Incubation and Embryology - University of Illinois

Growing in Knowledge - Grades 9-12

Things to Learn Things to Do
Study embryology
  • Read and outline one article on embryology.
  • Draw your own embryonic development chart and display it at school.
  • Compare embryonic development of different living things: birds, mammals, etc.
  • Write a report describing common embryonic deformities or abnormalities.
  • Develop a new hybrid bird that will be a good meat bird, a good layer or both good meat and layer.
  • Make a chart showing the dominate and recessive traits for the birds that you are crossing. List the possible results of cross breeding.
Building an incubator
  • Collect specifications on different incubator models.
  • Design or build your own incubator.
  • Consider such factors as cost, ease of construction, durability of materials and efficiency.
  • Do a cost analysis between a purchased incubator and the one you build.
  • What are the costs for each?
  • List the pros and cons of building your own incubator.
  • Give an incubator building demonstration. Incubate fertile eggs in your own incubator.
  • List ways to improve your incubator model.
Incubation requirements
  • List 10 mistakes one could make while incubating eggs. Discuss ways to prevent mistakes.
  • Conduct an experiment with different incubation requirements: i.e., use lower or higher temperatures. Relate these experiments to embryo abnormalities. Present the results of your experiment.
Nutritional requirements
  • Look up and record National Research Council nutrition requirements for commercial poultry.
  • Write a report describing the changes in nutrient requirements between a chick and an adult bird.
  • Determine costs of raising and feeding meat and/or egg birds.
Behavior of birds
  • Observe chicks daily and write a report on their behavior. See if you can discover a pecking order.
Origin of birds
  • Read a history of chickens or of a particular breed.
  • Prepare a report on the origin of a breed of chickens and show how certain characteristics resulted from the breeding.
  • Include skin color, feather coloring, egg color, etc. Tell about the variations within the breed. Tell how the chicken is used in the economy.


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