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Chicken Science

Author: Judee Shipman

Grade Level: 6th - 8th; Type: Farming/Agriculture

Objective:

Observe and describe the lives of commercially raised chickens.

The goals of this project are:

  1. To study commercial chicken farming.
  2. To explain how chickens are processed from birth.
  3. To suggest new or improved farming methods.

Research Questions:

  • What are the uses of chickens?
  • How are baby chicks sexed?
  • How many roosters and how many hens occupy a typical coop?
  • What percentage of store-bought chicken is rooster meat?

There's a lot more to raising chickens than meets the eye. Chickens are used for meat and eggs, and are often kept as pets. Chicks are raised in different ways for different reasons. There are an equal number of hens and roosters at birth, but gender distribution in the coop is far from equal, with roughly 40 hens living with a single rooster. As pets, hens are generally preferred because they don't crow. This project involves a research study of the chicken farming industry.

Materials:

  • Computer with Internet access
  • Color printer
  • Digital camera
  • Typical office/hobby/hardware/craft supplies (paper, poster board, glue, etc.).
  • Baby chicks and related supplies (optional)

Experimental Procedure:

  1. Carefully study the related literature (see bibliography below).
  2. Address all of the terms and research questions mentioned here.
  3. Search and print out interesting images relevant to your topic.
  4. Take interesting photos throughout the course of the experiment.
  5. Contact local chicken farmers for information and advice.
  6. OPTIONAL: Raise two or three baby chicks of your own.
  7. Write a detailed report about chicken farming techniques.
  8. Include graphics, charts, diagrams and live chickens in your science fair display.

Terms/Concepts: Broiler chickens; Genetically modified chickens; Layer chickens

References:

 

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