Baby Chicks Arrive at Trevose Day School!
On April 10th, excitement filled the air as our friend Bill Harte of Rosedale Mills opened a box to reveal eight beautiful baby chicks – the newest members of the Trevose Day School family!
Our feathered friends were born on April 7 and we received two of each of the following breeds: White Rocks, Red Stars, Black Sex Link and Buff Brahma. Bill and his crew kindly set up our spacious new coop, which our little winged wonders will move into once they are sixty days old. Until then, they’ll enjoy warmth and comfort living under a heat lamp indoors.
Each classroom had the opportunity to “adopt” a chick and name it. The preschoolers in Mrs. Hacker’s class suggested names and then went around the circle at their morning meeting and placed a vote for their favorite. Cupcake was the winner with eight votes! The students in Mrs. Buckley’s class ran a much tighter race; after voting on their top picks of Pecky, Nancy, Alice and Phoenix they had a tie. After a revote, Nancy won! Her full name is Fancy Miss Nancy, but to the rest of her pals in the coop — Tweety, SpongeBob, Rosey, Daisy Sunshine, Olivia, and Poulette (which means little chicken) — it’s just Nancy.
Each classroom is on a weekly rotation to feed, clean and exercise the chicks. The younger students will change the water, clean and fill their food bowl, and let them out for supervised exercise in the classroom. The older students will do all of these activities and in addition help to keep the coop clean. Each group cannot wait until it is their turn! The classrooms also make daily visits to say hello to their chicks and take them out to cuddle and pet them.
Chickens are fun, adorable and low maintenance pets, and their benefits to a curious classroom are multifold. Raising chickens in our community offers wonderful opportunities to teach valuable life lessons. Caring for animals fosters responsibility and empathy in our children; they will learn that even if they are busy or the weather isn’t nice, they still need to go out and feed the chickens and clean the coop. The children will also expand their understanding of sustainability and recycling by feeding the chickens leftovers from their lunch instead of putting it in the trash. When they clean up after the birds, the students will create compost for our gardens using the chicken bedding and manure.
In about six months, when the birds are old enough to lay eggs, the young caregivers will see first hand where their food actually comes from (hint: it is not directly from the grocery store). Our goal is to donate our eggs to a food bank or local family in need.
Bill Harte kindly left us with lots of care instructions for our chicks like how to feed them, hold them and the best practices for keeping them warm and clean. We have also been consulting the fantastic online resources BackYard Chickens and My Pet Chicken for all of our other questions and concerns.
We look forward to taking care of Cupcake, Nancy, Tweety, SpongeBob, Rosey, Daisy Sunshine, Olivia and Poulette. We hope to have many years of fun and learning with our chickens, watching them grow and collecting their eggs to share withthe Trevose community.