Class hatches a plan to see 
Mother Nature at work

Guy Mathieson and Grace Gilfillan (both P1) with a couple of the chicks at Dunnikier Primary School.
Guy Mathieson and Grace Gilfillan (both P1) with a couple of the chicks at Dunnikier Primary School.

PUPILS at a Kirkcaldy primary school have been able to answer the age-old question of what came first, the chicken or the egg?

In the case of the nursery and primary one classes at Dunnikier Primary, it was definitely the egg and they have been clucking with delight over the last couple of weeks as nine tiny chicks hatched from their shells.

Dunnikier P1 pupil project where chicks are hatched in class

Dunnikier P1 pupil project where chicks are hatched in class

To help the children in their studies on the topic ‘New Beginnings’, deputy headteacher Jillian Angus took up the opportunity to be involved in a project that would let the youngsters see the process unfold before their eyes.

A special incubator was organised and 10 fertilised chicken eggs placed beneath heat lamps, with nine eventually making an appearance.

“The children were so excited about the project and very engaged in the topic,” said Miss Angus. “As part of our ‘New Beginnings’ topic we wanted to bring learning to life and let the children see chicks hatch.

“They loved watching the eggs develop over the days and were delighted when the chicks made an appearance.

“At first the eggs were kept in an incubator at a set temperature – like a hen sitting on top of the eggs. Once they hatched they were left in the incubator for 24 hours before they were moved to their cage.

“Most of the chicks were born when it was quiet and there was no-one around, but some of the children were lucky enough to be there when a few chicks hatched. They enjoyed watching the chicks fluff up – they are a bit yucky when they first come out of the egg. The children were absolutely fascinated.”

Miss Angus added: “It’s been a wonderful project for teaching about the life cycle. And it’s also been an important lesson for the children in how to look after animals and care for them, feeding them and cleaning them.

“The project really captured their imagination and they loved being able to handle the little chicks.”

The nine chicks have now found a new home with one of parents who keeps hens.

“We’re very happy they’ve gone to a good home,” said Miss Angus. “However, the children were sad to see them go.”