After team members at Colten Care’s Avon Reach in Mudeford put a heated incubator with embryo eggs centre stage in the home’s lounge, residents waited eagerly for the new arrivals.
They were transfixed as, one by one, the eggs hatched over the course of several days with, eventually, eight chicks welcomed into the world.
Companionship Team Leader Megan Castell said:
“It was the most magical time and our residents were totally fascinated.
“It was so interactive when the chicks arrived as residents could get up close and hold them.”
Among those enjoying the births was June Chandler who grew up on a farm in Wiltshire and loved being surrounded by animals.
June said she knew exactly what to expect when the chicks were born, recalling happy girlhood memories of looking after poultry, lambs and piglets.
“The chickens were no trouble,” remembered June. “The ones we owned had a little run but had to be wired in because of the jackdaws.
“We also had a little lamb named Larry and when the piglets were born we used to bring them home and warm them up by the fire. They were little devils really, very wriggly.”
All eight chicks born at Avon Reach have now left to go to good homes, either free range farms locally or to people with existing hen flocks.