To help students learn how to maintain certain types of livestock, the Animal Science class at the beginning of this school year began keeping chickens and goats. The livestock corrals holding these animals are located close to the greenhouse.
“As a part the class, we’re teaching (the students) how to maintain animals,” Animal Science teacher Duane Banks said.
In order for students to get a hands-on approach of taking care of animals, the school and Banks bought goats and chickens to house on campus. Students are then given responsibilities throughout the school day and over breaks.
“Sometimes the kids come on the weekends (to take care of the chickens). It’s a good process, and if the kids want to come extra to deal with the animals, they can,” Banks said.
Duties include setting up the coops, replenishing feed, and keeping the living space clean. They also have to prepare for major weather changes.
“Every single day we go up there for 30 minutes. We just feed them and give them water,” freshman Ariana Dickerson said.
It has been five years since the school last had animals. When Banks took over the class, the previous livestock were removed due to the fact that they were not owned by the program, but rather belonged to private owners. During the five year period they didn’t have animals, the horticulture class replaced the Animal Science class with other options.
At the beginning of the semester, the class received goats from AC Reynolds High School’s agriculture program. Over the past months, however, they both passed away. The class does plan on getting another goat in the spring, but until then, they are focused on taking care of the five chickens.
Because Roberson is limited in the amount of property in which they are able to use for livestock, other school programs in the county are able to house more animals.
During the fall semester, to raise money for the goats’ food and medical needs, a raffle was held to name some of the animals. Banks hopes to continue the raffle next semester when they get more animals.