***We need your help***
On Sunday, there was a large group of 6 boys who gained access to Middleton Primary School and can be seen on cctv taking a broom handle into the chicken coop and then come out with a chicken by the neck.
A number of our school chickens were killed and we are in the process of identifying the culprits and the police are involved.
We have had these chickens for a number of years. We started with about 10 and then families who had bought chickens (and ducks) couldn't keep them and we adopted them. This increased our numbers, along with the addition of chicks in the summer (naturally incubated and naturally reared by their mother - which the children loved to see). Some have died naturally - the last time someone broke in some were killed. We did not add any more to our numbers to replace these (one parent donated money for us to buy some more - but we used this to fund the chickens). Last week - we had 15 - we now have 10 (due to 5 being killed). Foxes and dogs have not killed our chickens - children breaking into our school have. We have CCTV, a perimeter fence and our chickens are in a secure coop.
They are let out most days to wander around the field and put back in their coop at night. All the years we have had chickens on a almost daily basis we have taken out a group of children to feed and water the chickens. We also collect their eggs and spend some time with them. The children LOVE this. We have also assigned jobs to some children who have struggled with their behaviour - to have responsibility for feeding and some cleaning - this has helped them. Having chickens in our school has made a big difference to many children - they are part of our curriculum and a part of outdoor learning.
We are working to secure the coop further which is where we need your help!
The incidents of the last few nights have been deeply disturbing but should not stop us from what we do - yes we will have to consider whether or not we keep chickens but it would be such a huge shame to lose our school pets due to the awful behaviour of a minority of children.
Please see here for the link to the news article
Yorkshire Evening Post
- Terence Wood
- Sharron Scrupps
- Michael Green
- Megan Miller
- John Russell
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