state.

• Life cycle of poultry

Hen eggs take 21 days to hatch, duck and turkey eggs 28 days, most goose eggs 28 - 30 days.


* Avian Flu


H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza (also know as "bird flu") is not in the United States and never has been.
Avian Influenza is not passed from the hen to the embryo in the egg.
A baby chick hatching from an egg does not carry the disease.

For more information regarding concerns over health risks to students, refer to:

http://pa4h. cas. psu. edu/curricula/embryology. html

Department of Poultry Science
College of Agricultural Sciences
The Pennsylvania State University
213 William L. Henning Building
University Park, PA 16802-3501

Navigating the Unit

2nd - 5 E Summary
2nd - Engage
2nd - Explore
2nd - Explain
2nd - Expand
2nd - Evaluate
2nd - Supplement
2nd - Embryology Project

Noah's Ark Today is property of the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy.
Copyright 2006.

American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, PO Box 477, Pittsboro, NC 27312