Poultry project grows in popularity

By Chrissy Karrer | Published Wednesday, January 23, 2013

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The poultry project is continuing to grow in popularity. This stems from families having chickens in their backyard and from youth bringing home chicks from their classrooms’ Egg to Chick projects. Either way, we are excited to be in the middle of a chicken frenzy.

Chickens can be classified several ways. Broilers are chickens that are raised for meat and grow very quickly. Backyard birds are raised for their egg-laying ability, and exhibition poultry are the ones you see in the show ring. Now, understand that I am no professional in the poultry scene. We can hold our own when it comes to educating 4-H’ers on how to raise broilers as a 4-H livestock project, and when it comes to backyard birds, I can spread the knowledge on hatching and raising a flock of your own.

Exhibition poultry, for me, is like comparing a four-door sedan to a rocket ship. Here is where the good news comes in. There are not one, but two poultry workshops coming up that will give participants a wealth of knowledge not only about exhibition poultry but also about raising backyard birds.

At the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo there will be an Exhibition Poultry Workshop 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, in the Cattle Arena. We invite junior exhibitors and juniors interested in showing exhibition poultry to join us. This workshop will include topics such as purchasing, caging and pen space, feeding and conditioning, hatching, and preparing your birds for show. There will be several different speakers presenting these topics. Come join us for a morning of education, fun and door prizes.

The Dallas County 4-H Livestock Project Coalition is excited to announce the North Texas 4-H Chicken Fest on Saturday, Feb. 23, at the District IV Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Service Center. This educational event aims to enhance youth’s poultry showmanship skills and teach youth about poultry bio-security measures, feeding and housing requirements and breed identification. In addition, youth will have the opportunity to conduct a necropsy, so they can learn how to identify possible diseases within their flock.

Both of these opportunities are excellent for those looking to start a poultry 4-H project or those who would like more information on chickens in general. I will personally be at one, if not both, opportunities, and I am excited to share what I learn with the youth of Wise County.

Chrissy Karrer is a Wise County Extension agent.

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