It’s the best time of year in the Herkimer Jr./Sr. High School agriculture room because it’s hatching season.
Students in agriculture teacher Talia Baker’s agriculture, food and natural resources class (AFNR) chose to incubate ducks this year, and students and staff across the district followed along as the ducklings hatched.
“I love doing this at the end of the year because when everyone is stressed, studying and preparing for tests, Regents and finals, the ducks truly bring our community together – from rooting them on when they are trying to hatch, to visiting and holding them, which always puts a smile on their faces,” Baker said. “Students who have never taken an agriculture class make their way down to the ag room to hold a duckling.”
This is the third year that the AFNR class has incubated eggs. The class incubated chicken eggs in 2021, duck eggs in 2022 and duck eggs again this year.
Students learned how to candle eggs to check for viability, became experts in egg anatomy and joined the entire school watching the ducks hatch on the class’s live “Hatch Cam” feed. Once the ducks are moved from incubator to brooder, AFNR students are responsible for cleaning the water, replacing the bedding and giving the ducklings fresh food every day.
All agriculture classes throughout the day take turns learning how to handle the ducks and even get to take them outside for a little exercise and foraging or watch them swim in a kiddie pool.
“This is a tradition we hope to keep going for years to come,” Baker said.
Choir students visit the ducklings hatched through Herkimer Jr./Sr. High School agriculture teacher Talia Baker’s agriculture, food and natural resources class. From left: Cassie Larzelere, Ayla Simpson and Rory Clanton.
Ducklings hatched through Herkimer Jr./Sr. High School agriculture teacher Talia Baker’s agriculture, food and natural resources class swim in a kiddie pool.