BALA CYNWYD, PA -- Students in the Bala Cynwyd Middle School Communique (CMK) program received the surprise of a lifetime in their genetics class.

As part of their studies focusing on embryology, the students received 24 chick eggs. It was anticipated that on Monday, January 14, the eggs would hatch and produce 24 eggs, as the best case scenario.

However, the eggs instead produced 30 chicks. Following the phenomenon, the students conducted their own research.

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Student Danielle Gesser Sapir wrote, “This is beyond rare, for the most likely explanation would be six twins in a batch of 24, which (as two of our math teachers calculated) is a one in a quintillion chance. Our research has shown the probability of having a double yolk is rare, and having two chicks born from the same egg is even rarer.”

The Penn State Extension agrees with Sapir, stating that “When two chicks hatch from the same egg, the egg usually has two yolks. Usually, one embryo out-competes the other and only one chick survives to hatch. Many time both embryos die before hatch.”

Laura Erickson, known as the “Dr. Ruth of Ornithology,” also added some input explaining that “In one study of more than 1100 chicken eggs, double yolks were found only three times – that is, in less than 1/3 of one percent. In another, larger study, 2.8% of chicken eggs were double-yolked. Very few double-yolked eggs hatch.”

Sapir adds, “When twin chicks are born, they usually need help such as a human cracking the egg shell for them.”

She concludes, “Since all the chicks looked perfectly healthy when we came in on Monday and since none (as far as we’re concerned) had aid at birth, this is a confusing event.”

While the students haven’t come to a definite conclusion of what exactly happened in this rare scenario, one thing is for certain - they sure are enjoying the fluffy new chicks.