Langley student Mac Dykeman has applied to patent her transport box for baby chicks. Dan Ferguson Langley Advance Times

VIDEO: B.C. student invents better way to ship baby chicks

Langley teen applies to patent innovative design

Mac Dykeman has come up with a better way of shipping baby chicks, one that has put the Langley Fine Arts school student in the running for a $5,000 innovation prize later this month.

As a 4-H poultry club member whose family raises egg layers and specialty poultry breeds, she often orders just-hatched chicks to raise.

When the birds would arrive, some were cold, underweight or injured, Dykeman said.

“I noticed when I received shipments of day-old chicks they would arrive with high mortality or morbidity rates,” Dykeman said.

Part of the problem was the square shape of the standard cardboard shipping boxes, she noticed, something that allowed chicks to get crushed into the corners.

Temperature control was another issue.

Putting a “hot pocket” warmer in the box for shipping in cold weather would mean possibly dangerous temperature spikes, and so would adding a cold pack in warmer weather.

What was needed was a box with no corners and a gentler way of managing temperatures, she decided.

“I created a round insert so the birds wouldn’t get crushed in the corners,” Dykeman said.

She added a raised false floor to the box so a shipper could slide a heat pad or cold pack in to protect the birds without making direct contact with the baby birds and risking spikes in temperatures.

READ ALSO: B.C. couple goes on ‘chicken wrangling mission’ to give Lucky a new home

Tests, including a 72-hour mock shipping that included transport by car, have proven her design ensures more chicks will survive.

“The birds would go to the edge of the box but they couldn’t get crushed,” Dykeman said, during a presentation to the Langley Advance Times in the poultry barn behind her home.

She has now applied to patent her design, “Safer Chick-Ments” and she is preparing to make a pitch to a panel of experts later this month who will decide if her idea merits a substantial cash prize.

On Tuesday, March 12, Dykeman will be one of five B.C. students invited to make presentations at Youth Innovation Day at the Vancouver convention centre.

Two prizes of $5,000 each are to be won at the “Reality Revolution Solution Pitches” run by Innovate BC and The Science Fair Foundation.

Reality revolution is defined “tech integration and the jobs of the future” by the the #BCTECHSummit, an opportunity for students to see what is new in the technology sector

Dykeman and the other students will each have two minutes to pitch their proposals to a panel of judges, with the winner to be announced at the completion of the event.

Just Posted

White Rock dog poop conspiracy picks up steam

Opponent says theory is a ‘load of crap’

Surrey MLA slams NDP poverty reduction strategy plan

Liberal MLA Marvin Hunt says the NDP’s poverty reduction plan is ‘underwhelming’

Father thanks Surrey Mountie for shooting hoops with kids, ‘changing perspectives’

‘We’re just like everyone else,’ says Surrey officer who stopped to play basketball with kids

Noted Spanish guitarist in Surrey with VSO and Rodrigo’s ‘beautiful concerto’

‘I love playing it,’ Pablo Sáinz Villegas says of famous composition ahead of Bell concert date

Surrey Board of Trade wants ‘interface’ with expert housing panel

Panel to examine trends in renting and owning toward improving access to affordable housing

Five highlights in the 2019 federal budget

Latest budget includes a sprinkling of money for voters across a wide spectrum

Avalanche control tomorrow on Highway 1

Expect closures of up to two hours east of Revelstoke

Newfoundland man caught after posting photo of himself drinking and driving

The 19-year-old took a photo of himself holding a beer bottle and cigarette while at the wheel

2019 BUDGET: As deficit grows, feds spend on job retraining, home incentives

Stronger economy last year delivered unexpected revenue bump of an extra $27.8 billion over six years

Carfentanil found in 15% of overdose deaths in January: B.C. coroner

Carfentanil is 100 times more powerful than illicit fentanyl and used to tranquilize elephants

Kids found playing darts with syringes in Vancouver Island park

Saanich police is urging people to throw out their syringes properly and safely

Disappearance of Merritt cowboy now deemed suspicious: police

Ben Tyner was reported missing when his riderless horse was discovered on a logging road

Former B.C. Electric substation, now luxury mansion, up for auction

Historic estate in Abbotsford open for bids starting Friday

RCMP divers find Volkswagen Beetle in B.C. river, two teens still missing

A woman, 18, and boy, 15, remain missing after plunging into Pend d’Oreille River

Most Read