The MSR Hen House
Which Came First, the Coop or Chicken?
As part of the Middle School’s Land and Livestock program, the faculty decided to get into the chicken and egg business. Faculty, staff, parents and students volunteered their time and together they built the hen house. When the coop was completed, a few chickens were purchased and the Middle School egg business was hatched! So in our case, the coop came first, then the chickens and then the eggs, and lots of them.
The students immediately took to the chickens and began taking care of their new feathered friends without hesitation. As the chicken/student community began to bond, it became apparent that the chickens needed names. Chickens have distinct personalities, so they needed names to match. Some were named for their looks and some were named for their personalities. Here are a few of the most memorable; Emily Chickenson, Colonel Sanders, Coco, and Thing One and Thing Two.
How Much Does a Hen Lay?
The current brood contains Rhode Island Reds, Rhodes Island Whites and Black Stars, who are known for their ability to lay large numbers of eggs. Depending on the breed of chicken, the living conditions, the amount of light in their environment and if the eggs are collected daily chickens can lay an egg every day.
The Egg Business
Our students are learning the basics of running a small business. They make decisions on how many hens to buy and how much feed to purchase. They must also figure out who will take care of the chickens, clean the coop, collect the eggs, record the inventory, deliver the eggs to parents and collect the money. It’s a lesson in business as well as science.
The Science of Chickens
Having your own chicken coop right out the back door of your classroom is a wonderful asset for teaching science lessons. As you already know, the egg alone has many lessons hidden inside its shell. Students learn about the life cycle of chickens, the differences of various breeds, and the care and feeding of livestock. It’s hands-on learning… if you can catch ’em!
The Chickens Help Us Stay Green
Our Middle School campus has a really nice kitchen that students use for cooking as part of the occupations program, along with daily lunch leftovers, there are a lot of table scraps that need to be disposed. Our chickens love to help and gladly take most any table scraps the students have to offer. It’s another way we are staying green and sustainable.