Two different perspectives:
I have always felt uncomfortable with caged animals. I was raised to respect animals and respect their rights to be in their natural environments. I am very uncomfortable with having caged animals in the classroom. Basically, I believe that young children are not ready to care for them, and that a classroom setting is not conducive to having them learn about how to properly treat and care for them.
Gabriela's chicken visits my toddler program every Thursday. Gabby puts her in a small mobile enclosure on the lawn in our play yard. The hen's name is Rosie. Each visit Rosie lays an egg in a straw bed and scratches around on the grass for bugs. The children are delighted. They feed her chicken scratch and scraps from the snack table. With supervision, the children can hold her or pet her if they'd like. No one has ever complained about our visiting hen. The children learn so much from interactions with animals. They trust Rosie and care about her.
Deepen your understanding and thinking in this area by reviewing the Topics: Environmental health and safety policies and practices and Outdoor health in Performance Area 1 of the CA ECE Competencies. Scroll to pages 79 and 80, respectively.
Can you find other places in this competency area related to this topic?