Special diet the go for Royal Easter Show chicks


MAKING sure a chicken sticks to a high-protein diet doesn’t sound like the average class task.

But for the year 9 agriculture students at Menai High School, keeping with the strict diet could mean the difference between a win or a loss at this year’s Sydney Royal Easter Show.

The class of 25 has been nurturing 13 chickens since they were a day old, for the ‘‘meat bird pairs competition’’ — an event that has 35 schools across NSW raise chicks from when they’re yellow and fluffy to their full-grown stage for the table.

Students have spent the past five weeks following a roster to ensure each bird is fed, monitored and weighed before they are put on display at the show.

Agriculture teacher Sheree Bourke said the chickens were judged on factors including presentation, size and weight. ‘‘They need lots of food and water, heat and light, and proper housing to get them to grow at optimum rate,’’ Ms Bourke said. ‘‘The students have been doing this every day, taking turns to monitor them. I’m really excited about how they’re going.’’

It is the third time Menai High School has entered the event. Ms Bourke said the birds had grown from 60 grams to three kilograms.

St George and Sutherland Shire Leader.