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Keeping Chickens Teacher Sheet

Keeping Chickens Teacher Sheet

Introduction

Your students should read the chapter you assign to them from A Kid's Guide to Keeping Chickens and answer the questions on their Keeping Chickens student sheet. This sheet provides some answers to those questions.


1. Why Chickens?

List 3 things that chickens need.
Pages 6-7: Answers could include: shelter from weather and predators, fresh food and water, outdoor space, and a clean coop.

List 4 chores that need to be done every day.
Pages 8-9: Answers could include: let the chickens out of the coop, fill the feeder, check the water, look for eggs, tidy up the coop, spend time with the chickens, put the chickens back in the coop, and lock the coop.

Choose your favorite place to find out information about chickens and explain why.
Page 10. Some places are poultry shows, internet, library, feed store, and other chicken keepers.

List 5 parts of a chicken from the picture on page 11.
Page 11: Parts of a chicken include comb, beak, wattle, hackle, cape, crop, wing, hock joint, shank, claw, and spur.

2. Choosing the Best Chickens

List 3 criteria people use for choosing a breed (type) of chicken.
Page 12. The criteria include needs of breed based on climate, personality of the breed, number of eggs laid per week and their color, feathering and color, and the size of full-grown chickens.

Choose your favorite breed from the “Top 10 Breeds for Kids” section on pages 18-21 and list 3 characteristics of the breed.
Page 18-21: Breeds listed are Australorp, Plymouth Rock, Brahma, Buff Orpington, Cochin, Easter Egger, Faverolle, Polish, Silkie Bantam, Wyandotte, and the Rhode Island Red.

List 2 good things and 1 not-so-good thing about keeping a rooster.
Page 22. Good: protect the flock, keep order among hens, fertilize eggs to make chicks. Not-so-good: can be aggressive to people and other roosters.

3. Finding Your Flock

Name one way to get chicks and one advantage for getting a chick in that way.
Pages 25-27. Buy from a feed store: easy, most likely all female, select healthiest or cutest ones. Buy from a hatchery: can specify females only, select from different breeds, can be immunized. Hatch chicks: great experience to watch chick emerge from egg.

List 3 behaviors of a broody hen.
Page 30. A broody hen will lay an egg every day for 10 days, will spend all day in the nesting box, removes all her chest feathers to create a broody patch, growls to keep others away, has big and stinky poops.

List 2 chicken-friendly vines to use for building a chicken fort and 1 toxic vine to not use.
Page 32. Friendly vines: cucumbers, nasturtiums, squash, zucchini, and hops. Toxic vines: beans, peas, morning glories.

Look up “toxic” in the dictionary and write the definition here.
Containing poisonous substances: poisonous

4. From Chick to Chicken

What is a brooder?
Page 36. It is temporary housing for chicks.

List 3 things a brooder needs.
Pages 36-37. It needs walls that are at least 2 feet high, draft-proof, good ventilation, cover to protect from predators, heat lamp, and bedding.

From pages 40-41, choose one age of a chick and list what you can expect at that age.
Pages 40-41: 1 Day (100% fluff, egg tooth still on beak, sleeps most of the time), 5-7 Days (wing feathers appear, spends more time exploring), 2 Weeks (starts to perch, tail feathers sprout, can fly out of brooder), 4 Weeks (goes through a scruffy, scrawny phase; lots of feathers coming in; comb and wattles becoming more pronounced), 6 Weeks (fully feathered, still growing, ready to move outdoors)

5. Making a Home for Your Hens

What is a coop? What is a run?
Page 42. A coop is a chicken’s house. A run is a yard or enclosed outdoor space.

Choose your favorite style of chicken coop on page 45 and list 2 advantages and 1 disadvantage of that style.
Page 45: Tractor (portable, low maintenance, not entirely predator-proof), Gypsy Wagon (portable, good for moving chickens to different pastures, no run attached), Converted Garden Shed (sturdy, permanent, houses larger flock, takes longer to clean), Compact (run under coop to save space, flexible design options, affordable, limited space)

List 3 characteristics of a good nesting box.
Page 48. It should be about 12" x 12” in size, filled with nesting material such as pine shavings, elevated slightly off the ground, placed in a dark corner, and should house 3-4 hens.

List 3 predators to guard your chickens from. Which of these predators would be found where you live?
Page 51. Predators include snakes, raptors (hawks, eagles, owls), minks, raccoons, foxes, coyotes, fisher cats, bobcats, bears, dogs, and cats.

6. Feeding Your Flock

What are the 3 things that chickens require to take in?
Page 54. They require age-appropriate food, fresh drinking water, and grit to help with digestion.

List 4 parts of a chicken’s digestive system from the picture on page 55.
Page 55: Parts include esophagus, proventriculus, ceca, gizzard, crop, cloaca, and vent.

Choose a dietary supplement from page 57 and list one way that it helps the chicken.
Page 57: Supplements include raw apple cider vinegar, diatomaceous earth, garlic, pumpkin seeds, vitamins and electrolytes, and yogurt.

List 3 things you should never feed a chicken.
Page 60: Items include caffeine or alcohol, sugary foods, avocado, citrus, uncooked legumes or rice, onions, raw potatoes, rhubarb, and tomato leaves.

7. The Excitement of Eggs

When are chickens the most productive (lay the most eggs)?
Page 63. They are the most productive during the first two years of life.

What does the bloom on an egg help prevent?
Page 66. It helps prevent moisture, bacteria, fungi, and viruses from entering the eggshell.

What is molting? List 2 snacks to add to the chicken’s diet during the molt.
Page 67. Molting is the process of feathers falling out to replace old feathers for new ones for the winter. High-protein snacks such as mealworms and sunflower seeds, also vitamins and electrolytes in drinking water should be added to the chicken's diet.

Why does a chicken sometimes lay eggs without shells?
Page 68. It usually means the chicken is lacking calcium in her diet.

8. What To Do With a Sick Chick

List 3 signs that your chicken may be sick.
Page 71. A chicken may act sleepy, puff up its feathers, stop interacting with others, cough, sneeze, have watery eyes, develop diarrhea, or not eat or drink.

List 4 things that a basic chicken first-aid kit should contain.
Page 71: Items should include gloves, hydrogen peroxide, gauze, nail clippers and file, tweezers, neosporin, superglue, and a flashlight.

Choose 1 baby chick problem or 1 common chicken problem and give an example of how to help the problem.
Pages 74-81. Chick: Pasty butt, coccidiosis, vitamin and electrolyte deficiency, curled toes, splayed leg syndrome. Chicken: Impacted crop; sour crop; pendulous crop; feather picking; mites, lice, and other pests; parasitic worms, egg bound, vent prolapse, heat stress.

9. Handling, Training, and Playing With Chickens

What is a bacteria carried by chickens that can make people sick? What are 2 things not to do when handling chicks or chickens?
Page 86. Salmonella is a bacteria carried by chickens that can make us sick. Don’t touch your hands or face when handling chickens and don’t kiss them.

List 3 steps in taming a chicken.
Pages 86-87. Steps include to approach a brooder slowly, rest hand in brooder, let chicks investigate your hand, slowly reach and grasp gently in hand, make a cup with your hand, sit on ground and hold chick in lap, gently stroke the chick with one finger.

Choose a chicken behavior and describe what it is.
Page 93: Behaviors include exploring, laying eggs, scratching, beak rubbing, pecking, roosting, preening, crowing, and alarm response.

10. Chickens in the Garden

List 3 sprouts to grow that chickens love to eat.
Page 105. Sprouts include alfalfa, beet, broccoli, fenugreek, microgreens, pea, radish, sunflower, and wheat berry.

Choose 1 way to supervise a chicken and describe how to do it.
Page 107. Teach them to forage in acceptable areas, plant an area around the coop with chicken-safe plants, and corral the flock with fenced-off areas.

List 3 green materials and 3 brown materials that can be added to a compost pile.
Page 113: Green materials include chicken manure, coffee grounds, grass clippings, and kitchen scraps. Brown materials include cardboard, dry leaves, dryer lint, egg cartons, newspaper, wood ash, and straw. 

 


This teacher sheet is a part of the A Kid's Guide to Keeping Chickens lesson.

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