Freedom for Animals is urging its supporters and the public to actively oppose and report live hatching projects being planned in schools and communities. Join us to demand that hatching projects should no longer be promoted as a teaching method.

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Live hatching projects are becoming increasingly popular in UK classrooms. Fertilised eggs are taken from mothers to be incubated and hatched in classrooms and sold as an ‘educational’ experience. However, the reality is that their educational value is minimal and the exploitation of chicks used for these projects is inexcusable and not justifiable.

Keeping animals in captivity to observe and exhibit the most vulnerable stages of their life cycle is an abuse of our position as a species, even more so when that lifecycle is being manipulated and changed to make it accessible to human eyes by removing a chick from their mother. There is no educational benefit to these projects – they are cruel, unethical and represent nothing but a harmful lesson for pupils exposed to them.

While having a sideshow of eggs – then baby chicks – in a classroom may be cute, the costs are high for schools and the animals. The initial outlay for the incubator and eggs does not cover supply costs or potential vet bills. Chances of chick deformity are high, and the burden on inexperienced teachers is great.

This online resource from Freedom for Animals, is for anyone who is concerned about school hatching projects and wants to know the facts, plus how to do something about it.

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There are better, more ethical, and more educational alternatives!

You can watch eggs being laid, tended, and hatched completely naturally with live webcams like this one from an osprey nest at Loch Arkaig Pine Forest in the Scottish Highlands. They’re expecting them to lay eggs in mid April, and hatch them at the end of May! You’ll even get to see the chicks fledge and fly the nest!

If you’re an educator looking for a way to teach young people about life cycles, there are so many resources at your fingertips that don’t involve birthing and keeping live animals in classrooms. You just need to know where to look, and we’ve done that for you below.

  1. Swap chicks for clicks by watching nest box livestreams: 

  • English Cathedrals has a list of peregrine webcams on cathedrals here

  • has hundreds more from all over the world!

  • Watch Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust’s Peregrine Webcam

  • Check out BBC Springwatch’s Live Cams

  1. Visit an animal sanctuary to learn about animals and their life cycles in a more natural and appropriate environment. Make sure wherever you visit is a true sanctuary that doesn’t breed animals for exhibition or sale.

  2. Download an app. Humane education charity P.E.A.C.E. has developed a mobile app called ‘Chick-It-Out’.

  3. Use Animal Aid’s free resources

  4. Observe the daily changes of a chick embryo with model eggs available to purchase from Learning Resources.

  5. Use the teaching site, Twinkl.

Spread the word

If you’re outraged by cruel hatching projects contact schools, councils, friends and relatives to encourage your communities to oppose them. If you’re a parent, vocally oppose these exploitative practices at school PTA evenings. Please share this webpage and the resources on it with other parents and educators.

Report it

If you've found out about a live hatching project planned in your school or community let us know at [email protected]