Hens with their new chicks at Scoil Naomh Phadraig boys school in Mountmellick
A pair of hens who moved into Scoil Phadraig Naofa boys school in Mountmellick this school year have just hatched their first two chicks.
Holly and Henrietta moved into a cosy henrun built by caretaker Steve McCann last December.
Their names were picked after many suggestions by the boys, who all paid €1 to offer names, with the money going to the local Vincent de Paul.
The hens settled in well and they get daily visits from all the children.
Sixth class boys follow a rota to feed the hens and clean out their run. Whoever is on duty gets to collect the eggs for their hard work to bring home and eat.
Two chicks hatched out on June 18, to the delight of everybody.
“There was great excitement,” said Margaret Keegan the vice principal.
She said that having hens has been very educational for the boys in the school.
“We very much value a holistic education. There is great excitement at seeing this new life. The boys have learned the responsibility needed to look after animals, and it gets them out of the classroom to connect with living things,” Ms Keegan said.
The hens and their chicks have since started their summer holidays in a teacher’s garden, and will return for school in September.