Deer Creek students with special needs learning life lessons caring for chickens, selling eggs

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EDMOND, Okla. – Bright and early at Deer Creek Middle School, students are hard at work. Looking after animals, their teacher said actually care for them.

“They may feel anxiety, or they may feel stress during their school day but, when they come out here, they totally calm down and they feel very relaxed,” said Laura Bates. “We even have some students who are nonverbal in the classroom but, when they come out here, they start to speak.”

Year-round, the students in Bates’ special needs class care for the flock of around 30. The egg sales – preparing them for the future.

“A lot of these kids – college is probably not gonna be very obtainable, so they’re going to probably have to enter the workforce when they turn 21,” Bates said.

There’s been a focus on job training at DCMS for a long time through methods like selling sodas but, four years ago, Bates decided it was time to switch things up.

“I wanted something more that involved them being outside,” she said.

So, the chicken plan hatched and so does a fresh crop of eggs brought in every year.

The kids raise the chicks.

The other eggs – hatched on campus – are sold to support the program.

Customers stopping by for the farm-fresh flavor – while the children learn skills they need to succeed – they also make friends along the way.

During the summer, the kids sell eggs starting at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday through Thursday.

You can visit their website or email them at for more information.

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