Peep this: Chicks hatch at Wareham High School

Mar 30, 2021

Students in Culinary Arts teacher Joseph Breda’s classes have some unusually small, feathered classmates this spring: Chicks!

Breda brought an incubator into the High School earlier this spring with fertilized eggs. The first chick, born on March 18, was named “Chef” by Madison D., a culinary student.

Breda said the chicks have been a great addition to the classroom.

“You know how you can sit in front of a fire at night and just stare into it? It’s like the chickens with the hatch. It’s like looking in a fish tank — drops your blood pressure,” Breda said. 

Breda said that this is actually the second time he has brought chicks to the high school. Several years ago, the incubator lived in the biology classroom, where the teacher candled the eggs to show the students the chick embryos growing inside.

The incubator Breda used to keep the eggs warm so the chicks could grow is the one he purchased for his own children for Christmas several years ago.

He said he planned to hatch chicks in class last year, but covid made that impossible.

This year, with some students still attending school remotely, he said he’s kept a camera on the chicks during those remote classes so his students at home don’t miss out.

“It was a good experience for them to see the hatch, and taking care of an animal brings some responsibility, keeping them clean,” Breda said. “You never know, you might push someone toward farming, landscaping, veterinarians, or just a hobby.”

He said that the students in the young adult transitional program, led by Lisa Simpson, have been particularly helpful with the care and keeping of the chicks. Those students have also started growing a variety of plants in the school’s greenhouse.

And as the weather gets warmer, the plants — and the chicks — will be moved outside. 

Student James L'Heuruex, who is in his fourth year of woodworking classes, is building a coop for the chickens to live in. 

The coop will be part of the outdoor garden at the high school.

Breda said he wanted to thank the Wareham Garden Club for their assistance with the garden over the years, including their donated time and resources.