Science of Agricultural Animals

By Press Reports

Poultry, a $2.4 billion dollar industry, is Mississippi’s number one agricultural industry. In 2011, there were approximately 765 million broilers produced in Mississippi on 1,478 farms.

With the addition of the Science of Agricultural Animals course offered through AEST, came an incubator and brooder to hatch and raise baby chicks and/or quail.

The Animal Science class at AHS recently learned about various breeds of livestock including poultry. A Leghorn chicken is a popular breed and is the breed students have been experimenting with in the incubator. Eggs are incubated for 21 days. On the 10th day of incubation, students candled eggs to see if the eggs were fertilized. When held over the light, if the entire egg glows, that shows the egg is unfertilized. Students were looking for a small air sac. On the 16th day when students candled the eggs they were able to see blood vessels.

As the chicks arrived, students did a wonderful job caring for them and some of the students even took them home when they were old enough to leave the incubator.