Hatching chicks in classrooms

Elementary school students can experience chicks hatching in the classroom while also meeting science, language arts, and math curriculum outcomes with the chick hatch program. Hatching eggs and incubators are provided to classrooms and chicks collected a few days after hatching.

Elementary school students can experience chicks hatching in the classroom while also meeting science, language arts, and math curriculum outcomes with the chick hatch program.

Students monitor chick development in the egg and experience the wonder of new life. Teachers can create opportunities for developing competencies such as Communication, Critical Thinking, Personal Career Development, and Technological Fluency while meeting curriculum outcomes in science, English language arts, and mathematics.

Provided with the program are:

  • an incubator with an automatic egg turner
  • 12 hatching eggs
  • an egg candler
  • a heat lamp, shavings, chick feed, chick feeder, chick waterer
  • manual with instructions on operating the incubator and handling the eggs and chicks, as well as background information on chicken biology and reproduction
  • a video series with instructions for students on setting up the incubator and handling the eggs, as well as virtual visits to Nova Scotia poultry farms and a video showing how to make a simple chicken and a simple egg recipe
  • staff support to answer questions and troubleshoot problems throughout the program

Incubators and eggs will be delivered to classrooms in March, April and May, exact dates will follow.

Incubators will remain in classrooms for approximately 24 days. Department of Agriculture staff will deliver hatching eggs and incubators and then pick up the chicks

Before applying to the program, teachers should take into consideration the following:

  • although the automatic egg turners eliminate the need for regular check ins on weekends, teachers may still need to check on the incubators after school hours, particularly in the event of a power outage.
  • moving the incubator once the eggs have been placed inside it can negatively impact the hatching rate. Teachers intending to share the experience with another classroom should select a single location for the incubator.
  • the hatched chicks will be in the classroom for 3-4 days. There will be a bit of mess and mild odour before they are picked up.
  • it is a rare occurrence but sometimes none of the eggs hatch.
  • only 1 application per school per year will be accepted.

There are a limited number of incubators available. If more classrooms apply than can be supported by the program, the Department of Agriculture will prioritize applicants based on the following criteria:

  • geographic location
  • new applicant to the program

This program is also available in French.


Elementary school teachers in Nova Scotia public schools are eligible to apply. Private schools will be accessed based on resource availability.

How to apply

  1. Determine if the chick hatch program is a good fit for your classroom and that you are able to care for the eggs and chicks
  2. Complete the application form by 15 February
  3. The Department of Agriculture will review all applications and group schools geographically for ease of delivery.
  4. Teachers will be informed of their participation dates by 1 March.

How long it takes

Teachers will be notified within 5 business days that their application has been received. Teachers will be notified a month in advance that they have been accepted into this program and given a date and location for the event in order to book transportation for the day.


There is no fee for this program.

Before you apply

Make sure that your school principal is aware of your intention to apply to the program and supports your participation.

Important dates

Applications open 1 January
Applications close 15 February
Teachers are notified of acceptance 1 March

Apply online

Start now

Other ways to apply

If you are unable to apply online, contact the Agricultural Education office at 902-893-6575 or

Contact Information

Agricultural Education Office
74 Research Dr.
Bible Hill, NS B6L 2R2

Phone: 902-893-6575