Happy Chuck News

On a glorious sunny summer morning some weeks ago, we were fortunate enough to find 8 healthy eggs in the chicken coop, having just witnessed total devastation in the chicken run. During the night, a fox had seemingly jumped over the electric fence that was protecting the runs and coops, and killed 3 bantam hens, 2 lovely brown hens (who used to sit-down for you to pick them up) and 2 beautiful young black hens only 12 months old, and last but certainly not least, a very handsome Bantam cockerel.

These creatures had supplied many delicious eggs which the young people were able to collect daily, to make simple meals with and create yummy yellow cakes too.

The young people were able to help care for the chickens and enjoy the environment in which the hens lived in the green paddock. I often encouraged my 1-1 young people to stop and listen to the  happy clucking and  chattering sounds that the chickens made when we entered the enclosure to collect the eggs or to feed and water them. It was good to hear the chickens enthusiasm and pleasure in response to our presence. And it was a great opportunity to encourage the young people to consider why this was, and give opportunity for discussions around empathy and what it takes to care for, and our right to be cared for too.

For the young people to stay a while, to listen and sense the countryside around them, the smells and sounds encompassing us, helping to keep them in the moment and appreciate the space and sense of calm. 

It was shocking to see the carnage that morning, but it in nature, a cruel reality that maybe a hungry female vixen fox had hungry and fast growing cubs to feed? 

We found the only surviving Bantam cockerel running around in circles, clearly distressed, much effort was made to catch him, and after a while we managed to scoop him up.

Once we had caught this traumatised little creature, it was clear that he had been attacked and "gnawed” by the fox too, but the brave little man had fought for his life and survived. After treating his wounds, we put him into a clean little hutch right by the Acorn Reception so that he would hopefully feel safe and protected. 

“Silver” the cockerel was carefully placed in the coop nesting boxes and this is where he stayed for days, only coming into the run for occasional water and feed pellets. His early morning wake up  crow silenced, so traumatised  by this horrendous experience. 

It was such a joy to find this nest of eggs on that fateful morning. Eagerly we collected them up, got the incubator prepared and with optimism and fingers crossed that they ere fertilised, we placed the precious eggs inside.

Over the next few weeks the students, young people and the The Seeds of Change and Acorn team faithfully turned the incubator and checked the humidity and water levels and temperatures.

This morning to a great reception, the chicks have begun to hatch. How exciting will it be to see what arrives, what breed will each one be, what colour, how many hens and cockerels?

What a great learning opportunity and cause for reflection for the young people, as I observed the looks of amazement, wonder and happy faces surrounding this little container of new life,  it felt such a happy time to share.

Today, i hope we will talk and discuss how, out of bad can come good, where there is life there is hope, where there is loss and sorrow we try to keep the faith; believing that new life can begin when bad is done, good may prevaial and with every disappointment, keeping an open heart and an optimistic head, there is always the opportunity for things to turn out ok…… there is always an opportunity to re write a life story…..

Hopefully over the next few days the chicks will all  safely make their way into the world and be moved into the nursery box until they are stronger and they can join “Silver", the proud Dad and start another chapter. 

One thing is for sure, there will be a new task for the groups of young people to create even more of a safe space for these very special chucks…...