Chickens ready to get cracking!

Chickens hatch at Assiniboine Community College

Students at Assiniboine Community College’s Russ Edwards School of Agriculture and Environment have been busy these past few weeks preparing a space for a new flock of chickens set to take up temporary residency.

“This project started with a conversation with my sister Holly Flanagan, who usually incubates a couple eggs about this time every year. She mentioned that we should do this in my livestock class for our chicken section. I agreed, but had no way of getting an incubator, eggs, basically everything together in time. She offered up her incubators, egg turners, and everything we needed to get started.” said Instructor, Pamela Wilson. “From there we partnered with a couple of community partners Donna Dyck and Amie Groening to hatch a plan" she said with a grin.

Wilson noted that many opportunities within the program allow students to gain hands-on industry specific knowledge. "In our agriculture programs, we rely heavily on our producers in the community to be able to offer these opportunities to our students. Whether it is exploring agronomic principles in a producers field, or being able to demo technology put in practice, or hatching a batch of eggs; we are grateful to our generous producers who see the value in hands on education”.

The science of it all is quite interesting as the team in Agriculture and Environment can accurately pinpoint within a few hours of when the eggs will begin hatching in their incubated environment. These eggs will hatch following a period of roughly 21 days and 6 hours.

“The eggs need specific temperatures and humidity for the eggs to actually hatch” said Ag & Environment student Jenna Rystephanuk. “It has been really good working on this project. As ACC’s motto is learn by doing, it has been great to see this as part of livestock production” they added.

For Ag and Environment student Reegan Frey, it was an excellent opportunity to follow the chicks as they develop. “I’m most excited to see them hatch and move forward with their development”.

The work is part of a livestock unit for students in the Russ Edwards School of Agriculture and Environment and gives them hands on experience working in real life situations like they would find in industry.

Once all the eggs have hatched, the chicks will be moved to a secondary environment for the next phase of their development before being returned to a local grower who partnered with the college on this unique learning opportunity.

You can watch a livestream of the hatching above thanks to second year students in the college’s Media and Communications program. This unique partnership allows for students to work with their peers across programs and share industry knowledge while working towards a common goal.

Instructor Pamela Wilson on the process of preparing students to participate in this project.

More information on Ag programs at Assiniboine can be found at