Thursday, January 17, 2013

Chicken Day at Charlotte Nature Museum Jan. 19 - Great for Kids

Count your chickens (before they cross the road?). In an eggs-cellent start to a new year, Charlotte Nature Museum's January Creature Feature: Chicken Day gives little cluckers the chance to meet fine feathered fowl on Saturday, January 19 from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Such a rare opportunity might not fly with everyone, but visitors to this unique event will discover the variety of chickens and other barnyard birds.

Comb over an array of chickens at Chicken Day such as the Rhode Island red [Gallus gallus domesticus], America's most well known breed, and the 'rumpless' Araucana [Gallus sp.], which is missing a vertebrae, lacks a tail and lays blue eggs. Talk to local chicken owners about their birds and what it takes to raise a flock. Resplendent adult and baby Silkie chickens [Gallus gallus japonese silkie] will show off their black, blue, white and even lavender feathers, turquoise blue earlobes, five-toed feet and fur-like feathers.

Diversity is the norm among the feathered crowd. With distinctive features that make them all look very different chickens can be difficult to identify. From spurs and wattles to combs and ear tufts, learn more about this quirky domesticated fowl including the variety of sizes, shapes and colors of their eggs, and how they are an important part of local farming. Here's a fact that could make some fly the coop: chickens are actually omnivores and sometimes eat prey like small mice and lizards. Peck over all that chickens find tasty when they scratch around in the soil including worms, insects, seeds, grains, snails, slugs, fruits and vegetables, while exploring our new outdoor exhibit, Fort Wild.

Museum Naturalists will have chicken tidbits such as habitat information, nutritional requirements and tips on how to raise chickens in your own backyard. Visitors also can 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.

Nest with us for Story Time including the titles "The Missing Chick" by Valerie Gorbachev, "Rosie's Walk" by Pat Hutchin and "Be Patient Little Chick" by Patricia Jensen. Fly by Dragonfly Theatre for the Puppet Show, "The Shadow Knows" and drop in to the Naturalist Lab to make crafty cardboard chicks.

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.

Charlotte Nature Museum offers visitors the chance to get close to wildlife and walk among free-flying butterflies in Butterfly Pavilion, observe live animals inCreature Cavern, buzz by Insect Alley or just hang out in Our Big Backyard. Visitors can learn together during Workshops, Summer Camps and more. Daily programming including hands-on activities provide the opportunity for structured learning and informal play for kids of all ages. Charlotte Nature Museum is operated by Discovery Place, Inc.