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Silver City teachers spending Mothers Day unlike any other
Spending day caring for newborn chicks
Silver City Elementary teacher Meg Papp takes an egg out of the incubator to candle it. Students and teachers are awaiting the arrival of 14 baby chicks, which could happen today, Mothers Day. - photo by Micah Green

Watch live

To watch the eggs (and hopefully chickens), view Silver City Elementary’s Live Chicken Cam.

*** UPDATE: The first chick hatched. Click on the link to the left to watch live.


NORTH FORSYTH — A few educators at an elementary school in north Forsyth are expecting an unusual Mother’s Day.

After lunch with her family today, Silver City Elementary Principal Paige Andrews will probably be back at school, watching 14 baby chickens hatch in two classrooms.

“I just think it’s hilarious. They were so excited about it that they just wanted to get the eggs in the classrooms and didn’t count out the 21 days,” Andrews said.

Chicken eggs take 21 days to incubate before they hatch, and teachers Meg Papp and Kelly Evans introduced their students to the eggs 21 days ago.

“We have a live webcam on them and I just have it up on my computer, and I was just sitting there and then I saw one move,” Andrews said. “It’s so cool.”

Papp, a second-grade teacher, and Evans, who teaches kindergarten at the school off Dahlonega Highway, are using the eggs as an example of the life cycle lessons they are finishing in class.

“We did the life cycles of chicken, frogs and butterflies,” Papp said.

And though their students are clearly way too young to become parents, they are making parallels to their real lives.

Candling it like a human mother’s sonogram, Papp said it shows the baby inside the egg or uterus.

“They’re candling it!” Papp’s students exclaimed as she turned the lights off and held a flashlight to the bottom of the egg. Inside was a teeny chick yet to be born.

Aubrey Williams said candling is her favorite part of watching the eggs.

“That’s the air pocket so they can have enough air to breath,” said Bryson Germanenko, also a second-grader.

They learned about the yolk and how they grow inside from bring tiny to breaking out of the egg, just as a baby grows inside their mother until they are born.

The eggs sit in an insulated Bundt cake-sized container. Just like a mother feeling her baby move, the students watch for an egg to shift.

“Number five moved!” they announced.

Evans said she brought the hens she has at her house, which are all Rhode Island Reds, game hens and sexlink chickens.

“We’re teaching them where things come from,” Evans said. “Of course, we’re relating it to how they’re born.”

She said the goal is to build a chicken coop in the school garden and keep the new chicks there.

Hopefully by now, the two classes of students are all “chicken parents,” and when they come to school Monday they will meet their newest school additions.

Andrews, Evans and Papp will have been waiting all day to see the egg shells crack on their webcam so they can rush to the classroom.

“I’m excited for them to be born because then they’ll have fluffy feathers,” Germanenko said. “They look so cute with their fluffy feathers.”