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.

Last 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.

Take a look at last year’s video:

We’re delighted to be doing it again once again this year, hoping to lift even more spirits along the way. This year, our chicks will be hatching a day earlier (Maundy Thursday)

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 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.

Find out how the chicks can help with having difficult conversations

The future of our chicks

All of our chick babies will have good homes to go to at the end of the project, which was incredibly important for us to arrange before we started the incubation. We’ll post photos of where they will be homed at a later date.