Written by Megan, Olivia, Alfie, Alex, Henry & Ishaan
In our role as a chicken monitor, it is our aim to:
* be able to care for the chickens and keep them happy and healthy
* sell the eggs to support the hybrids and rare breed bantams and their husbandry
* educate all stakeholders with every aspect of the role and the importance of poultry farming
* confidently speak to visitors to the school and share our role
We arrive at school at 8.30am daily. We let the chickens out into the forest because they have been locked up overnight safe from the foxes. We then clean then out. We check the water and the feed. We collect the eggs. One team will carry out these actions for the bantam chickens, whilst the other team looks after the hybrids. Every 2 weeks we check the shell and grit.
As we are a DEFRA approved official egg packing station we have our unique UK farm ID. This means we have to candle all of our eggs and every egg has to be stamped with our name and farm ID.
Towards the end of the school day, we then have to call all the chickens in to be shut in overnight so they are again safe from the local foxes.
We continue this routine over school holiday time and at weekends.
We have a branding manager who's job is to design the logos for the egg boxes (the aesthetical aspects of product development). The branding manager helps out the chicken monitors during the holidays/weekends. We have a business manager to collect data. This is shared with their Y6 peers so they can calculate the income and expenditure of their micro business.
We have two teams of chicken monitors that are in post for 6 months at a time (Team Buttercup and Team Duckwing).
Through this project over the years, we have had many different chicken monitors and some of them go on to keep their own flock at home. We always try and share our chicken and bantam knowledge with all the children in school to inspire them to want to undertake the role in the future. We are pleased that we have many different breeds of bantams at risk, including the Suffolk Chequers (the official bantam of Suffolk), the Silky, the Polish, the Lemon Booted and the Arucnda. We form a good links with the local community through selling our eggs. Jimmy, from Jimmy's farm, came to Birchwood and launched our rare breed bantam program. He said "this school is a beacon for all other schools in the UK".