NURSERY pupils ‘hatched’ an Easter project with a difference and ended up with six beautiful chicks.

Three-weeks-ago Stepping Stones Nursery in Hoddlesden was given seven hens eggs and an incubator to be put in pride of place in one of the play rooms.

Last week, just in time for Easter, the chicks began to hatch, watched on by the 48 children who attend the nursery.

All the fluffy little birds were given names by the children.

To their delight Ariel, Tilly, Elvis, Ziggy, Bella and Buzz are all thriving and the children have been able to handle them.

Stepping Stones manager Kelly Ward said: “One of our children’s parents are from a farming background and donated the eggs and the incubator.

“The incubator rotated the eggs and kept them at a constant temperature.

“It enabled us to teach the children about nature and caring for animals in a practical way.

“They started hatching on Friday and we were all captivated.

“They took varying times to break free.

“Ariel took just 40 minutes but Elvis took 26 hours to rid himself of the shell.

“We set up a webcam on Facebook so the children and parents could watch what was happening over the weekend.

“It’s led to a memorable Easter as all of the children have all been able to handle the chicks and learn how to care for and feed them.”

After the Easter holidays the chicks will be returned to the farm.

As for Elvis, despite his day-long struggle to hatch, he is now thriving.

Mrs Ward added: “He was the smallest but he’s eating the most seed to make up for it.”