Poultry eggs are part of a unique reproductive system. The egg serves to protect and provide nutrients to the developing embryo. Since the embryo receives no additional nutrients from the hen, the egg must contain all the nutrients essential for life. Nutrients are found in the yolk, the albumen, and the shell of the egg. The egg is a convenient self-contained package for studying embryology.


Safe handling of chicks (University of Kentucky)

Wally Cat Poster for kids on safe handling of chicks (University of Kentucky)

Incubation / Embryology


Embryology: The study of life (Penn State) - Provides teachers with background information and experiential activities dealing with the life sciences for use in the classroom. Each activity is designed to be grade-level appropriate and has been correlated to the U.S. National Science Education Standards

4-H National Curriculum

Hatching: Classroom Projects - Helper's Guide Beginner (4H CCS BU 07595) This activity book is for 4-H members ages 7-11. 4-H'ers will learn life skills, and science skills as well as skills in embryology such as incubation, preparing a brooder, handling chicks, and exploring careers in the poultry industry

Experiments in Poultry Science - Helper's Guide Advanced ( 4H CCS BU 07596) This activity book is for 4-H members ages 12-14.  4-H'ers will learn life skills, and science skills as well as skills in embryology such as hatching, identifying parts of an egg, collecting data about embryos and chicks, and many others

VIDEOS videos:

The University of Alberta (Canada)


University of Illinois - Incubation and Embryology

Purdue University - Avian Classroom

Penn State - Embryology in the classroom


Creating Agricultural Awareness through an Interactive Learning Experience: Incubators in the Classroom

The poultry Extension staff at Purdue University has implemented an Extension program for fourth-grade elementary students. The program, called "Incubators in the Classroom", offers interactive experiences by which students can learn about various aspects of agriculture. Interactivity is accomplished through interaction with teachers/educators, CD-ROMs, and other learning materials. The overall programmatic goal is to increase agriculture awareness and enhance education among fourth-grade students. The program was re-vamped in May 1997, and to date has directly reached more than 15,000 students. Presently, the investigators are seeking ways to critically evaluate the program. Critical evaluation is the only objective method of assessing the true impact of this endeavor.