Chicks in our chapel

In August 2017, as part of a Spiritual Care project, quail eggs were incubated and hatched. We were overwhelmed by the response from our young people, families, and staff who all felt part of the journey of our chicks, which brought joy, love and hope.

In Easter 2018 our project grew and after three weeks with us, our hen chicks hatched on Good Friday to great excitement from the many people, young and old, that got involved across our Trust - and that was it. Chicks are now a firm part of our traditions at our Children's Hospital.

Take a look at our video:

Although it’s a lot of fun, there are a number of reasons why this project is so important to us. Our aims are to:

  • Give children, families and staff the opportunity to see new life birthing in the hospital and, in doing so, bring hope
  • Offer the opportunity for reflection on a number of different aspects of our lives at the Children’s Hospital, including waiting, patience, excitement, sadness, love, touch and hope
  • Engage and support spirituality such as meaning-making, connection, hope, lifting spirits  
  • Provide a safe space to explore disappointments, sadness, loss (such as incubated eggs not hatching, or young chicks not being strong enough to survive)
  • Allow a natural reflection of the faith we each have – in God or a significant other
  • Provide a sense of belonging – these are our chicks
  • Offer a sense of safety – a place where the chicks may be held. Animals are a great source of bringing hope and love to a place
  • Give children, who are often in beds for a long time or in wheelchairs, an opportunity to experience the usual human touch and adults an opportunity to receive some hope
  • Provide a ‘together’ space, where all know they are welcomed and may come to meet with others perhaps they had not talked to before
  • Provide an avenue of pure fun for children, families and staff
  • Allow chance for children’s voices to be heard, in the chick visiting book and other activities
  • Provide opportunities for fun activities in the Chapel and beyond.

Take a look at our aims in video format:

We’ll be updating this page regularly so please keep checking back.

You can also follow us on Twitter (@Bham_Childrens) and Facebook (@BirminghamChildrensHospital) for the latest updates or search for updates using the hashtag #BCHChickWatch.

The future of our chicks

All of our chick babies have good, loving homes at the end of the project, which is incredibly important for us to arrange before we start incubation. 

Chicks gallery

First chick hatched

All four chicks

Paul Nash with chicks

Staff meet our Chicks

Staff and patients meet the chicks

A patient meets the chicks

Visiting siblings meet the chicks

A patient holds a chick