Moms Columns & Blogs

Calling all cluckers!

Charlotte Nature Museum’s January Creature Feature: Chicken Day on from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Saturday offers little guests the chance to flock to meet fine-feathered fowl. Discover the diversity of chickens and other barnyard birds, explore chicken life on the farm, and learn more about the importance of chickens as a food source.

Domestication of chickens has led to cross-breeding, making it difficult to keep track of and name every new species. From spurs and wattles to combs and ear tufts, chickens have distinctive features that make them all look very different. Ruffle your feathers while visiting a variety of chickens such as the Rhode Island red, America’s most well known breed, and the ‘rumpless’ Araucana [Gallus sp.],which is missing a vertebrae and lacks a tail. Cluck over adult and baby Silkie chickens [Gallus gallus japonese silkie] that come in a plethora of colors such as black, blue, white and even lavender, making them showstoppers among the feathered crowd. Did you know the Silkie chicken has black skin and bones, turquoise blue earlobes, fives toes per foot and long feathers that resemble fur?

Chickens and other fowl are a common food source and their eggs come in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors. How does a quail egg look different from a chicken egg? Or a Silkie egg look different from an Araucana egg? Scratch your head over this chicken fact: the chalaza is one of two spiral bands of tissue in an egg that connect the yolk to the lining membrane at either end of the shell. Nest with us while we crack a few eggs open and examine the different yolks.

Museum Naturalists will be on hand with chicken tidbits such as habitat information, nutritional requirements and tips on how to raise chickens in your own backyard. Visitors can also visit with a variety of newly hatched chicks and Museum fowl such as the Chukar partridge [Alectoris chukar], bobwhite quail [Colinus virginianus] and baby button quails [Coturnix sp.], all of which are closely related to the chicken.

Story time will include “Queenie, One of the Family” by Bob Graham, “The Wolf’s Chicken Stew” by Keiko Kasza, “Hilda Hen’s Search” by Mary Wormell, and the classic title “Chicken Little.” Fly by Dragonfly Theatre for the Puppet Show, “The Shadow Knows” and drop in to the Naturalist Lab to make pom-pom chicks and chicken squawkers. The counting game Chickyboom will be for sale in Trails End Store.

Creature Features are monthly special events and include crafts, puppet shows, storytelling and refreshments (while supplies last). Creature Feature activities are free with Museum admission. Admission: $6 ages two and older, younger-than-two and Members are free. Parking is free. Charlotte Nature Museum is located at 1658 Sterling Road, Charlotte. Hours are: Tuesday-Friday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; Sunday noon – 5:00 p.m.; and closed on Monday.