AN enterprising group of Portarlington students have come up with an interesting way of making money for local charities, by rearing turkeys for Christmas.
‘Turkey Delight’ is a project devised by 5th year students in Colaiste Iosagáin. PRO Ellie Moore explained that the students decided to rear 15 turkeys for their mini-company, which was different, unique and challenging.
“We knew that running a real life mini-company from start to finish would entail early mornings and a lot of hard work,” she said.
The students are running the company with teacher, Mr Mitchell, with advice and help from their horticulture teacher Mr O’Donnell. They researched turkeys online and spoke to local farmers who keep turkeys.
“We had to plan how to finance the purchasing of the turkeys,” Ellie said. “The shed we are using to house the turkeys was already in the school yard, all we had to do was clean it out and get it ready with straw.”
Ellie explained that to finance the buying of the turkeys and their feed, members of the class bought shares in the company and this provided the start-up capital needed.
She said there was great excitement in the school the day the turkeys arrived.
“They arrived in style and were brought to the school by Mr Mitchell and his father Paul. The turkeys looked happy, were a good size and really quiet,” she said.
The students were all split into committees and all given different jobs to do.
“We have to take responsibility for it ourselves, such as every morning we have to let them out into the run, water and feed them, while in the evenings we have to put them into the shed and give them fresh water and bedding,” she said. “We made out a rota and we all take turns looking after them. Most days we let them out to roam free and pick grass and clay as free range turkeys should do. It is a huge responsibility but we enjoy it and it has brought us close together as a class.” With a poster and logo designed to advertise the turkeys for Christmas, the students intend to hold an auction in the school on December 6 to sell the turkeys to the highest bidder.
“Some of my classmates have secured sponsorship from local businesses in Portarlington and are generously donating prizes for our raffle which we are holding on the day of auction,” Ellie said. “The raffle is to help us raise money for our mini-company to help pay our expenses. Any money we have left over at the end of the project will be donated to a local charity.”
Ellie said her class got many benefits from rearing the turkeys and setting up the mini–company.
In conclusion, Ellie said: ‘We would like to thank all the teachers and staff for their work and help with the turkeys and also the local businesses in the town for their sponsorship.’