Hartlepool nursery children get hands-on caring for chicks

Young children have been enjoying having hands-on experience looking after a group of week-old chicks.

Pre-school children at Chatham Children’s Centre have dubbed their furry new friends the Chatham Chicks.

Ailsa Smith and James Crow who go to the Chatham Children�"s Centre, Chatham Road, Hartlepool, with one of the chicks that were hatched at the centre.

Ailsa Smith and James Crow who go to the Chatham Children�"s Centre, Chatham Road, Hartlepool, with one of the chicks that were hatched at the centre.

The centre’s Nursery Here I Come group took delivery of nine eggs last week – and within days they were coming out of their shells.

Gemma Bates, children’s centre worker, said: “The children think they are amazing and it’s just been a fantastic experience for them.

“The eggs came to us last Monday and the first one hatched on the Tuesday afternoon.”

The centre received the eggs from Bowland Farm, in Lancashire, as part of its Hatching 4 Schools programme.

Christine Carnall and Hannah Hall with one of the new chicks hatched at the Chatham Children's Centre, Chatham Street, Hartlepool.

Christine Carnall and Hannah Hall with one of the new chicks hatched at the Chatham Children's Centre, Chatham Street, Hartlepool.

Gemma added: “It has brought out the children’s nurturing instincts, as they all want to care and hold them.

“It has also helped them to learn about the life cycle and know that eggs don’t just come from the shop shelf.”

The group has recorded its experiences in a special book full of photographs through the various stages.

They have also been busy doing paintings of the new arrivals and learning fascinating facts including that they are the closest living relative to a T-Rex.

Gemma Bates childrens centre worker with one of the new chicks hatched at the Chatham Childrens Centre, Chatham Road, Hartlepool

Gemma Bates childrens centre worker with one of the new chicks hatched at the Chatham Childrens Centre, Chatham Road, Hartlepool

One of the new chicks hatched at the Chatham Children's Centre, Chatham Road Hartlepool.

One of the new chicks hatched at the Chatham Children's Centre, Chatham Road Hartlepool.