Young northwest Fresno students learning to tend chickens

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The ag program at Fairmont School in northwest Fresno is branching out.

The farm to fork garden experience now includes a brand new chicken coop -- complete with four donated chickens.

"We're hopeful that will be an enriching experience for them seeing they are growing up in a community so rich in agriculture," said Lauren Gulley, program director.

The birds are already bringing excitement and fresh eggs.

Gentle hands greeted the new flock. Within the next few weeks, those little hands will learn what it takes to tend to the chickens.

"Every day, they are going to share the responsibilities. One class is going to be responsible for checking the feed, one for the water, the older class, the kindergarten class is going to be responsible for the eggs," said ag science coordinator, Andrew Carder.

The chickens' diet will change with the season since it will include scraps from the garden.

"A lot of studies have shown that if kids participate in the process of growing the food, harvesting, planting seeds, they are more likely to eat it. It also incorporates eating healthier food, so that's always great," said garden teacher Annie Falk.

Fairmont school leaders say the unveiling was extra special since each student was able to submit names for the chickens.

"We spent some time with the chickens, and they picked their names. So, just based on personality. Chickens are very interesting in their personalities."

The students host a farmers market to offer fresh produce and eggs to their families. Donations given at the market are then graciously given to a local non-profit that serves kids.
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