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4-H Youth Poultry Project: Information Guide

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Photo Credit: Morning Ag Clips

Get your kids (or grandkids) active, outside, and learning about agriculture this summer by joining our 4-H Youth Poultry Project!

What is the 4-H Youth Poultry Project?

The 4-H Youth Poultry Project is a great way to get kids involved in raising their own flock of chickens and learning about agriculture. Each family can register and will receive 10 day-old chicks (straight-run, meaning they will grow up to be BOTH hens and roosters) to raise and keep. There are requirements to show in the Haywood County Fair, participate in check-ins over the summer, and turn in a record book at the end of the project. This 4-H project is great for youth who are both beginner and experienced chicken owners!

Is this 4-H project right for my family?

Check out this resource from Michigan State Extension that can help you decide if your family is ready to raise poultry as a 4-H project!

2023 4-H Youth Poultry Project Details

Important Dates

Project Orientation (held over Zoom)

Thursday, May 25th | 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. | Haywood County Extension Office (589 Raccoon Rd., Waynesville)

Chick Pick-Up (Receive 10 day-old chicks)

Friday, June 2nd | 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. | Haywood County Extension Office (589 Raccoon Rd., Waynesville)

Check-Ins (held over Zoom) – a time for questions and poultry-raising information

Tuesday, June 20th | 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, July 25th | 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, August 22nd | 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, September 19th | 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. (going over information for the Haywood County Fair)

Haywood County Fair Poultry Show

Friday, September 29th – Saturday, September 30th

One day will be for checking in poultry and judging, birds will be on display throughout the day on Saturday

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

I’ve never owned chickens before, what do I need to get started?

Here is a great resource from Michigan State Extension on bringing home baby chicks and what supplies you will need to care for chickens from a young age.

For taking care of backyard poultry, NC State Extension has a great resource that talks about a lot of details from housing to flock health.

You can also call the extension office at 828-456-3575 and speak to an agent who can help you with questions you have about starting with poultry.

How much does this project cost?

The fee for the 4-H Youth Poultry Project covers the costs to get the day-old chicks. Each family pays $30 and gets 10 chicks.  There are additional costs to owning chicks and chickens, please be prepared for that. Also, if you want more than 10 chicks, we have some great local farm stores where you can purchase chicks — we only offer 10 per family to allow as many people as possible to participate in this 4-H project.

Where do the chicks come from?

We hatch them in-house at the Haywood County Extension Office. Yes… we hatch the eggs at the extension office. Extension has a 270-egg capacity incubator and hatcher here where we can do our own hatching. We are sourcing the eggs for this project from the breeding flocks at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. All chicks will be vaccinated for Marek’s Disease before you pick them up.

What breeds will be available?

We are hatching Barred Rock and Rhode Island Red eggs. You’ll get a 50/50 blend of the chicks we have so you can raise two different breeds. Both are egg-laying breeds with hens that are consistent egg layers. They are also dual-purpose breeds meaning you can get meat from them, but they do not produce the same amount of muscling as a meat-breed bird would.

How can we register our kids and pay the fee?

Registration and payment (credit cards are accepted) will take place on Eventbrite.

Registration Link via Eventbrite

After you are signed up there, an email will be sent to you to enroll your kids in our 4-H Online enrollment system to officially join 4-H! Registration will close on Friday, May 26th at 5:00 p.m.

We will take a waiting list for this project — we may have more chicks hatch than we expect and will be able to take additional families if that happens.