Albion Park High School students have some new classmates this term – 14 fluffy chicks.
The chickens have been delivered to the school to be raised and judged at the Sydney Royal Easter Show in April.
The year 9 agriculture class has learnt how to weigh, feed and breed the school’s 38 chickens.
Now they are taking extra care to look after the newborn broiler chicks because they will be judged on how many survive over the next six weeks, their average weight and feed conversion.
Australian poultry brand Steggles gave the chicks to the school for the Meat Bird Pairs Competition involving 79 schools in NSW.
Albion Park science and agriculture teacher Mehdi Hassanpour said the school’s poultry production program had been a success.
‘‘It gets the students involved in practical research projects where they can see the process, then the end product,’’ he said.
‘‘Students have successfully produced two pure-breed layer chickens, and now they will learn how to raise chicks.’’
Student Shaun Geoghegan, 14, said he had learnt how to hypnotise the chickens.
‘‘You put the chicken on its back, rub just under its neck, look into its eyes and say ‘calm’ a few times,’’ he said.
‘‘The little ones are pretty cute.’’
Surprised to discover the little Easter show chicks were destined for the table, he held his chirping chook a little tighter.
‘‘Well that’s nature, I guess – it’s how it works,’’ he said.