Putnam County 4-H News
By Trent Jones
Putnam County Extension Agent
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 choose 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 day old chicks usually arrive in early April. The 4-H member provides housing, brooding equipment, feeders, waterers and feed.
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 late September or October. The 4-H member selects his 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 where 4-H’ers will have the opportunity to sell three of their hens to local buyers.
Upon successful completion of the project the 4-H member has 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.
Orders for this year’s Chick Chain are due in the 4-H office by Monday, February 6th. If you have any questions or need more information, please call the Putnam County Extension Office at 526-4561.
This year 4-H members can select from Barred Rock and Buff Orpington hens. For more information about these breeds, please call the UT Extension Office at 931-526-4561.