I used to be in 4-H, but recently had to sell all my livestock due to a move. Going off to college anyways, guess I couldn't have brought my chickens.
Originally Posted by naresa
My son has joined 4-h and his project is turkey's. Can someone explain how all this works. Never been in 4-h. Don't even know where to start. His project book is not even in yet
Be sure if you're raising the turkeys for the fair (auction/meat), that you check the fair weights on how heavy your turkeys need to be. In my area, there were certain ordering times for certain fairs i.e., for a fair in June, meat goats would be purchased dec-feb, ducks/turkeys may have been around march-april, etc. The importance of this cannot be stressed, because there are certain weights fairs will allow. Meat animals purchased for fair are young animals, therefore the trick is in the weight gain. I believe turkeys ran somewhere between 28-34 lbs. They HAD to be between those two numbers at weigh in, or they would not be allowed to compete. If someone bought turkeys too early (generally shown in pairs), the turkeys could potentially be too heavy. Or, if turkeys are purchased too late, they could not make weight. So, as you can see, having a livestock scale is somewhat important...but I definitely used a regular human scale with my meat ducks for two years in a row, and didn't do half bad. lol.
A lot of kids raise meat animals for the fair because it's a good experience, and you get money at the livestock auction. The different divisions of animals usually have separate judges, which judge different animals on different days on the fair, your fair would provide a schedule for that, as well as weigh-in (which is important, because they need to know the initial weight of your animal), which typically happened (in my experience)the day you checked your animals in to the fair.
Also for your record book, which if your new, your club should have some sort of orientation for you with that - is very important if you want 4-H to acknowledge you took an animal to the fair and sold it. For each fair project in the record book, be sure to write down all the expenses of your project. From shipping, to water buckets, to shavings. However much money the project took, write it down. This is important even if your project is something like quilting - all the expenses logged in the record book.
However, one does not have to take their project to the fair! It's a nice option, and pretty rewarding once accomplished. I've had more than a few rough days at fair, ending in tears and all that, but in the end, I'd do it again. Be sure and check with your poultry project leader about your breed of turkey too. Broad breasted whites/browns I think are the typical species.
Sorry this was SO long! I probably missed something, but hopefully you get the idea. Good luck with your turkeys, if you have anymore questions feel free to PM me.
Edited by WooingWyandotte - 1/19/16 at 5:55am