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York Academy second-graders have hatched and are raising chicks as part of their "How the World Works" study.

The students started with 16 eggs, which they kept in an incubator until eight hatched this week. 

"They got to turn (the eggs), candle them to see how they were growing and which ones would hatch," said teacher Keri Schmid.

This is the sixth year for the chick-raising program at the school. Not only do the students care for the eggs and eventual chicks, but baby chickens become part of their school life, with letters written to the expected chicks and chick art adorning the classroom walls.

During group time recently, the students observed chick behavior and handled them, feeling their downy feathers and the little claws on their feet. A few students reacted as the baby chickens did their "business" on the classroom carpet.

The chicks will soon be headed to a new home, that of a farmer, "where they have more space to live their best chicken lives," Schmid said.

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