United Poultry Concerns urges teachers who hatch chicks in the classroom
to replace the projects with humane education. Once again this year,
distressed parents of young children are begging United Poultry Concerns
and other sanctuaries to take in unwanted classroom chicks and help them
stop these barren and grotesque projects.
Hatching-project chicks are deprived of the mother hen’s nurturing care.
As a result, many chicks hatch sick and deformed. Chick organs stick to
the sides of the shells, chicks are born with their intestines hanging
out, chicks’ navels are infected, and worse. Teachers are not taught to
deal with these outcomes, and schools do not budget veterinary care –
yet another bad lesson for children.
Classroom hatching projects teach children to want to bring more baby
animals into a world already filled with people’s sad and unwanted
“pets.” They place a burden on animal shelters, and children are misled
to believe the surviving chicks will live “happily ever after” on a
“farm.” In reality, most of the birds will be cruelly destroyed, left
outside to be eaten by predators and die miserably of starvation and
Dr. F. Barbara Orlans, Senior Research Fellow at Georgetown University,
writes: “Young birds need nurturing and rest. Chicks can suffer from
malnutrition and dehydration in the classroom that is not even noticed.
The overriding message of chick-hatching projects is that human
responsibility for these birds is limited, and animals can be discarded
like yesterday’s toys.”
United Poultry Concerns urges teachers to use models, videos, Big Books,
sanctuary visits, birdhouse construction, ecology projects and other
methods that teach a true appreciation and respect for the life of
chickens and other birds. Parents are urged to inform teachers,
principals, school superintendents, their local media and other
community outlets that they do not want birds to be incubated and born
in machines in their children’s classrooms. Baby birds need the
sheltering wings of their own mothers and a life worth living. School
hatching projects provide neither.
For more information, visit http://www.upc-online.org/hatching/ or write
to United Poultry Concerns (PO Box 150, Machipongo, VA 23405) for our