Baby Chicks Hatch Excitement at Prospect


Photo courtesy of Dylan Heber

Dean Carlson, Executive Online Editor

Throughout April 11th and May 11th, the entire school was able to experience the beauty of nature. Biology teacher and zoo club sponsor, Nick Delboccio, and, freshman, Audrey Armour, ran a chick exhibit in room 322 where students were able to experience what it is like holding chicks, seeing them hatch, and having a fun time with these fledglings.

“It started as a zoo club project… Audrey said, ‘Hey, why don’t we get incubators and chicks and raise them at Prospect … It’s always cool to let all the students see hatchlings and things like that,” said Delboccio. “Kids have been coming in, checking the temperature, seeing the chicks … coming in after school to hold them and take care of them.”

However, hatching and raising chickens isn’t a cakewalk. According to Delboccio, they had to pick up a ‘supply bin’ from the University of Illinois containing an incubator, a brutor, a big containment bin, heat lamps, and chick feed. Including several thermometers and hygrometers.

“We actually had a really good outcome. We had three eggs out of the 24 we got that were not fertilized and then three more stopped development early on,” said Delboccio. “We had 13 of the eggs hatch. Our hatch rate was between 50-70%.”

Typically, a 70% hatch rate is really good, meanwhile, a 50% is mediocre.

Delboccio explains how after a few weeks they have to return the hatched chicks to the University of Illinois. But because the chicks did not hatch on time, they were able to keep them for a little longer and find their own farm to return them to on the 11th. 

“This is sometimes a tough time of year. It’s getting to the end of the school year, it’s stressful,” said Delboccio. “[The chicks] get kids excited and excited to be here. They’re fluffy and cute… It excites them to come here and see the chicks in their cube.”




*Notable mention to staff sports reporter, Dylan Heber