April 27, 2012
-- One of the school's families donated the 18 chickens and provided the incubators in which they were kept for the first few weeks. Several families helped to build and paint the fenced chicken coop where they are now housed. Children from infants through Middle School will variously observe their activities, gather their eggs, sell some eggs, and use other eggs for classroom cooking and baking projects. "Students will learn how to care for the chickens as they mature, and will see first-hand where some of their food comes from," said Marsha Stencel, the head of school. "There will be plenty of hands-on opportunities for students of all ages to integrate the chickens into their life science, art, math, cooking, and writing studies," she continued.
The chicken breeds at the school include Auracanna which lays blue or green eggs, Buff Orpingtons, Speckled Sussex, and Barred Rocks which all lay brown eggs, and a Cuckoo Maran which lays a dark chocolate color egg.
SummerQuest students will be responsible for locking the chickens in their coop at the end of the long summer days, and will also be responsible for ensuring the chickens' food and water supplies are kept constant. "We have to keep them safe from predators," explained a responsible second grade student, who enjoyed applying an appropriate new vocabulary word.