It was all drama on Thursday 31st March and not an English teacher in sight. Yes-the eggs were hatching in the Science Lab. 9am and six chicks were already on their feet and only one egg remained unhatched. Caoimhe Clifford from Beaufort had provided the eggs from her farm and so was installed as Poultry Manager. As the last chick struggled to make it out of its shell Caoimhe spotted the crisis. She rolled up her sleeves, put on the gloves and took charge of the first Caesarean chick birth in the school. It could easily have been confused with a scene from Grey’s Anatomy as droves of students filed into the viewing gallery. Kieran Hobbins suggested sending for Danny O’ Sullivan the local Vet but Jessie Griffin said there was no time and to go for it. Caoimhe worked efficiently and delivered a live blond chick. Phew! Seven chicks out of eight eggs, an 87.5% success rate! “That’s another grade ‘A’ for Clifford’s poultry farm” declared a delighted Caoimhe.
Many offers to house the chicks have already been secured. Following a few weeks of TLC they will eventually move to their new homes. Last years hatched chicks were sold to a North Kerry poultry farmer for an undisclosed sum and, indeed, eggs were also exported last year to Mr Maguire’s mother in Fermanagh. In a recent B.B.C. Nth. Ireland TV documentary Mrs Maguire declared that her Beaufort hens were among “the best layers” she ever had and were proving to be a bit of a tourist attraction in the Erne County.
As I write plans are already afoot for the arrival of ducklings in early summer. Watch this space!