Ag students learn the care and feeding of chicks
Students in one of Kyle Hurley’s Agriculture classes at Wahkiakum High School are two weeks into a four week experiment that began with 16 Cornish hen chicks.
Using the scientific method and four types of feed, the class, which was split into four teams, compare chicks’ growth. Each team is responsible for cleaning a pen for their four chicks every two days, as well as feeding and providing water for them.
Each team uses a different kind of feed. The study is comparing Flock Raiser, Game Bird Starter, Start & Grow and a non-medicated feed. The chicks are weighed three times a week to measure how the different protein they are being fed affects their growth.
The project will team the students up with science teacher Jeff Rooklidge, who will help them create lab reports. They will also work with teachers Tiffany Niemeyer and Michele Haberlach for a math perspective, creating graphs to see the correlations between the chicks and the data.
“They are doing a great job,” Hurley said of the students. “They are being really good with the chicks. It’s a great opportunity for them to learn about teamwork and to see some applications of math.
“They are also learning about nutrition and business. They have to consider the price of food and the time it would take to raise the birds, and then consider what their time is worth.”
The students have had one casualty in the past two weeks. The class decided to honor the bird with a plaque in its former pen. RIP Bird, it says.
After the project is over, the students will decide whether to harvest the birds or to keep them.