Case Farms, a fully-integrated poultry farming and processing group, recently began a hatchery education program with the Church of the Lakes Preschool in Canton. The program, led by Amber Neuman, Case Farms hatchery supervisor in Strasburg, is designed to create a hands-on experience that teaches children about farm animals and life cycles.

On Friday, May 4, Neuman dropped off four incubators to the school housed with eggs that were scheduled to hatch the following week. After placing a color coded mark on each egg to designate the order the eggs would hatch, the eggs began to hatch naturally over the weekend.

“Not many kids get the opportunity to learn about agriculture at a young age,” said Neuman. “With an in-classroom experience like this, we were able to track the progress of the eggs through every stage of growth up until their hatching. Being able to see what is happening in front of their eyes really helped them understand how the bird hatches.”

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On Monday, Neuman returned to the school, baby chicks in tow, to teach the preschoolers about the life cycles of chickens while they interacted with the baby chicks.

“Being able to educate anyone about the poultry industry is a great thing. Even if that means showing the youth how eggs become chickens,” continued Neuman.