The eggs definitely came first at Southerndown Care Home in Chipping Norton. 30 March 2015 to be precise, courtesy of Living Eggs.
At first nothing happened, then, almost imperceptibly at first, one or two began to move, a small crack appeared and, could it possibly be true, soft chirps could be heard from inside the shell!
‘I can’t stop looking at them,’ said wide eyed resident Jean Phillips. ‘Just in case I miss anything.’
‘This takes me back to my childhood,’ exclaimed fellow resident, Irene Chesters. ‘I was brought up on a farm and we always kept chickens and hens.’
After some hours the first damp, exhausted chick emerged – and just lay there.
Southerndown’s Maintenance Manager, Dominic Kiewiet, who has experience of chicken breeding, assured everyone that all was well. Once the chick had recovered from the effort of hatching it was fluffy and yellow, chirping happily and ready to be moved from the incubator to the warm box.
Another crack, another chirp and by the end of the day Southerndown could boast two new residents.
‘I’m thrilled, this has been such a success,’ said Activities Coordinators, Stacey Davies and Karen Berwick, who organised the event, as they looked at the small crowd that had gathered.
‘I’ve got a crick in my neck from watching,’ said a visiting friend of resident Millie Shurmer, ‘but it’s been worth it. New life, it’s a miracle every time.’
Eventually nine of the ten eggs hatched. The chicks are cleaned out daily and their food and water checked regularly. Both staff and residents enjoyed helping out with this.
‘This has made Easter even more special,’ said General Manager, Mandy Vettraino. ‘Spring is certainly sprung at Southerndown.’