CHILDREN were eggcited to meet six new feathered friends - Goujon, Nugget, Kiev, Satay, Korma and Balti!

Pupils at St Joseph’s RC primary school in Winsford have rescued battery hens and are now learning how to look after them.

The free range birds have settled into their new home and have already laid 36 eggs!

Headteacher Martine Gum said: “The children were absolutely fascinated that the eggs were still warm and amused that they come out of the hen’s bottom!

Northwich Guardian:

Ted Butterfield, Amelia Do and Izzy Butterfield with the rescue hens

“The children will be collecting the eggs and learning how to care for the hens, making sure they have food and are cleaned out, ensuring their basic needs are met.

“The hens will support children in learning about empathy and will provide a listening ear to anyone who wants to tell them their worries.

“It has been a very positive venture supported by the wider school community.”

Mum Sarah Thornton who volunteers for Fresh Start for Hens (FSFH), a not for profit organisation dedicated to rehoming hens, organised the adoption.

Northwich Guardian:

Ted Butterfield with some of the freshly laid eggs

The hens will be used to enhance the school’s extensive emotional wellbeing programme.

The project has won support from families and the community.

An existing shed was converted into a chicken coup with help from Stan Foster, a pupil’s grandad and dad of deputy headteacher Amy Butterfield.

Northwich Guardian:

Izzy Butterfield inside the chicken coup

Staff from S and G Garden and Property Maintenance and DS Joinery also lent a hand.

Dad Peter Barcoe donated a large run on behalf of Resmar Ltd and mum Suzanne Brimelow supplied paving slabs to ensure the chicken run is fox proof.

Eggs will be sold and the money raised will pay for their feed.

Children are no stranger to animals as they currently have a therapy dog called Teddy, stick insects and rabbits named Pie and Casserole.

Northwich Guardian:

Ted Butterfield, headteacher Martine Gum, Amelia Do and Izzy Butterfield with the rescue hens

Pupils used to have guinea pigs, hamsters and fish. Sadly their cat Ghost was run over outside school at Christmas.

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“Looking after animals teaches them to understand about death, “ said Mrs Gum.

Four more hens are coming on June 22 when FSHS is seeking homes for 2,400 hens.

Anyone interested can visit