Three new friends joined West Patent Elementary School this fall. Mocha, Butterscotch and Oreo — the school’s chickens — have been a huge hit with students and staff as they learn to care for them and integrate them into the school community.
Classes met their new fowl friends at the beginning of the year, giving both the students and the chickens a little time to get used to each other. Since then, classes have been caring for the chickens (sometimes for a week at a time), with students rotating through different jobs.
“Everyone has a job,” explained fifth grader Christopher Maldonado.
He and classmate Chloe Bjarkadottir rattled off a list of different jobs including things like gatekeeper, egg checker, feeder and chicken sketcher.
“The most disgusting job, which Christopher did, is checking the chicken poop,” Chloe said.
Christopher was unbothered by the job, noting that no one else wanted to do it so he volunteered.
“There’s a tray and you pull it out, walk it over to the compost and drop it in.”
A more popular job seems to be feeding the chickens — or giving them treats.
“I want to try being the treat feeder,” Chloe said. “When the whole fifth grade went to meet the chickens, we got to feed them mealworms. I want to do that again because it was fun.”
Chloe and Christopher’s teacher, Jill Kurlanzik, has been impressed with how well students are doing with the chickens.
“My students did an incredible job making sure that the chickens were well cared for throughout the week we looked after them,” she said. “They greeted them each day, fed them, changed their bedding and even got to check for eggs! It was amazing to witness the students taking such great pride in caring for the chickens. Mocha, Butterscotch and Oreo are lucky to be a part of the West Patent community!”