Our hens came to Early Years today for a visit. Due to Avian Flu restrictions they can’t currently free range, as they usually do, but that doesn’t mean they don’t get out and about. Nora, the Buff Orpington, Eyeliner, the Cream Legbar and Silkie, the Silkie Bantam enjoyed all the attention. First there was lots of lively discussion about the what the children could see, different colours, shapes and textures. Different sounds and movements. The children were surprised to learn that Silkie, the small bantam, is actually our oldest hen, all our other hens were born on the same day after our hatching program in Year 5. The children enjoyed discovering how hens protect themselves from predators when they are at roost, always having at least one hen with one eye open as a lookout. Taking turns to enjoy deep sleep whilst others keep watch. They learned some other chicken facts, do you know where a hens ears are and that many of them have coloured earlobes! Silkies are blue! She also has 7 toes on each foot and her feet are feathered. The children were shocked to see that Eyeliner currently has purple feet! Miss Rowe explained that some of our Year 6 children spotted she had a cut on her foot that was bleeding heavily so they cleaned her feet and then sprayed with purple antiseptic to ensure she didn’t get poorly.
The hens are such an important part of our Harlow Green family. They are an integral part of the children’s school experience. As the children grow so they will learn how to care for the hens from bedding to feeding, health and nurture these aspects enrich the lives of the hens and of course of our children. We are also really proud that through our work with the charity Henpower we are now taking what we’ve learned about hens to our wider family at Angel Court residential home. We have been preparing their garden and building a henhouse and coop so the residents can experience the joy that we do from looking after hens. Soon we will be introducing the hens themselves and some new ones to school too. Very exciting times ahead.
For more infomation about our experience with Henpower please go to their website: https://www.equalarts.org.uk/our-work/henpower or search Henpower and Harlow Green for some some short films we have made over the years about our work together.