Saturday, March 18, 2017

March 19 - Poultry Day


This title immediately popped into my head for chickens:


From the moment Penny, Polly, and Molly hatch from their eggs, the whole farm knows they are truly tough chicks. They wrestle worms, rope roosters, and are often found under the hood of the tractor. All the other animals and even the farmer himself tell Mama Hen to make her chicks be good. "They are good!" Mama Hen replies. But could her chicks be too loud, too independent, and too tough? Lively language and bold illustrations capture all the fun and humor of this delightfully different farmyard romp that's also a resounding endorsement for letting girls be girls (even if they're loud and tough and like to play with tractors.)

And of course, we can't forget the Chickies!


Wash your wings, and take a seat. What will these tiny chickies eat? With the help pf cow, Pig and Sheep, soon the chickies are learning to cheep, "Pass the carrots. pass the peas. Pass those yummy broccolis!"

The chickies are VERY big at our house - and at the library! I love the big, squishy pages that are so easy to clean, and the kids love the sing-songy rhymes.


Of course, chickens aren't the only animals considered poultry.


The Greenstalks have the cleverest animals around.
When something goes wrong on the farm, someone is always ready to jump in, and this time Ernie the duck is determined to help out. But no matter how hard he tries, nothing goes quite right. It takes the clever trick of a kind little lamb for Ernie to finally get his chance to come to the rescue!

Himmelman's 'to the rescue' books are all hilarious, and poor Duck is no exception - even if he isn't much help! Most kids can identify with feeling like you are not good at anything, so try making a list of all the things your little one IS good at helping with! Maybe you will get an expanded chore chart out of it 😉


This one is, as you might guess, a counting book, with a fun rhythm and vocabulary. Every time we see wild turkey along our daily commute, the kids all call out, "Gobble gobble wibble wobble!" (one of the lines in the book). Counting backwards, by the way, is a great skill that will help with subtraction later.


A wonderful nonfiction resource for actually raising your own poultry (and other farm animals):


Is raising livestock a possibility or consideration for your family? This extremely thorough but readable book can help you decide what types would work best and be most beneficial to you, and help you figure out what kind of set-up and care each will need. It even has sections on health issues! For families who are already raising livestock, this is still a great basic handbook to have on hand.

If you can't add any animals to your household now, talk about animals you might like to have some day. Use lists, charts, or graphic organizers to note the needs of each choice, such as

- food
- housing
- square footage
- daily care
- potential ailments
- annual needs (sheering, shoeing, vaccinations, etc.)

as well as other potential issues (noise, smell, training), and the benefits (food, wool, companionship, work, fertilizer). Can you visit a working farm for the day?

If you are ready for your own flock - or have one you can add to - incubating eggs is something every child should have a chance to do. If you don't have a local ranch supply place, Ebay has an amazing variety of fertile eggs you can order (just check on legal restrictions for your area). I have ordered everything from chickens to ducks to quail, from different vendors, and had great success.

Google "how to candle eggs" and you'll come up with dozens of sets of instructions with better pictures than I can take (especially since I don't actually have any eggs to candle right now.) Let the kids number the eggs and keep track of how they look every few days in a science journal or on a chart.

Social Studies

The history of agriculture in the US could take an entire month to study. If you are in NM, take a day and visit the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Museum. You really can spend a whole day there, even if there isn't a special event going on (we never miss the Cowboy Days!)

If you don't have anything similar nearby, then - books to the rescue again! Here are a couple we have at our library:


The moon grows fatter, the days grow shorter, and it is time to bring in the harvest.
Written in the style of the traditional harvest song, Harvest Home tells the story of a family that toils together to make the work of harvesting lighter.


Of course many of the Little House on the Prairie books, chapter and picture, will give you a look into early pioneer and farm life. Just be ready for a teachable moment or two - rereading as an adult, I was surprised by a few stereotypes I didn't really notice as a child (not in the above title, though).

Language Arts


Wait...did I mean I saw a duck, or that you should duck your head? In other words, duck the noun, or duck the verb?

Can you think of other words that can be both a noun and a verb?
- love
- run
- walk
- check
- tie
- (goose, but you may or may not want to explain the verb!)

Make a list and see how much you can add to it throughout the week!


Ah, eggs, how we love thee. Let us count the the dozen, of course! 
How many are in a dozen? Are there other things we might buy by the dozen (donuts, roses, sometimes pens, party cups, invitations...)?

Twelve is a fun number because it is divisible by so many smaller numbers. Start off with a dozen of some object (probably NOT eggs - how about jelly bird eggs?), and ask your child how many ways they can divide it into equal-sized piles. Explain that all of these numbers (1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 12) are called factors of 12. See if you can also find the factors of 15, 16, 24, and 60.


Poultry comes from eggs - what other animals do? 

Cut out two large eggs from construction paper. Leave one (preferably white) whole, and 'crack' the other in half. Connect the two halves of the cracked egg to the whole one with brass fasteners, like so: 

Decide what is inside your egg, and draw it on the bottom piece. It could be a real or imaginary creature! You might also want to decorate the outside of your egg - wouldn't a purple tufted snarfblatt come in a stripey egg, after all?


Slow Cooker Santa Fe Chicken

Start this in the morning, and enjoy the smells all day while you work on the rest of these activities.

Layer in slow cooker:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 14-oz cans of diced tomatoes (with or without chilies - with is better!)
2 15-oz cans black beans, rinsed
1 16-oz can corn
1 large onion (or 2 small), chopped
1 small can chicken broth
1 T minced garlic
1 T cumin
salt and pepper

Set it on low and cook for at least 8 hours. Shred and serve over salad, or roll in a tortilla with shredded cheese and sour cream.


If you are big enough to feed yourself, you are big enough to start preparing your own food. Cheesy scrambled eggs are one of the first things our kids learned to make:

1. Crack an egg into a bowl and scramble it up with a fork. 
2. Add a sprinkling of shredded cheese, a dash of garlic salt, whatever else sounds yummy.
3. Give another quick stir, and put in the microwave for one minute (how many seconds is that?)
4. Sheridan likes to add another sprinkling of cheese as soon as it is done, and she calls it "cheesy eggs cheesy". Either way, make sure you rinse the raw egg off your fork before you dig in!


A fun film, and a good introduction to claymation. If you want to try your hand at making your own claymation or stop motion film, try this tutorial.

Other Web Sites to Explore

No comments:

Post a Comment