Hens for Hire’ at Longwill School for Deaf Children- or ‘a little bit of country’ Longwill is a small Special school for Deaf children in Birmingham – landlocked and urban with many of our children living in the inner city with a high level of deprivation. For many years I have wanted to enhance our outdoor environment and particularly to give the children a real animal experience. Next problem… How nice does one have to be to a caretaker to persuade him to look after them in the holidays? Then I saw an advertisement for Hens for Hire! We’re off! The wonderful, children’s picture-book famer, Claire Peach, arrived at school with all the kit and two beautiful, ready- to- lay the next day (and they did!) fully vaccinated, beautiful chickens. They are called Henny and Penny ,they are lively, clucky, busy, not too smelly, fascinating to watch and to find out about…and the children love them and even better, do not tire of caring for them and getting the big reward of two eggs every day. We have a ‘year- group a week’ as hen monitors, we make graphs of their egg count, make mini-enterprises egg-selling weeks, write stories about their imagined adventures when they go away for their holidays, we make films about their care, we have the most engaging assemblies and ‘The Golden Egg Award’ for most creative egg use, and our sign language using pupils are able to fulfil all their language and Speaking and Listening requirements. But the best thing is….a bit like the grandchildren…Hens for Hire go home again to their other life in the holidays leaving me the guilt-free and happy!