TEAM EFFORT: Monto State High School's Marty Harm with students Daniel Phillips and Vaughan Fitzpatrick.
TEAM EFFORT: Monto State High School's Marty Harm with students Daniel Phillips and Vaughan Fitzpatrick. Contributed

School's secret project has flown the coop

MONTO'S Ridgehaven Retirement Complex has a fresh intake of residents.

The exotic additions are from Belgium.

They are four Belgian d'Uccle chickens, which are housed in a coop made by Monto State High School's design and technology team.

"We are well aware that the majority of our residents are off the land, and just about everyone on the land has chooks,” Ridgehaven activities co-ordinator Charmaine Smith said.

"So, of course it's a natural progression that Ridgehaven should have chooks,” she said.

Mrs Smith described the coop as "small but stylish” and the chickens as the inaugural "lucky occupants.”

"What a wonderful addition to Ridgehaven,” she said.

"Now, when the desire takes hold, our residents can venture outside, let the chooks out for an afternoon run, or just have a sit, pat and a chat.”

Ridgehaven residents Kath Booth, Mary Collingswood, Doris Gull and Rita Harvey getting ready to feed the new chickens.
Ridgehaven residents Kath Booth, Mary Collingswood, Doris Gull and Rita Harvey getting ready to feed the new chickens. Contributed

The project was spearheaded by John Williams, the school's design and technology teacher.

However, Mr Williams was quick to send most of the credit the way of teacher aide Marty Harm.

The two were helped by Year 11 student Vaughan Fitzpatrick and Year 12 student Daniel Phillips.

Mr Williams said it was "such a good cause” that the team made sure they found the time in their schedule, although he conceded it ended up being a "part-time job” which took the best part of two months.

"We'll be taking orders from all over Australia now. No, I'm only joking,” he said.

"We're pleased with how it turned out.”

Mr Williams said the team started with a blueprint from the internet, but then adjusted the design to fit Ridgehaven's request, which was for the coop to be moveable and accessible for the residents.

Mrs Smith thanked Monto Mitre 10 for providing some materials for the coop.


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