There were ‘egg-citing’ times for the children of Scoil Iosagain this week as their long-awaited chicks finally hatched.
Pupils at the Buncrana school have been watching and waiting for the past three weeks along with the people of the town, who have been viewing the progress on a live web feed.
They were all rewarded on Monday, when the first two chicks hatched, followed by eight more.
The ten chicks have become quite the attraction at the school and are being looked after by the pre-school and Junior Infants classes, who told the Journal they were the “mammies and daddys” of the chicks.
The children’s teachers, Mrs Bridgeen Doherty and Mrs. Marie Houston-Lee told how 20 eggs were donated to the school by Barney O’Donnell from Drumfries.
Mr. O’Donnell had been approached by fifth class pupil James O’Hagan, who has also been instrumental in taking care of the chicks.
“There’s great excitement as the pupils, school staff and the local community watched the live feed”Teacher Mrs. Doherty
The school received 20 eggs and the pupils ascertained that 10 of these were fertilised through ‘candling.’
An incubator and brooder were purchased and a web cam was set up.
Mrs. Doherty added: “There’s great excitement as the pupils, school staff and the local community watched the live feed” and waited for the first chick to hatch.
It did so at 6am on Monday morning, followed by the nine others.
This is not the first time that the school has hatched chicks, as it was first done 13 years ago by former teacher Mrs Houston.
It was a great success and the school wanted to repeat that again.
Mrs. Doherty said the project linked with a school curriculum in a number of ways, including teaching the pupils about the lifecycle awhile also allowing them to enhance skills in creative writing and science.
The web cam also provided an interactive element and the pupils are also learning about looking after the chicks.
All ten chicks are currently in the school, near reception and the children regularly check on their progress as they go to and from their classes.
Mrs Houston-Lee revealed that the chicks will all go to good homes.
Three of them will be kept by the school itself and there are plans to build a chicken coop and hen house in the school gardens.
The children will be the carers and will be able to see how the egg became a chick, which will later lay eggs itself.
The rest of the chicks will be taken by some of the school’s teachers and a local farmer will take the rest.