In May Carissa our education officer was able to run two sessions at the University of New England. The first session was held at Yarm Gwanga- the university preschool where the students learned about what makes a happy and healthy chook as well as getting their hands dirty while making ‘chook lollies’. The students learned that the chooks (just like us) need a balanced diet and too much of one thing isn’t good. They also learned that there are pellets available so that the chooks do get a balanced diet. It is safe to say that the preschool chooks were thoroughly spoilt with the pre-schoolers chook lollies. There will be opportunity in the future for follow up and to introduce the students to chook behaviour with hands on activities to follow.
The second session was with the Oorala youth program. During this session students were able to explore eggs and participate in an egg quality activity where they checked eggs for abnormalities, scored egg shell and yolk colour as well as candling, weighing and measuring the shape ratio. The students were then exposed to feed rations and were able to create their own cube of food. We were able to relate these activities to how they are used in the day to day activities within the industry and showed how important it is to maintain the quality of eggs produced and how nutrition plays a vital role both for happy, healthy hens and for the end product of chicken meat. We also had a talk about what careers are available within the poultry industry from researchers to nutritionists and farmers to processors and everything in between. The students had a lot of questions with regard to particular careers available within the industry. This is an ongoing partnership and there will be opportunities in the future to continue to expose students to the poultry industry.