Bluebirds and Grasshoppers were very excited to hatch a clutch of 8 chicken eggs this spring, thanks to the generosity of the PTA. The eggs were part of a programme by an ethical company who provide an incubator and brooder box, along with all the support and know-how needed to care for them in class, then collect the chicks once they are hatched and ensure they are happily re-homed. They have many free-range farms across the country that will rear our newly-hatched chicks in delightful surroundings. They may also go to smallholders, enthusiasts and hobbyists (none go to commercial farms).
Not only did the children get the experience of life cycles and growth and development, the programme also encouraged social interaction and promoted caring and nurturing skills.
“Putting these eggs in a classroom is a splendid way to stimulate discussion about life.” Professor Paul Howard-Jones, Educational Neuroscientist, University of Bristol.
(Secret Lives of 4-Year-Olds – Channel 4)
That's what the scientists report, but this is what our in-house experts have to say:
"The eggs have got little baby chicks inside," Neena
"I can hear them cheeping. They are ready to come out!" William
"The incubator keeps them warm because their mummy is not there," Felicity
"They’ve got more room in the brooder box. Their feathers are growing. They want to fly," Iona
"When they go to the farm they will be mummy hens,” Maya
Many other classes in the school came by across the fortnight to visit the chicks and lots of children got to stroke and hold them too.
Year R was also very lucky to meet a fully-grown hen, Pika, that belonged to Nathan in Year 1. Now we know that our chicks are going to get a lot bigger, and a lot faster and noisier!
Check out our album in the photo gallery for videos and images throughout our chicks' development.