Each spring, we hatch ducklings at our school. The ducklings are hatched in Ms. Gediman’s fifth grade (Year 6) classroom, but are shared with the Wildlife Roots & Shoots Club, as well as the entire school.
The journey begins with picking up the eggs at Lower Shaw Children’s Farm in Lower Shaw, Swindon. The farmer, Matt, and his wife, Andrea, are excited to help us with this project! They supply us with 7 eggs, as this is the size of our incubator. The duck eggs are from Indian Runner ducks that we hatched in previous years! The ducklings that hatch will be brought back to live a happy, free-range life on the farm. We can also go visit the ducks at this wonderful children’s farm.
We got to watch the development of the eggs, as we candled them to watch them grow. The children were able to view the blood vessels, the heart, and the formation of the duckling over the weeks until we could no longer see inside! We counted the days, and prepared for the arrival. We had to clean the duck cage that we use each year, and everyone brought in old towels and blankets to be used.
Finally, on day 28, the ducklings began to hatch. One hatched during the school day, so that some of the children were able to witness the birth. For those who missed the hatching, there was a video made that was shared. The other five ducklings hatched in the night, so we were surprised in the morning when they appeared in class. Out of the seven eggs, we hatched six ducklings. This is a great success!
We kept the ducklings for three weeks. They grow so quickly! We were able to observe them, and see how each one had a different personality. We could talk to them, and they made noises back at us. Each day, when the ducklings were big enough, we would take them outside to play in the grass and bath in a basin we had.
We grew to not only love these beautiful animals, but we grew to understand how they are unique. We learned so much about ducks, and we gained a new respect for them. We have learned a lot about animals this year, as we also have a rabbit in class each day. We have sponsored horses and dogs, and learned about endangered animals, and wildlife around us. What a wonderful world we have, and we will do our best to protect all animals.
Our ducklings now live back at the farm, and we cannot wait until next year to hatch their eggs! We love our ducks!