Chatham County 4-H Partners with The Livestock Conservancy to Offer a Cooperative Virtual Learning Experience – From Embryo to Chick

— Written By Victoria Brewer

From Embryo to Chick – A Cooperative Virtual Learning Experience


N.C. Cooperative Extension’s 4-H team in Chatham County is once again partnering with the nationally acclaimed, Pittsboro-based non-profit, The Livestock Conservancy, for this year’s 4-H Embryology Program. For more than 7 years, Chatham County 4-H has partnered with The Livestock Conservancy to utilize rare heritage breed hatching eggs; heritage breeds are traditional livestock breeds that were raised by our forefathers. This partnership provides youth an opportunity to not only learn about life cycles, but also heritage breeds and genetic conservation.

Traditionally, the Embryology Program is offered to all Chatham County schools serving elementary-age 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 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the program is unable to be held in the classroom, so it will be offered through a cooperative virtual learning experience.

Starting Monday, April 20, 2020, Jeannette Beranger, Senior Program Manager at The Livestock Conservancy, and Victoria Brewer, Extension 4-H Agent in Chatham County, will walk participants through the Experiments in Poultry Science 4-H curriculum. Each session will be released via YouTube on Monday, Wednesday and Friday through Friday, May 15. The program schedule is listed below:

  • Monday, April 20: Importance of Good Handwashing
  • Wednesday, April 22: Warming Up the Eggs
  • Friday, April 24: Building an Eggs-Ray Viewer
  • Monday, April 27: Playing Peek-a-Boo with Embryos
  • Wednesday, April 29: Eggsploring the Egg
  • Friday, May 1: Pick a Chick
  • Monday, May 4: Building a Home “Tweet” Home
  • Wednesday, May 6: Chicken Time on Jeannette’s Farm
  • Friday, May 8: Eggsploring Careers
  • Monday, May 11: Caring and Handling
  • Wednesday, May 13: Counting the Chicks
  • Friday, May 15: Chick Check-In

Over a four-week period, participants will have the opportunity to learn about and experience the incubation process, necessary requirements for taking care of chicks, and a few tidbits for when chicks become chickens. While this program is traditionally offered to elementary students, this cooperative virtual learning experience can be enjoyed by people of all ages. And who knows, by the end of the program, you may be able to answer the age-old question: Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

The program is offered at no cost to participants, however, we do request that participants register so Chatham County 4-H is able to capture pertinent information for federal and state reporting purposes. Providing requested demographic information allows N.C. Cooperative Extension to ensure that our organization is serving citizens of all communities, providing beneficial programming to diverse audiences. In addition, by registering, you will receive additional opportunities that will enhance this virtual learning experience–all activity sheets included with the curriculum will be sent to you via email or mail, AND you will receive information regarding interactive sessions held with Jeannette and/or Victoria throughout the program, as contact information is required in order to communicate details regarding these interactive sessions.

To register, please complete online registration.

If you have any questions regarding this program or Chatham County 4-H, then please contact Victoria Brewer, Extension 4-H Agent in Chatham County, via email ( or phone (919-545-8303). If you have questions regarding The Livestock Conservancy, then please contact Jeannette Beranger, Senior Program Manager, via email ( or phone (919-542-5704 x103).

We hope you can join us for this cooperative virtual learning experience!

NC State University and N.C. A&T State University commit themselves to positive action to secure equal opportunity and prohibit discrimination and harassment regardless of age, color, disability, family and marital status, genetic information, national origin, political beliefs, race, religion, sexual identity (including pregnancy), and veteran status. NC State University, N.C. A&T State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and local governments cooperating. Persons with disabilities and persons with limited English proficiency may request accommodations to participate by contacting Ginger Cunningham, County Extension Director, at 919.542.8202,, or in person at the office at least 30 days prior to the event.