4-H Market Poultry Project

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by MorganC, Jan 12, 2015.

  1. MorganC

    MorganC Out Of The Brooder

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    Hello all, wanting to get a feel for a new project.
    Has anyone done and market chicken project through their local fair or does anyone know anyone that has or do I need to post this in another area?
    I am trying to start a project in my area but am needing some pricing assistance. I know a county in my state has sold their grand champion market chicken pen for over $230 but I need to know if anyone has any additional fees with starting the program or any advice on this type of project at all?
    Thanks so much!!!!!
     
  2. Twistedfeather

    Twistedfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Doing Cornish Cross for your county fair is a great idea. Since the Cornish Cross take up to 7 weeks to grow you'll need to time it then to your county fair, normally your leader can help you with that. Our county does three pens (I've seen single pens too) so I recommend getting ten birds and maybe a few more. This way they don't eat through your profit. Cornish cross grow at a fast rate and will eat more than an average chicken. Water also seems to only last an hour especially during the hot summer season.
    Since these wonderful (or not) creatures just love to eat and drink they will also dispose of it. This will call for cleaning the pen as often as they can to avoid ammonia and breast blisters (judges tend to dock this down the most) Use bedding pellets since these are the easiest to clean and a scoop with a bucket and you've made cleaning easy, when the bedding pellets turn to a state where they don't work well anymore just put new shavings in. These birds also tend to get overheated fast in hot weather so what we normally do is take an ice cold bucket and dunk the birds in to cool them off.
    Judges will look at the quality of the meat (especially the breast, drumstick,and thigh) your birds that you should choose depends on your judges preference many prefer the evenly distributed weight and cookie cutter appearance. (If possible a pen of three should consist of closely weight cockerels or pullets depending on what's your best)
    I have done market for about three years with doing cornish cross two years and turkeys for one. I'm doing turkeys again saying I made $750.00 for Grand Champion Market Turkey (it's not necessarily about the grand champion who gets the buyers to come bid. If you need to go with a professional business you want to invite include a picture with it)
     
  3. rainbowrooster

    rainbowrooster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The price of $230 for the grand champion pen in no way reflects the price folks will buy broilers from you for meat. Most of that $230 is tax deductible for the buyer because what they are really buying is advertising at the fair. If you look a little closer you will soon see auctions prices far higher than $230 for Grand Champion poultry at local junior fairs. But its mostly about supporters of 4-H getting tax deductible advertising.

    Are you wanting to start a program for kids or are you a kid wanting to participate in a program?
     
  4. MorganC

    MorganC Out Of The Brooder

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    Great Advice Twistedfeather, thank you!
    Yes, I am wanting to start a market program in my county. I exhibited two pens last year for my county fair just as an example to the kids in the project, and as a superintendent of the poultry area I wanted to get a few kids interested.
    So are you saying the $230 is on the low end or not really realistic at all, period?


    When I raised a few just to get the feel of it before the kids got involved, I put them on pellet bedding like you suggested Twistedfeather and they wound up eating a bunch of them like they were candy. Normal?
     
  5. Twistedfeather

    Twistedfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry our county's prices might be different than yours (most counties in Oregon are low too I guess) but since we're such a small county we might be able to get more. It honestly depends on how hard the kid works to go get buyers and how many there are. If buyers are asked or invited multiple times it's possible that the prices are lower. The buyer that bought my turkey last year only spent money on one animal which means the price might be bigger. You never know what's going to happen until it happens.

    I actually don't recall my Cornish ever eating for the past three years I've had them (they ate shaving chips I put in there so if given the chance a change of shavings) As long as it doesn't hurt the chicken I'm not really concerned. Did it?
     
  6. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Reading this thread made me wonder what a market poultry project was so I went googling and found the Orange county junior livestock auction handbook available at www.ocfair.com that explains it. What a cool project for 4 H kids. It does have a section on determining pricing based on costs as well as other things that affect how much kids can make at auction for their project that might be of use to you.
     
  7. fryburgfarmer

    fryburgfarmer Out Of The Brooder

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    I almost never place in my pen of 3 broilers at my local fair but I usually get around $400-$450 from buyers. The amount you get depends solely on your connections to the buyers. As for starting a project, do you mean a 4-H club or supplying kids with their broilers...? I wish I could be more help! Keep me posted!
     

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