The best of Rutherford Technology High School’s poultry are vying for a ribbon at the Sydney Royal Easter Show.
Three of the best egg producers, including Lucy the chook, are taking part in the Hy-Line Brown school egg laying competition while four of the heaviest meat birds are competing in the Steggles school meat bird competition.
The meat birds will be judged on their weight, size and fat layers.
The egg producers will lay their best eggs during the first 10 days of the show and have them judged according to consistency, colour and weight.
Ten agriculture students who worked on the project traveled to Sydney with the birds on Wednesday and saw how the other schools fared.
Science and agriculture teacher Julie Hull said the practical lesson had given the year 7 and 9 students a firsthand look at how eggs and chicken meat was produced.
“It’s to open their eyes to where our food comes from, they get to compare them and have a look at their growth,” she said. “Because we’ve got both at the same time, and we’ve got some other little chickens as well to replace our stock, they can actually see the meat birds have grown really big really quickly.”
The students have been preparing the birds for months and have developed a range of skills, including learning how to pick up and handle poultry.
They raised 12 meat chickens for six weeks and the egg laying chickens have been with them since they were pullets. Once the egg laying chickens started laying the year 9 students weighed the eggs and created data to find their three best layers.That spreadsheet revealed Lucy was their best chance at a ribbon.
“She lays really well, her eggs are very consistent and they’ve got a good colour,” Ms Hull said.
The year 7 students have spent the past six weeks tracking the meat birds progress.
They have been repeatedly weighing them and students Jhett Hemmings and Kye Delmege said it had been a worthwhile project.
“We’ve been weighing the chickens so the most heaviest could go to the show,” Jhett said. “We chose the two really big males and the two really big females.”