Young poultry farmers at a Fife school have started selling their first eggs – from hens in lockdown.
The Kingbarns Primary School chickens have begun laying, after arriving at the small, rural school last September.
Pupils are selling their eggs from an honesty box in the East Neuk village, where customers leave payment for the fresh produce.
While some children have just returned to class as the country begins to emerge from coronavirus lockdown, the feathered charges are being limited by their own restrictions due to bird flu.
This means that the girls, Peanut, Hermione, Audrey, Midnight, Professor MacGonagall and Snowball are confined to their coop, which was paid for by nearby Kingsbarns Golf Links.
School clerical assistant Fiona Ramsay told us: “The P1-3 class of Kingsbarns Primary School are proud to offer the first eggs for sale from their school chickens.
“The chickens arrived in September, later than originally planned because of lockdown.
“Peanut, Hermione, Audrey, Midnight, Professor MacGonagall and Snowball arrived as young pullets in September but have now reached maturity and are all laying eggs.
“Most days there are four or five eggs in the nest box, which the children find most exciting.”
Children raised funds to buy the chickens back in 2019 after persuading headteacher Patricia Shafren and depute head Mags Waterson-Scott to agree to the acquisition in a Dragons’ Den style presentation.
The chickens’ penned arrival in May was delayed by lockdown but they are now living a pampered life in their spacious coop, which has a grassy run.
Children were eager to help to look after the birds, and began diligently feeding them and keeping their quarters clean.
But Fiona said: “The chickens are currently on their own lockdown due to nationwide avian influenza restrictions.
“We hope the restrictions will be lifted soon so they can free range and make the most of their large grassy enclosure.”
Covid restrictions mean the children cannot handle the cash raised by the egg sales, but the school hopes they can soon put their counting skills to good use.
Avian flu restrictions mean all poultry in the UK must be housed indoors to prevent them from catching the disease from wild birds.
A flock of kept birds on gamebird-rearing premises near Leven tested positive last month and temporary control zones of 3km and 10km were imposed.