Kilbehenny NS students Tess Casey (5th class), Mischa Spillane (4th class) and Louis Gorey (4th class) holding three of the chickens that they incubated at the school. Included is principal Stephen Walsh. (SQ-d)

Under the watchful eye of the students of Kilbehenny NS and with the help of teacher John Horgan, four little chicks have thrived and will soon become egg-laying hens.

Principal Stephen Walsh explained that the chicks and the incubation equipment were brought to them by John Horgan who taught the children about the stages of development for the growth of the chicks.

“They got to watch the development of the chicks every day and they looked after them in the classroom until they were big enough to go out to the chicken coop, which had been a present from Ballymaloe House and organic farm,” the principal explained.

He added that they are lucky in that they have ample space at the school for things like the chicken coop and the school garden, which bring different elements into how the children can learn.

Mr Walsh added that for the children who are not from a farming background, it gives them a wonderful opportunity to be involved in something like this.

Students Leah Geary (fourth class) and Eimear Slattery (third class) also gave a presentation on the incubation of the chicks at the recent Ballymaloe LitFest. There is also a rota in place so that the children take turns to feed and keep watch over the chicks.

“The kids really love it and with the rota system, it makes the children responsible and they can observe the life cycle of the chicks,” John Horgan explained.

John himself is from Kilworth and they always had chicks at home, so this is what inspired him to bring the experience of incubating chicks into the school.