Nova Scotia Fisheries and Aquaculture banner

You have reached an old web page from an earlier version of the department's web site. The content on this page may have been updated and/or moved. Please continue to the new site.

Chick Hatch Program 2013



The Agricultural Education office has administered a chick hatch program in Nova Scotia in cooperation with the Agricultural Awareness Committee for over 15 years. The program has been well subscribed by elementary school classrooms.  These guidelines have been developed to focus the program to best fit within the educational mandate of the Agricultural Awareness Program.


To provide a “hands-on” activity to elementary school children which is appropriate in terms of human and animal health & welfare, and provides information which improves the understanding and appreciation for agriculture in Nova Scotia.

Target audience:

Almost all audiences enjoy watching the hatching process and activity of young chicks. Some venues, however, are not appropriate for delivering on the objective, either because safety measures cannot be consistently met, or the audience is not appropriate for the educational component of the program.  For this reason, the use of hatch kits in this program is intended for school classrooms - grades 2 - 6.

Teacher Training:

Experienced teachers may book the kits without training, but new bookings should have a visit by an experienced handler. This will help keep the focus on the educational objectives of the program and re-enforce the biosafety requirements.

Kit Components:

The chick hatch kit consists of a table top incubator, hatch kit with brooder light, feeder, waterer, candling light, educational posters and videos and a chick hatch program guide book with instructions, suggested activities and learning outcomes.

Kit bookings:

The program generally runs from mid-March to early June.  Kits must be booked well in advance of the intended use date and returned promptly upon completion of the hatch. Generally, four weeks are required to complete the hatch project and kits are booked on a first-come, first-served basis.

When completing an application for booking through the central Agricultural Awareness office, please select a first and second choice of option from the following schedule:

Location Phone # Incubators # Hatch Kits
Central agricultural office:
Truro893-7495 10 total 10
Kit delivery schedule (Truro only):   Pick-up date
Option 1 March 19 5 April 16
Option 2 March 26 5 April 23
Option 3 May 7 5 June 4
Option 4 May 14 5 June 11

Regional field offices:


638-2396 22
Lunenburg 634-7575 1 1

863-4705 2 1

563--2000 2 2

945-2902 2 1



Guidelines and requirements for use of the hatch kits:
Any animals held in the classroom or in a public display, have potential to pose a biological risk to the public.  In addition, welfare of the animals must be considered.
The following will limit the risks to animals and people:

  1. Obtain eggs from a registered breeder flock or hatchery (In many cases we may be able to supply eggs). The Canadian Food Inspection Agency sets and monitors sanitation standards in these facilities.  While this does not completely eliminate risk of Salmonella or E.coli exposure, it decreases the hazard considerably.
  2. Set only clean eggs for incubation.  Environmental exposure of eggs to fecal material prior to incubation is the main source of contamination in an incubator.  Eggs with a small amount of surface debris can be cleaned by sanding lightly with fine grit sand paper.
  3. Restrict access.  Children especially, should be supervised if permitted to handle the eggs or the chicks.  Hand washing is required before and afterhandling, and although liquid hand sanitizers are appropriate for brief exposure, washing with soap and water is recommended practice.
  4. Promptly remove materials from the incubator.   This includes infertile eggs, egg shells and any chicks which die during the project.
  5. Sanitize the incubator at the end of the project.  The incubator bottom, liner and wire floor rack should be washed with hot soapy water after use.  After rinsing with clean water, the incubator bottom, liner and rack should be sprayed with 10 percent bleach solution.  Cover with the top of the incubator and allow to soak for one hour.  Rinse the bottom, liner and rack with clean water and allow to dry thoroughly.
  6. Make appropriate arrangements for the chicks after hatching.  Chicks should stay in the classroom for no more than one week, as their daily requirements will increase as they grow.  A brood container with a heat source, bedding, feeder and waterer must be provided for them.  Fire risk must be minimized by careful preparation of this brooder following guidelines in the chick hatch book.

    If chicks are going to a local farm, arrangements must be made well ahead of incubation.  The location, breed & number of birds and contact information for these farms should be sent to Rick Hoeg at the Truro Ag Awareness office: or 893-7495 for bio-security tracking.

*Central Ag. Awareness office will make arrangements for all chicks from hatches booked through the central office.

Click here for a chick hatch application form [PDF] OR MS-Word
Chick Hatch program guidebook [PDF]

Completed forms should be faxed to:
Rick Hoeg, Agricultural Education Liaison
ph: 902-893-7495
fax: 902-893-0244


Egg Farmers of Canada -
Nova Scotia Egg Producers -
Chicken Farmers of Canada -
Chicken Farmers of Nova Scotia -
University of Nebraska-Lincoln - (includes an “Egg cam” with a live camera in an incubator & much more) -


  Last Update: January 17, 2013