A BATHURST school community is in shock this morning following a sickening attack on school grounds over the weekend.
Someone broke into South Bathurst Public School on Friday night and slaughtered five chickens being reared by the students.
Principal Greg Cross is horrified that anyone would do such a terrible thing.
He yesterday said that over the past 12 months the children had become very attached to the chickens, taking it in turns to feed and water them and collect the eggs.
Mr Cross said one of the classrooms was also broken into between 7pm and 9pm, triggering an alarm.
Security, the police and a locksmith attended, however nothing appears to have been taken from the classroom.
But wire cutters were used to cut through a 1.8m fence to enter a large chicken enclosure.
The chickens were allowed to roam free within the enclosure during the day, but at night they were locked away in a secure chicken coop within that yard.
After gaining entry to the yard, the intruders then viciously tore the coop apart. They also tried to set fire to the nesting box.
“No chickens survived the attack,” Mr Cross said.
The principal said a lot of effort had gone into ensuring the chicken coop was fox proof.
“Unfortunately it was not idiot proof,” he said.
The majority of the chickens and the coop were donated to the school by the Rahamim Ecological Learning Community. Another was donated by the grandparents of one of the students.
“Having the chickens was good for the kids and good for the school,” Mr Cross said.
“The students collected and sold the eggs.
"They also rotated care on a class by class basis each week so everyone had a chance to feed and water them.”
Mr Cross said he had removed the mangled coop and the remains of the chickens so they children would not be traumatised when they came in to school today. However, the reality is that they no longer have their much-loved chickens.
“Throwing a rock through a window is vandalism - this is mindless killing,” Mr Cross said.
“If this was carried out by young people they need better supervision. If they were older then there is no reason or excuse for their actions.”