Haverhill: Sudents mimic the ‘Good Life’ as they nurture chickens for school project

PUPILS are trying their hand at chicken keeping as part of a kitchen garden project.

Eight chickens are now being cared for at Castle Manor Academy, Haverhill, after being rescued through the British Hen Welfare Trust.

Students Amy Timbrell and Courtney Clark are the main carers of the chickens along with their teacher Becky Baldwin.

Courtney, from year 10, said she had never held a chicken before.

“It was a really good experience,” she said. “The chickens were quite calm and didn’t mind me picking them up. I’m sure they will get friendly as they get used to being handled. My family are looking forward to tasting the free range eggs.”

Amy, a sixth form student, said: “We were expecting the chickens to be bald, look poorly and be scared.

“They have feathers missing from their wings and their combs are pale and floppy but apart from that they look pretty good.

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“Two of the chickens seem cheeky characters already and were pecking my shoelace and trying to escape out the door.”

There are 20 other students involved with the care of the chickens, which includes feeding, cleaning and collecting the eggs which will also be used by catering students.

The project, which has been funded by Suffolk ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England), Petco and R W Taylor, aims to teach students the importance of animal welfare and the benefits of free range chickens.

The chickens have been rescued from a farm in Coventry where they had never seen daylight. They will remain at the academy during the term and parents and staff will be asked to take the chickens home during school holidays in a chicken share scheme.

Suffolk ACRE are supporting the project with training for all interested families and members of the community.