THE pink and blue feathered balls in the chicken sheds at Model Farms High School are growing rapidly, and the students are thrilled.
Year 9 agriculture students at the Baulkham Hills school will feed and weigh the chicks each day before taking them to the Sydney Royal Easter Show where they will be judged at the annual school Meat Bird Pairs competition.
Participants must raise a batch of commercial meat bird chickens supplied by Steggles.
Tianna Cortazzo said the chickens were delivered to the school just over two weeks ago. They have grown to between 700 and 800 grams.
They will quickly become too large for their legs to support their body weight.
"At nine weeks they won't be able to really move at all — they'll be . . . on their stomachs," Miss Cortazzo said.
"At one stage they all fitted into the bucket [used to collect the chickens for weighing] together but now they're too big."
Chelsea Coomer said it would be her first time going to the competition.
"To do the project on the chickens is exciting," she said.
Miss Coomer said there were 16 birds — eight male and eight female.
The competition will be judged on March 21.
Other schools in the Hills taking part in the Meat Bird Pairs competition are:
■ Cherrybrook Technology High School
■ Crestwood High School, Baulkham Hills
■ Marian College, Kenthurst
■ Northholm Grammar School, Arcadia
■ Northmead Creative & Performing Arts High School