Happy Chooks

Burrawan Farm (Port Macquarie Campus Agriculture Plot) was successful in receiving a Sustainable Schools Grant for $14,200 which will facilitate a student-led program that aims to improve the campus environment.

Meaghan Cook, Principal Hastings Secondary College Port Macquarie Campus said, “The sustainable school’s grant will empower our students and the campus community to implement the project ‘Happy Chooks’ that will benefit the environment to reduce waste and improve biodiversity.”

“This project is part of our blueprint upgrade of the Port Macquarie Campus Agriculture Plot and will facilitate the delivery of agriculture to students and enable them to showcase their work to the community. The project includes new garden beds and revamped chicken coops”.

Burrawan Farm is where students manage gardens and raise livestock. The grant will purchase new chicken enclosures with laying boxes, a sizeable free-range area and a secure environment to keep the chickens safe. Local supplier, Bennetts Steel will be fabricating the chicken enclosures.

The eggs produced will be given to students and also used in the school canteen. The canteen scraps will be collected and fed to the chickens. Their fertiliser will be used to help grow produce which will be shared between the campus canteen, students and feeding the chickens.

Students are responsible for the full life-cycle of planting, growing and harvesting. To support the project, students will grow produce and recycle canteen scraps for feed, maintain a healthy living environment for the animals, collect and share eggs and use chicken fertiliser for compost which will be recycled back into the garden beds. The objective is to create a self-sustaining ecosystem.

Students will be responsible for establishing and recording critical objectives as part of the Agriculture curriculum, including chicken growth rates (weight), egg production and shell strength. Additionally, students will measure the amount of canteen food scraps collected and used as recycled compost as either chicken food or garden fertiliser.

Burrawan Farm has three types of chickens; laying birds, meat production and bird showing at the Royal Easter Show.