Chickenology: Explore genetics to breed the best brood

How do environment, heredity, and genetics affect living organisms?

G. gallus domesticus is ready for review! Take your students on a tour through the genetic history and potential future of our favorite fowl. This STEM-based poultry curriculum uses immersive learning experiences and real genetic samples for your students to dive deep in the future evolution of our food. See how environment influences heredity, and explore the evidence that suggests T. rex as our modern chicken’s and turkey’s ancestor.

Your young geneticists will learn to ask and answer questions like:

  • How did the modern chicken and turkey survive to today?
  • What role does the environment have on heredity?
  • How will consumer demands influence selective breeding?
  • How can we predict trait expression with phenotypic ratios?

Learn about all of this and more with Chickenology, a thrilling entry into the field of genetics and food production. If your student is familiar with ChickQuest, they will be excited for the next step in Chickenology. This curriculum focuses on 8th grade Life Science standards.

This GrowNextGen program provides immersive experiences and real-time learning through scientific theory and methodology, data collection, introductory genetics, research and exploration and evidence-based solutions. Teachers will receive a teacher workbook, foldscopes (student microscopes), prepared slide set, hygrometer/thermometer, and modeling and engineering materials, as well as .7 CEUs.

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Upcoming Chickenology workshops

Check back on this page for the latest on upcoming Chickenology workshops!



Chickenology career videos

These videos will introduce your students to careers related to Ohio poultry.

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Animal Science (Chris)

Mar 3, 2022
Learn about animal science and why it is important for egg production in Ohio. Animal science incorporates animal behavior, science, and data analysis to make egg production efficient and safe for hens and humans.
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Animal Science (Jessica)

Aug 26, 2022
Learn about veterinary science and why it is important for poultry and egg production in Ohio. Veterinary Science incorporates communication, nutrition, animal behavior, health and data analysis to make livestock and environments healthy and …
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Animal Science (Kelly)

Aug 26, 2022
Learn how the poultry industry is keeping eggs safe for Ohio consumers. Safe Quality Food positions incorporate communication skills, data analysis, food science and management skills to ensure a safe, healthy product is delivered for food …
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Mechanical Engineering

Mar 4, 2022
Take a look a mechanical engineer’s role at Trillium Farms! See how he uses problem solving and engineering to make the hen’s housing safe and their egg production more efficient. Learn what drew him into mechanical engineering and about his …

Virtual field trips

Ohio is the number 2 egg-producing state in the US, 9th for turkey farming, and we produce over 526 million pounds of chicken each year. These videos take you right inside the farms where it all happens.

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Virtual field trip: A turkey’s best life ever!

Apr 15, 2022
What’s the best environment to grow a turkey? Learn how an environment influences trait expression in poultry and maximizes growth. What can humans do to create a happy flock?
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Virtual field trip: Breeding the best flock

Apr 15, 2022
This virtual field trip for middle and high school students will show the work done at Cooper Farms to breed broad-breasted white turkeys for the marketplace. Information will also include Meyer Hatchery’s chicken breeding operations. Students will …
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Virtual field trip: Happy homes for hens and their eggs

Aug 10, 2022
Visit three different egg production facilities in Ohio. Learn the differences between conventional, cage-free, and organic eggs. How do the different environments affect egg production? How do veterinarians keep the hens healthy and happy?