Fall 2010 Poultry Press NEXT
Compassionate Student Saves Hatching Project Chick
How Roly Poly Went from a Broken Classroom Incubator to Live in a Safe Haven

“Dear UPC,

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I found you through an Internet search of chicken sanctuaries. About 7 weeks ago my 12-year-old son, Austin, heard that his school was about to discard some fertilized eggs. We could not comprehend how someone could just throw away these eggs. Suddenly we were introduced to the world of chickens. Only one of the six eggs hatched, and on June 10, 2010, Roly Poly was born.

“Roly Poly is a very sweet, intelligent, affectionate chick who loves to sit on our laps. She is very healthy, has had a clean environment and been on a diet of medicated chick starter since birth. She looks like a Rhode Island Red hen. We’re hoping to find a compassionate home for her where she can live a happy life. Right now, Roly Poly is living in our apartment in Brooklyn, New York. She is 27 days old. We do not have outdoor space, and sadly, we cannot keep her. Can you help?” – Lynn Zambito, Brooklyn, New York, July 8, 2010.

UPC was eager to welcome Roly Poly into our sanctuary in Virginia, but everyone agreed it would be great if a sanctuary closer to Brooklyn could be found so Lynn’s family could visit Roly Poly. We were thrilled when Lynn wrote that Bill and Ellen Crain, of Safe Haven Farm Sanctuary, in Poughquag, New York, whom we’d recommended, “welcomed Roly Poly with open arms and so much love” on Sunday, July 11. Lynn said, “Our next step is to contact our son’s school. We want to make them aware of the unnecessary use of fertilized eggs to teach about embryonic development when there are so many excellent alternatives.”

Safe Haven Farm Sanctuary invites schools and groups to visit by appointment. For information, visit www.safehavenfarmsanctuary.org or call 845-724-3163.

Note : Recently UPC talked with Amy Boncardo, Director of the Queens County Farm Museum, in New York City, who said the museum supplies 80 dozen to 100 dozen hatching eggs – 960 to 1200 eggs with embryos inside – to New York City schools each year for classroom hatching projects. She said surviving chicks are returned to the museum where they are ultimately slaughtered, and that elementary school children are okay being told that their chicks will be turned into “nuggets.” (Uh huh.)

A county educator in Virginia told United Poultry Concerns in 2009 that a significant number of chicks born in classroom projects the previous year were deformed and died, making it a particularly traumatic experience for children and teachers alike.

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If your child or school is involved in a classroom chick-hatching project, please provide the principal and teacher with a copy or copies of our new guide booklet, Hatching Good Lessons: Alternatives to School Hatching Projects - also on our website at www.upc-online.org/hatching/. We urge concerned parents to meet personally with school teachers and administrators, and address PTA meetings, to explain why bird-hatching projects should be replaced with alternative learning activities. UPC will gladly provide guide booklets on request.

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Photos: Lynn Zambito
Fall 2010 Poultry Press NEXT