The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

W-M students get hands on exposure to hatching chicks


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ELLI LIBERTOSKI, whose mom helped hatch a chicken-raising plan, places chicken eggs into a donated incubator. Chickens typically hatch within 21 days, although an early or late bird can happen.


Wakefield - Chicken: It can be an insult, an egg layer, a flavoring and a meal. According to Kathy Makela, fourth grade teacher at the Wakefield-Marenisco School, her class is taking on a new project this spring - the incubation of eggs and the birthing of chicks.

Karen Kangas, who raises chickens; and Angie Libertoski, parent of a fourth grade student, brooded and hatched a plan to expose the kids to raising chickens.

Kangas visited the fourth grade class with her silkie hen, Rockstar, teaching the students all they needed to know about hatching chickens in a classroom environment.

The class acquired an incubator and egg turner from Bob Genisot, Gogebic-Ontonagon Intermediate School District agriculture instructor.

The eggs should hatch in 21 days, although there are frequently early arrivals. Eggs should be set within the incubator within a week after being laid, and after 10 days, the viability drops significantly.

Natural fertility varies from 55 to 95 percent, depending on season, condition and type of bird.

The silkie chicken, according to, is friendly, chatty, sweet-natured and lovable. The silkie comes in many colors, but all true silkies have black faces, with dark grey-blue colored skin. Silkies also have five toes and turquoise earlobes, fit for a queen.

Eastern cultures believed the silkie to possess medicinal powers beyond any other chicken breed and recent studies discovered they do produce more carnosine, an antioxidant, than other chicken breeds.

Marco Polo, in 1298, marveled at the fluffy bird and is thought to have introduced the first silkies to the western world, according to the raising happy chickens website.


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