• chicks with text From Embryo to Chick

For more than seven years, Chatham County 4-H has partnered with The Livestock Conservancy to use rare heritage breed hatching eggs as part of the Classroom Heritage Chicken Hatching Project. This partnership provides youth an opportunity to learn about life cycles, heritage breeds, and genetic conservation.

Traditionally, the Embryology Program is offered to all Chatham County schools serving elementary-aged students, and held in the classroom with teachers guiding students through the incubation process and embryonic life cycle. However, due to school closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the program was unable to be held in classrooms, so it was offered through a virtual learning experience.

The program was held April 20 – May 15, 2020.

Over a four-week period, participants learned about the incubation process, necessary requirements for taking care of chicks, and a few tidbits for when chicks become chickens.

The program was offered at no cost to participants however registration was requested so that Chatham County 4-H could capture pertinent information for federal and state reporting purposes. This information allows N.C. Cooperative Extension to ensure that our organization serves citizens of all communities, and provides beneficial programming to diverse audiences.

The N.C. Cooperative Extension is a strategic partnership of NC State Extension, The Cooperative Extension Program at N.C. A&T State University, USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, and local governments statewide. Extension professionals in all 100 counties and with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians connect millions of North Carolinians with research-based information and technology from NC State and N.C. A&T. Educational programs specialize in agriculture, food and nutrition, 4-H youth development, community development, and the environment.

4-H is North Carolina’s largest youth development organization, equipping more than 262,000 young people each year with the skills necessary to succeed and improve the world around them. 4-H programs and camps encourage young people to “learn by doing,” helping them to develop into active, contributing citizens. NC State Extension and the Cooperative Extension Program at N.C. A&T University coordinate 4-H programs statewide. For more on the 4-H program in Chatham County, please contact Victoria Brewer at or Liz Mauney at

For questions about this program or The Livestock Conservancy, please contact Jeannette Beranger.