Lisa Herold’s first grade class at Marlinton Elementary School learned about the life cycle of chickens by hatching two chicks from eggs, below. Posing with the chicks are, front row, from left: John David Mace, Katherine Canoy, Silas Dean, Colton Cassell, Eowyn Smith and Herold. Second row, from left: Sophia Doss, Chloe Bing, Nicole Strader, Laelah Clendenen, Abbigail Coetzee, Raylan Sharp, Izabella Arbogast and Malachi Lupton. Not pictured: Levi Hill, Aedan Bartley and Cade Wagner. S. Stewart photos

Suzanne Stewart
Staff Writer

In Lisa Herold’s first grade classroom at Marlinton Elementary School, there’s usually a hum of her students’ small voices as they share ideas and stories with each other. Lately, though, mixed into that hum are the small peeps of two chicks who were hatched in the class April 10.

The chicks first came to the classroom as two of 24 eggs, donated by Luci Mosesso, who gave a lesson to the students about living on a farm and raising chickens from eggs.

“Luci Mosesso asked if she could come do something with my class,” Herold said. “We read a story called, ‘Where Does Your Food Come From,’ and it was all about growing things in the garden, and rice, grains and that kind of stuff. There were chickens in there, too.”

Mosesso supplied the eggs and checked out an incubator from the McClintic Library.

“She talked about the life cycles with the students, and they all got to pick an egg to put in the incubator,” Herold said. “We just kept it for the twenty-one days that it took and checked them every day. We started with two dozen and we only hatched two. Luci said that you hope for fifty percent. Most people hope for a fifty percent hatch rate, so we were lucky to have two our first time.”

Mosesso’s son, Silas, is a student in the class and likes to introduce the chicks to visitors.

“They are Barred Rock and Chantecler cross – that one right there, the big tall one, is Jackhammer and that one right there is Zipper,” he said, pointing out the chicks in their small habitat.

The chicks stay in a small plastic tub with a warming light, food and water. Once they outgrow the tub, they will return to their mothers, who live on the Mosesso-Dean farm.

“I think it was Wednesday that Jackhammer got out,” Herold said. “I don’t know if I will be able to keep them in here for too much longer.”

As the students gathered to talk about the chicks, they all shared tidbits they learned including when a chick first pecks its egg to hatch, the hole is called a pip and when they continue to crack the egg, it’s called zippering.