4-H News Article- Chick Chain

4-H Chick Chain Project

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?  The chicken will definitely come first for many Putnam County 4-H’ers who chose to participate in the 4-H Chick Chain Project.

The 4-H Chick Chain gives 4-H members the opportunity to develop an understanding and working knowledge for good poultry management and marketing practices. As with any 4-H livestock project, the Chick Chain teaches personal responsibility by working with animals that depend on the 4-H member to provide proper feed, care and management. The member also develops self-esteem and decision making skills that will be of benefit throughout life.

Putnam County’s Chick Chain project involves a 4-H member purchasing baby chicks from the 4-H office and raising them for laying hens. The 4-H member provides housing, brooding equipment, feeders, waterers and feed. This year 4-H’ers had the opportunity to choose between two breeds of chickens: Black Australorps and Rhode Island Reds. These breeds are considered dual-purpose birds and were developed to provide both eggs and meat. They are hardy, and very well suited for backyard flocks. Both breeds lay large brown eggs.

After raising a set of birds, in the Chick Chain Project, 4-H’ers may participate in the Putnam County 4-H Poultry Show to be held in October. The 4-H member selects their best three birds and they are judged as a pen with the other entries. Trophies, ribbons and prize money are awarded to the best entries. An auction will also take place for 4-H’ers to sell their hens, giving people from the community the opportunity to buy some high quality laying hens, and the 4-H members some income for their project.

Upon successful completion of the project the 4-H member will have a flock of laying hens. This often develops into a small business whereby the 4-H member may sell the excess eggs. Participants may also have available, for sale, fully developed laying hens. Perhaps the Chick Chain project would interest a 4-H member at your house.

If you are interested in purchasing hens for your 4-H member to participate in the 4-H Chick Chain Project, just fill out the form below and return it, with your check or cash, to the Putnam County Extension Office.  All orders are due by Tuesday, February 6th.  This project is open to all Putnam County students in the 4th – 12th grade.

If you have any further questions, please call Trent Jones at the Putnam County UT Extension Office at 931-526-4561 or jtjones@utk.edu.