Just before Easter, there was a rather unusual huddle in the Conservatory at St Dominic’s Care Home in Kelvedon, a group of residents were sitting close to each other staring at a glass sided box. On closer inspection it became apparent; they weren’t engrossed in the latest soap, but watching a glass box full of chickens’ eggs! Ten eggs under a bright light and one of the shells had a tiny hole and a chick was breaking its way out!

This was the latest innovative scheme organised by the management at St Dominic’s, Living Eggs, a scheme where a company delivers a small incubator with eggs about to hatch. The eggs are delivered to Care Homes and Schools or any other organisations who would like them.

The residents, carers, families, everyone, became obsessed as one by one the chicks broke out of their shells and their feathers dried and they became the fluffy Easter Chicks seen on the cards. Two days later the chicks were moved to a brood box, also supplied and residents could handle and see them and enjoy their playful antics. Everything is supplied, eggs, incubator, brood box, food, water dish, instructions and lots of accompanying activities, quizzes about eggs, information about chickens, we became adept at Chicken jokes, why did the chicken cross the road?

The chicks were a fabulous addition to the home for the ten days they were with us. Not only the pleasure of watching them hatch, but they prompted lots of conversations, reminiscing, memories.

They have now gone to live on a nearby farm, sadly the thought of nearby foxes prevented us from keeping them ourselves.

A fabulous scheme which I am sure we will repeat.