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4-H Help Needed!

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by a2z4Hmom, Dec 13, 2011.

  1. a2z4Hmom

    a2z4Hmom Hatching

    Dec 13, 2011
    Hi everyone! New to the site and fairly new to chickens. We currently have egg layers, but my 12 year old son wants to show poultry at our county 4-H fair this year. We know virtually nothing, but are willing to learn. Can anyone recommend a breed? We would kind of like to steer away from the standard breeds that everyone else shows up with. We've got plenty of room and again, are willing to learn! Also would appreciate any help with websites, books, and even hatchery suggestions. We currently purchase from Cackle Hatchery, but we aren't limited to them. Thanks in advance!!

  2. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    CAll up your county extension office and find out if there is a poultry program in your county, and what all it consists of. They can vary dramatically from one county to another. Also find out the contact information for any 4H poultry clubs (some clubs do more than just poultry, so look into those, too).

    It is really difficult to say what breeds would be uncommon--it can vary a lot from one place to another depending on what breeders live in the area or are accessible (such as an hour or so away).

    For exhibition, purchase from a breeder, not a hatchery. If doing a production project, typically the birds are all purchased at the same time from the same hatchery so that the kids have a balanced start, and that the results will mostly be due to their efforts, not when and where the birds were purchased.
  3. FarmGirl01

    FarmGirl01 Songster

    Feb 5, 2008
    My county does not have a poultry program. The kids are on there own. So we took 4 Old English Game Bantams. My sister lives in a county that has a great poultry program. The leaders order chicks and hand them out to the kids. First, I would find out what you county does. Then search pics and see what your kiddo likes. Happy hunting.

    Edit to say [​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2011
  4. chickendales

    chickendales Songster

    Feb 24, 2011
    if you cannt find good poultry program that what apa ans byc is for
  5. I got my start in poultry in 4-H. Great for kids. I don`t show now, but I do know that Poultry Press is a show breeders paper. Lots od breeders advertize there. Google it.
    i hafta tell ya that one of the lesser common breeds that has always impressed me is the large Partridge Cochin. Magnificent birds. Good luck to your son.......Pop
  6. hdowden

    hdowden Crowing

    Aug 14, 2011
    usally 4h fairs dont have as high of standerards as say an APA show would. ours came from a hatchery and one 1st and 2nd places. ideal hatchery has a wider range of chicken breeds than cackle does.

    if you want chickens that you can show after the 4h fair then go and search for a breed that has show qaulity chickens. granted a good show bird could cost a bit of money. i am getting my d'uccles from breeders instead of hatchries. i find that the hatchries chickens have faults such as wattles on breeds that shouldnt have them and bad temperments (not all of the chickens but some of them do). on hatchery websites most have that the chickens they sell represent the breed you are getting.

    you might even try getting an incubator and hatching your own eggs from a breeder or your own stock. eggs are a bigger gamble than buying live chicks but you can watch them hatch out and litterly raise your chickens from day 1. when getting eggs always look at the sellers reviews first though and ask around if for anybody who has bought from them before.
  7. HallFamilyFarm

    HallFamilyFarm APA ETL#195

    Jan 25, 2010
    Monticello, Arkansas
    Quote:Your son needs to join the http://www.apa-abayouthpoultryclub.org and get involved in it.

    First, your son needs to pick a breed and a variety of that breed. A great place to do research is http://www.ideal-poultry.com You will not find any show quality there, but they have great pictures and descriptions. When you decide what you want, post on this thread and some of us will try to locate you a breeder with show quality birds.

    What state are you in?

    Does he want large fowl or bantams? Chickens or turkeys? waterfowl?

    At age 12 he may find turkeys and waterfowl more exciting. The Super Grand Champion at the huge Crossroads Joint National this year was a Muscovy Drake.

    If we can help, just ask!

  8. WallTenters

    WallTenters Songster

    Feb 16, 2010
    Sweet Home, OR
    I would HIGHLY suggest buying good quality stock - if he really likes showing in 4H he may soon wish to do some open shows. Good stock costs just as much (many times less) than non-show quality birds, and you wouldn't want him to get attached to lesser quality birds that he will have to feed and house even when he can't compete with them. Speaking from experience here, just go ahead and start with some good quality breeder's birds, try to find a breeder in your area that will take him under his wing. If you have good birds, and he decides later he wants to do a different breed / species, you can sell the show quality birds you started with to help pay for whatever new breed he's looking for.
  9. a2z4Hmom

    a2z4Hmom Hatching

    Dec 13, 2011
    Thanks everyone! We are in East Central Illinois. Already a member of our local 4-H club, but no one in our club does poultry, so not a lot of help from other club members.
  10. hdowden

    hdowden Crowing

    Aug 14, 2011
    Quote:i would take this advice the most. to look at a lot of different breeds again ideal is the hatchry to look at plus your local library and look for chicken breed books and any other books that intrest you. for breeding and genitics best to ask here since a lot of these folks here have done breeding and the genitics and can know what to expect or at least give you an idea of what to expect.

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