Chickens in Schools

You may recall back in June I announced my collaboration with the South East branch of Slow Food Ireland when we launched a competition for national schools in the SouthEast, with the winners receiving a chicken coop, chickens and all the bits and bobs required to get them set up as poultry keepers.  Well since then the Summer has come and gone, and all that remains is to pick the winners.

Eggs (10) There will be four schools who will win this amazing prize – one in Carlow, Kilkenny, Waterford and Wexford.  The winners will be announced during Waterford Harvest Festival next weekend.  Sadly, I can’t be there, but I do believe none other than Darina Allen will be announcing the winners.  When the coops are delivered, I will be visiting the winning schools and teaching the adults and children how to look after their new flock (a certain local radio station might just tag along with me to talk to the children).  I can’t wait to get started!

DSCF7349  We couldn’t have put this project together without huge help from Old McDonalds Farm & Feed Store in Carlow who are more than happy to answer questions from novice poultry-keepers.

Teaching children about where their food comes from sits firmly at the core of so much of my work and  I am so thrilled to be involved in establishing the next generation of poultry keepers in the South East.

Eggs by

I’ll keep you posted over the coming weeks.


You’ll find my guide to preserving herbs in the current edition of Irish Country magazine.

For my favourite honey remedies, check out the current edition of Home Farmer and you’ll find the story of how I went from the corporate world to the good life in GIY’s Grow magazine.

“Food from an Irish Garden” is available in bookstores nationwide.

4 thoughts on “Chickens in Schools

  1. Hi Fiona from london. My sister Ann got 2new hens the three she already had are not happy They not getting on one is lame think there was a row ???? Will they get used to one another Cora.

    Sent from my iPad

    • Ideally when you are introducing new hens to a flock, you introduce them at night into the coop when the resident hens are asleep. I wouldn’t worry too much as pecking order has to be established and once the new hens acknowledge they are at the bottom of the pecking order (and let the older hens eat first etc), there shouldn’t be a problem. If things get worse, she could always remove the older birds for a day or two, then introduce them back to the coop at night when the new birds are asleep. Tell her to mail or call me if things get worse. And of course, keep a close eye on them over the next week. Fiona

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