The community at Queens View – Market Street Early Learning Centre have recently welcomed a couple of rather curiously named additions to the centre. Flower Hotcakes and Lollypops are the resident chickens who have become quite at home in their inner-city abode and are already a popular fixture at the centre.
A couple of months ago the Chicks R Us program came into the centre and gave children an opportunity to witness the hatching of a few eggs in an incubator. After this experience, the children showed a keen interest in chickens. The educators decided that it would be great for the children to be able to have their own chickens for the centre as part of a long term project.
Working with the Chicks R Us farm, the centre arranged for two chickens to become a part of the centre’s family. When asked where the unique names came from, Ashleigh Adams, Educational Leader at Queens View said the children were responsible for coming up with a few name suggestions. From there, Ashleigh made a graph with the shortlist of names and the children then created symbols to represent their votes for the names. After a month, we tallied the votes from the children and families and the names Flower Hotcakes and Lollypops won!
Bringing the chickens into the space was a slow and steady process in order for all parties to become comfortable with each other. After a little while we began to handle the chickens which was followed by the children patting and picking the chickens up. This was supported by discussions on how to handle chickens respectfully, why the chickens have a coop and what they might do on the weekends as well as coming up with guidelines for interacting with the birds. The Early Learners children also created signs to make visitors aware of our feathered friends.
Ashleigh says, “The children are very respectful of the chickens and we have guidelines for the interactions such as ‘don’t touch their eyes’. The chickens are used to being touched now by both educators and teachers.”
Enjoying their new home, the chickens are well cared for. “We have specific chicken food provided from the farm but they also eat some of our leftovers such as fruit and veggies and worms from the worm farm,” mentions Ashleigh.
Flower Hotcakes and Lollypops have become a much loved part of the centre and give children the unique opportunity to interact with a farm animal on a daily basis. To see this fantastic childcare centre in the CBD for yourself and to meet our resident chickens, book yourself a tour via our online form here. We look forward to seeing you at our centre!