- Introduce kids to the life cycle of a chicken
- Bring in non-library users
- Partner with schools and community
We didn't do this for two years during the pandemic and then again this year. It wasn't very successful this year - we've rearranged things and didn't have a good space, none of our eggs hatched, and we were just too busy to really promote or focus on it. I don't know if we'll repeat it in future - this might have been our last year.
This program doesn't have a way to count attendance, but it does bring us a lot of great publicity. Generally, I provide the incubator, my school partners provide the eggs, and local people from the community provide expert assistance and the materials for caring for the chicks for a week or two after they hatch.
We started this in 2012 and have been pretty diligent about repeating each year. Things we have learned:
- Make sure you know where the chickens are going afterward. They grow really fast.
- Everyone is a chicken expert. Just smile and nod.
- They are stinky and need to be cleaned regularly. Make sure you have got somebody roped in for this job.
- Some chicks will die. It's great if you have a person on staff who comes in before the library opens and removes any unfortunate casualties.
- Staff and patrons are shocked when I say this, but I tell people all the time: This is science, not pets. Animals die. Not all of them are perfect. We take the best care of them we can, but I am not doing therapy for George the Duck's feet (assuming he needs it anyways)
- Also, if you throw in a duckling or two kids will adore it but the mess factor will quadruple.
|The whole crew from 2015|
|These are from the first hatching|
|School partner, Pattie Woods|
|Community partner, Virgil Wuttke (the eggspert)|
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