Schools, colleges, nurseries and nursing homes across the UK take part in chick hatching projects every year. However, these projects designed to teach about the life cycle frequently end in misery, portraying animals as disposable resources.
Why choose an alternative to a hatching project? Many educators have expressed concerns that the hatching projects are expensive, that children lose interest quickly, as well as questioning where the birds will go at the end of the project. Cockerels are an unwanted by-product of the egg industry, and as many as 40 million male chicks are legally killed in the UK every year, in gas chambers or by maceration.
It is also difficult to provide the optimal environment for chicks in the classroom, as a result, chicks may be born underdeveloped, dehydrated or with deformities.