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Happy egg, happy chick


Potty about poultry from a young age, Madeline McRanor has been raising chicks for over ten years. What started out as a hobby quickly hatched into a fully-fledged organisation dedicated to educating people about chicks and encouraging them to fall in love with fowl just as she has. That’s why in 2009 she founded the happy chick co.

“I’ve always been fascinated by chickens” says Maddie “but after starting a brood of my own I realised that I could turn my hobby into a career and share a little bit of nature education as I did so.”

To date, Madeline has delivered educational and joyful experiences to over 300 nurseries, schools and care/retirement homes across the country. With her recently renewed sponsorship from the happy egg co. Maddie will be able to share the happy chick co. experience with many more.

The sponsorship with the happy egg co. began in 2011. Following a successful trial period, the happy egg co. extended its relationship and investment meaning Maddie has been able to purchase two additional eco-friendly “chickmobiles” enabling her to increase operating capacity and range.

“the happy egg co. is delighted to once again be working with the wonderful happy chick co.” says Claire Jappy of the happy egg co. “Our “girls” (hens) always come first and Maddie is the same so it’s wonderful to know that this message is being spread in nurseries, schools and nursing homes across the country.”

So what do schools and retirement homes in these areas have to look forward to?

The hatching experience begins early in the week when the delivery is made.  The team, who know everything there is to know about chicks, sets up the incubator which ensures temperature and humidity levels are closely controlled – all the time taking great care to explain everything. Detailed information and instructions are left behind and further questions can be answered by the advice line, available 7 days a week, 7am until 10pm.

Shortly after delivery, expectant “mother hens” will see signs that their chick is on the way. They will see the eggs wobble and may even hear cheeping coming from inside the egg.  The happy chick company suggests that you make your own clucking noises at the egg – you may feel silly but it really does work and you may just hear your chick cheep back at you.

Chicks can be expected to hatch by the Thursday evening.  Once dry and fluffy, the chicks are transferred to a brooder box. Again, the happy chick company provides all the equipment the chicks need, leaving students or residents free to enjoy watching the chicks and their antics.

“I’ve been hatching chicks and raising them for over ten years and the effect that caring for them has on people never fails to amaze me. It doesn’t just foster a bonding experience between the children and the chicks but between the children and their parents and teachers as well. That’s why I’m so delighted to be working with the happy egg co.; together we allow people to bridge the gap between the eggs on their plate and the hens that laid them.”

A week after hatching, the happy chick co. team returns to collect the equipment and the chicks… Here we should issue a warning. Chickens are addictive! So it can be a very sad moment for everyone involved.  In many cases, individuals choose to adopt their chicks permanently. In these circumstances the happy chick co. first ensures the ‘adoptive parent’ is suitable and then provides an aftercare support service. All chicks that are not adopted in this way are rehomed.    

“I‘ve always known watching eggs hatch into chicks with distinct personalities is a wonderfully profound experience” says Maddie “ and now that I’m sharing it with children and their parents and teachers I know that it’s not just me! I’ve seen first-hand the sense of joy in nature it can bring. Because the chicks are such a talking point, residents of nursing and retirement homes gain a huge sense of vitality and camaraderie in caring for them. With the happy egg co.’s renewed sponsorship we are able to spread this wonderful experience to many more people.

To arrange a happy chick company hatching experience at your school, nursery, college or care/retirement home please contact 01733 700853 or visit

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