Anson New Technology High School kicked off its school-wide poultry program on Tuesday. Children in the school were divided into groups and each group leader was given a directions, a bag of feed and a box with half a dozen chicks.
The chickens, mostly Delawares and White Chanteclers, were given by Anson County farmer Gary Sikes. Dale Nelson, the Democratic candidate for N.C. House District 55 and owner of Nelson Farms, also helped with the project. Together with Anson New Tech Principal Chris Stinson, Sikes and Nelson educated the children on how to care for their chicks before distributing them to the group leaders.
The children were instructed to provide a heat lamp, preferably with a 150-watt infrared bulb, over a portion of the chicks’ box, leaving space for them to escape the heat if necessary, and to watch for the chicks to huddle together, indicating that they are cold and need the heat lamp lowered. They were also told to feed the chicks using the bags of seed provided to them and to purchase a feeder from local supply shops such as Tractor Supply.
Although some chicks hatched Sunday, the majority hatched Monday. Sikes instructed the children to mark Oct. 30 as the chicks’ birthday; the chickens will be evaluated when they are 16 weeks old. Sikes will return to the school next week to see how the birds are faring.
This project is part of the school’s larger school-wide project “Living Off the Land 2.0,” in which students will create their own agri-businesses with the goal of creating a business to enable New Tech to be self-sustaining.