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Spring Has Sprung at BCC

flower

Bladen Community College’s campus is showing off its beauty with Spring seasonal signatures such as flowers, bees, butterflies and the refreshing color of green surrounding the campus.  It gives one a true sense of renewal and growth. A much needed sentiment in light of the pandemic confinement.

A new and different evidence of the season on campus is our baby chicks.

The baby chicks project is a collaborative effort with Bladen County Cooperative Extension and BCC students in Agri-Business 111 – Sustainable Livestock Production classes.    Eggs were provided as part of the Regional Poultry Show sponsored by 4-H.  BCC students set the eggs in the incubator back in February. Students were responsible for checking and maintaining temperature and humidity by candling eggs to check for chick viability. Candling is the process of using a concentrated light in a dark room to view the inside of the egg. By day 3, students observed a network of veins and located the developing embryo, by day 9, students were able to see a developing chick about the size of a nickel, and on day 18, students noticed that the embryo filled the majority of the egg. On day 21 (March 1st) , students came in to class to find 12 chicks had hatched. A delightful dozen!

The chicks are broiler type chickens that will grow to roughly 8lbs in about 8 weeks. Students are currently responsible for feeding, watering, cleaning the brooder, and taking weekly weight checks on the chicks. In the following weeks, the chicks will be moved and housed in the coop that students in AGR 111 Basic Farm Maintenance designed and constructed. At the end of the project, students will learn the aspects of poultry processing, packaging, and sanitation for small farm flock production. This processing day will be offered at the Bladen County Cooperative Extension Office in late April. Currently there are plans to add layers to the program which will be maintained year round.  For more information about our agri-business program, contact our advising center by email bccadvising@bladencc.edu or calling 910.879.5584.  Lynn Marshburn is the instructor of the course and is available to answer any questions at 910.879.5588.

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