Ten-year-old Andrea o'callaghan holds one of Moyderwell Primary School's newest arrivals. DOMNICK WALSHPUPILS at a primary school got an egg-stra special surprise this week when the first of their Easter chicks made an appearance.
However, the fourth class at Moyderwell Primary School in Tralee, Co Kerry, has learned not to count their chicks before they've hatched.
Out of 25 eggs, only 16 have fully hatched so far and one was unfertilised, so will not hatch.
The idea to incubate the eggs in the classroom was hatched by class teacher Maura Duggan.
She said her father, John, acted as a consultant on the project and the chicks will eventually be returned to his farm at Farmersbridge in Tralee.
"I've felt like Mother Hen in the maternity ward and we've had a lot of visitors since they've arrived," Ms Duggan told the Irish Independent.
The project was part of a science experiment and the 20 willing midwives in the urban school, most of whom have never even seen a live hen, are now experts.
"They have to be kept at 37.7 degrees and while they're inside the egg they eat the yolk before they hatch," said Daniel Ayodeji (9), who's named his chick Fluffy.
"You have to turn them every day but you're not allowed to turn them for the last three days and you're not supposed to help them hatch," added Matthew Moriarty-O'Riordan.
Ten-year-old Thomas White enjoys feeding time the most.
"They get special chicken food twice a day and they go mental when they're fed," he says.
"I wanted to do something different that the children would remember and learn from," said Ms Duggan.
"We had so much fun learning about this life cycle."