A chicken brought back from the dead, the Lincolnshire Buff, is teaching Spalding students at Sir John Gleed School and The Priory School about small animal care.
Pupils at Gleed’s Hayden Centre have looked after the rare-breed, five-toed chickens since 2010, but spare cash from a £23,500 lottery award means there’s now enough to build a coop at the Priory.
The Lincolnshire Buff was once the most popular table bird in Victorian times, and thousands were sent to London, but it fell “fowl” of the Orpington Buff, which took its place on the dinner table.
Kevin Cooper, from the Hayden Centre, said the Lincolnshire Buff was extinct by the 1920s, but was brought back to life by genetic engineering at Riseholme Agricultural College in the 80s when the Orpington Buff was crossed with The Cochin.
Pupils care for the fowl from egg to chicken. Their chickens are only used for egg laying – none end up on the table – and they go off to an animal sanctuary to retire.