PORT LAVACA – The sight of a beak pipping out of a white shell caught the attention of Cayden John Zambrano’s curious 1-year-old mind.
As his family moved on to the next agriculture exhibit, Cayden crawled back to catch a glimpse of the wet, recently hatched chicks.
“It’s cool that the kids get a firsthand experience seeing the chicks crack out of the egg and then seeing them walk around after they are hatched,” said Jason Zambrano, Cayden’s dad.
The Calhoun County Fair opened Tuesday with carnival entertainment and rare agriculture opportunities for the community to learn from.
The Kids Ag Discovery Zone is a new attraction that was added this year, said Geri Kline, Extension Service agent for agriculture and natural resources for Calhoun County.
One of the first sights fairgoers see when they enter the agriculture building is the eggs hatching followed by chicks who are 1 to 2 days old.
Kline said they have eggs that are scheduled to hatch each day during the fair.
It takes 21 days on average for an egg to hatch once the incubation begins. The chicks are expected to hatch within a 24-hour period.
About 1,000 students from Calhoun County will participate in school tours Thursday and Friday.
Other subjects children will learn about include gardening facts, insects, and information about the four major crops grown in Calhoun County – cotton, corn, soybeans and sorghum.
Outside the agriculture building, the Noah’s Way Petting Zoo had an assortment of goats, sheep, lambs, water buffalo, a zebra, a kangaroo named Boomer and a tortoise named Roberto.
Fairgoers can interact with the animals for free, as long as they don’t pick them up or chase them.
“We have animals that most people will never see in their lifetime,” said Justin Kirkland, manager.
Savana Beaver, 33, of Seadrift, watched her son, Dwight Beaver, 10, pet a camel as she, too, was amazed by animals she was seeing for the first time.
“The petting zoo is a great opportunity for people who live in town and not in the…