Australian Schools Chicken Keeping | 2019 Getting Started Guide

If you're a school and want to incorporate a chicken keeping program in your school, firstly - congratulations! You are on your way to creating a cleaner and greener school, which is an achievement in itself.

Secondly, you have come to the right place. Here at Backyard Chicken Coops we have helped hundreds of schools incorporate a chicken keeping program into their curriculum, with outstanding success.

We believe that keeping chickens really is on of the most enriching and educational experiences you can offer students.

  • It helps to engage children outside of the traditional classroom, and offers an authentic style of learning
  • Encourages children to work together, apply critical thinking, and increases their understanding of having and adhering to responsibilities and taking ownership of tasks
  • Promotes children to engage with nature and animals and increases levels of observation
  • Helps children understand the importance of sustainability, and teaches them responsible and positive environmental practices
  • Teaches children to have empathy and respect towards animals and others
  • Provides a fantastic learning framework for biology and food science
  • Contributes to creating a greener school
  • Creates a greater understanding of the food and life cycle, and the importance of each
  • Provides an abundance of social benefits for children




What do we need to keep chickens in our school?

Once the initial set up is complete, there really is not a lot you will need to keep your chickens happy and healthy! 

Once you can provide your flock with each of these things, we promise you will have a successful, stress-free and FUN chicken keeping adventure ahead!


Which chicken breeds should we raise and keep at our school?

Most chickens will be easy to handle provided they have been raised in a hands on environment with plenty of human interaction, but there are certain breeds that are well suited to keeping by children thanks to their especially docile nature. Here are three chicken breeds suitable for kid keepers:

Learn more about child-friendly chicken breeds right here.


What tasks will we need to undertake to keep our chickens happy & healthy?

Daily Chicken Keeping Tasks

  • Egg collection and recording
  • Chicken behaviour observation and recording
  • Chicken training - tricks and obedience
  • Refill the feeders and drinkers

Weekly Chicken Keeping Tasks

  • Top-up the coop bedding
  • Rake and clean out the chicken run
  • Flock health check - observe the flock for any health issues

Monthly Chicken Keeping Tasks


What are the ongoing costs of keeping chickens?

 After the initial set up, the cost of maintaining chickens is relatively low. The two ongoing consumable costs will be food and bedding - which is a minimal cost when compared with other common household pets. For bedding, we suggest hemp bedding - its ultra absorbency means that it does not need to be changed as often, and a little goes a long way!

You can also choose to worm your chickens, which will be an additional cost, however this cost is quite low (roughly $25 for worm out gel).However, we suggest just putting some Apple Cider Vinegar in their water 3 times a week to keep worms at bay :)


Are they easy to care for?

Unlike dogs who need walks, constant interaction, toys and ALOT of attention, chickens are fairly self-sufficient, so caring for them is really a walk in the park! Plus, what other animal provides you with a nutritious treat for keeping them happy and homed?!

  • Chickens will bathe themselves - just create a dirt bath in their run and your job is done
  • Provide them with fresh food and water as needed and they will be happy as Larry! Plus any food scraps you would normally throw away, can go straight into their coop - just make sure they get the tick of approval from our chicken treat chart
  • Collecting the eggs each day is an integral part of keeping chickens - a fun and easy job for the kids!

We have hundreds of articles available at your fingertips on our online learning centre that will answer any question you may have about keeping chickens!

We also have E-books that will come with your coop package, covering everything from what to feed my chicken, to why is my chicken not laying (and everything in between) - we promise there is not a question on chickens we have not answered for you!

We also have our friendly team available 7 days a week to help you whenever you need to chat chicken!


Is it safe to keep chickens in schools?

While there are a bounty of benefits to keeping chickens around children and in schools, there are still some matters of health and safety to consider when keeping chickens in these environments, and ensure the well-being of both chickens and children are not at any risk.

  • Make sure after handling chickens, children and teachers should wash their hands thoroughly
  • Keep the coop clean - clean away any droppings and old food scraps, and replace bedding regularly 

If this is employed, there should be no harm done to children or chickens!


How do other schools afford the initial set up costs?

Luckily, the Australian Government is investing a lot more into sustainability projects to get started in schools, so there are a lot of grants on offer for these practices. It just depends on your state and school type as to what is readily available for you. Let us know if you would like to know more about these, and we can advise what is available for your school :)

A lot of other schools we have dealt with have used fundraising efforts to purchase their coop and chicken keeping products. Raffles, bake stores, car washes and sausage sizzles are all popular fundraisers we have come across.

We find that P&C Associations are also a force to be reckoned with when it comes to getting any funding passed! If you need anything put together to submit to them, let us know and we can pop something together, that we can assure will result in a resounding YES!




So, where to from here?

We're glad you asked!

We would love to know what you would want to achieve from this egg-sperience and the needs we will need to cater for, and we can tailor something to suit your school and needs. So let us know what you are thinking (how many chickens, are they free-ranging etc) and we would happily work something out especially for you!

Let us know when you are able to chat with one of friendly and knowledgeable staff and we can coordinate a call.

If you’re intrigued, but still have some niggling questions or concerns, (great- we love a curious character!), please feel free to email our Schools Integration coordinator Regan at and she would be delighted to help you out and put any of your burning questions to rest :)