Farm family continues to grow

Farm+family+continues+to+grow

Kathy Ochoa

To introduce the new baby chick to the school, on Mar. 7, Biology teacher, Mr.Nathan Dunn shows off one to the class. “I thought they looked too cute when they were small,” sophomore Jackie Martinez said.

Kimberly Dominguez, News Editor

 

Spring is just around the corner, and what better way to set the mood than the arrival of some feathered, fluffy friends. Twenty-seven chicks arrived at DHS from McMurray Hatchery, one of the biggest suppliers of poultry in the west coast, and two sheep were taken in from a petting farm in Chino Hills.

 

Principal Tom Houts wants to keep the egg production of the farm; therefore, he decided to order a new flock. Hens only lay eggs for a couple of years and that time is almost up for the hens that live on school premises. On Feb. 23, the day old chicks were sent to science teacher Nathan Dunn’s classroom. Mr. Houts decided to place the chicks in the teacher’s classroom because of a project Mr. Dunn previously had his class complete. For the project, the students raised chicks from eggs.

 

“Because they were already hatched,” Mr. Dunn said, “we took care of them a bit differently and had them in an incubator.”

 

Having grown slightly larger, they acquired the ability to jump out of their cage and run around or poop on the schoolroom floor. This was the indication that the chicks were now ready to be transitioned to the DHS farm. They continue to flourish under a heat lamp in their own section of the farm.

 

Another addition to the farm were two English Baby Doll sheep which arrived about a week before the chicks. Donated by a petting farm, these two added to the diverse farm. Mercy, the older of the two sheep, is more comfortable and social. These traits allowed her to adapt faster than the younger sheep, which at the moment has no name. She has a shy, taciturn personality that is slowly being opened up. Senior Cody Mohacsi can pinpoint the sheep based on their behavior.

 

“I worked as a ranch hand for a summer working on four different ranches dealing with more than every species on our school’s farm,” Mohacsi said. “Plus, I hunt and fish, and because I’m mostly outdoors, I know my way around animals.”

 

Mohacsi’s father owns two gun shops, one in Cerritos and the other in Ontario, making it easier for them to constantly go outdoors and catch game. Mohacsi began hunting at age seven and began farming the summer after his sophomore year. His favorite memory was the first time he went dove hunting at age ten. He had just killed his first dove when he ventured to jump across an irrigation ditch. Unfortunately, he did not make it, and he landed in the water. Despite the hot weather, young Mohacsi feared the chance of catching pneumonia.

 

“My dad still makes fun of me for it to this day,” Mohacsi said.

 

 

The experience the young farmer has enables him to be an important faction of the DHS farm. He has helped with the farm in construction of the house and coops as well as the irrigation and drainage. He also feeds the animals and places fresh water in their bowls. Ironically, Mohacsi also helped butcher several DHS chickens and turkeys. He is hopeful that a Future Farms of America class will be created and that the farm will continue to grow and excel as it has been doing.

 

As another spring season surprise, Mr. Houts has ordered a 36 inch, 80 pound tortoise from allgodscreatures.com. This reptile will arrive sometime within the next two weeks, and it is yet another part of Mr. Houts’s farm expansion.

 

“I have expanded so much on the farm because the students really like it and it calms people down,” Mr. Houts said. “The farm also really helps autistic students.”

 

Nevertheless, the tortoise may be the final addition to the farm family because there is not much more space for any more animals.

 

Spring is a time of new life. It is a time for change and adjustment.  The new chicks, sheep, and future tortoise exemplify this season. Mr. Houts, Cody, and Mr. Dunn witnessed it first hand, and thanks to the creation of the farm, so can the students, staff, and family of Downey High.