4-H Questions

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Empera, Mar 16, 2009.

  1. Empera

    Empera Songster

    Jan 27, 2009
    Issaquah, WA
    I'm interested in joining 4-H, and I have chickens, and ducks. But it all seems so confusing. I'm 17 years old and can't figure this out?

    No website of any club has explained anything. How frustrating. I feel stupid, haha.

    -What are 'projects'?
    -Do you have to spend money? (economy is causing a hard time for my family)
    -Is it hard to show animals?
    -How do I join?
    -I'm interested in the livestock portion like sheep, ducks, goats, chickens, rabbits etc. Any information? (specifically those above)

    I'm lost. [​IMG]


    P.S. - I live in Washington, any other Washingtonians who wish to help me out? Or anyone to give me pointers, etc?
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2009

  2. a2ms4chickens

    a2ms4chickens Songster

    Dec 16, 2007
    Tucson, AZ
    I'm located in Arizona and if you google 'Pima County 4-H', you will get their home page. You can explore all of projects available. You may be able to find one where you live.

    Projects are what you are doing for the fair: Poultry, swine, photography, arts & crafts, etc.

    You do have to purchase your animals, feed, and equipment needed to raise them. Some animals are more expensive than others. I am my DS poultry leader and the expense for the poultry project is less than other projects, in my opinion.
    You also may have to purchase fair admission, etc, for the week that your animals are there.

    Showing: Each animal is different. Once you join a project, you will be instructed where you can purchase them, how to care for and show them.

    Join: Check with your local Co-op, or google your town's 4-H.

    It is pretty confusing. Last year was my DS's first year and we did not know what to expect. This year, I became poultry leader and I have tried to get my kids the information they will need in order to be successful at fair.
    It is a lot of work, but when you auction off your animals, and you get a good price for them, it is worth it. Then you start again the next 4-H year.

    Good luck!!!
  3. Empera

    Empera Songster

    Jan 27, 2009
    Issaquah, WA
    Quote:Thanks for the information. [​IMG]

    So for example, if I were to have swine, would it have to be in the meat category (i'm still at loss for words to explain, haha)? Because I'm looking into sheep, and I want to start off with a baby, would I have to have it a certain age, color, breed?

  4. embkm

    embkm Songster

    Jan 16, 2009
    Colbert, Ga
    Because 4-H is different in every state (and each county may or may not be participating in each project), the best thing to do for info is to call your local 4-H office. 4-H is usually run through the Extension Office, and the agent there is usually who has all the info about showing and where to get the animals and what kinds are available.

    Try googling your county, 4-H... and something should pop up. Or look in the phone book for the Extension office. Or you could ask your school's office. We usually work closely with schools so they would have the phone number. HTH.
  5. Fudgie

    Fudgie Hatching Queen - Got Fudge?

    is the main Washington Extension service website.

    That is the district map for Washington to find out which extension center services your area.

    This is the main index for extension publications etc.

    Project listings (things you can enroll in)

    Honestly you need to ask the extension office if they know of someone that has done the projects you want to do so you can talk to them. A baby is probably too young to be ready for show time. We learned that the hard way! Exception is bucket calves.

    Poultry is one of the simplest animal projects you can do next to bunnies. Hogs are fairly easy. There is a regulation in Missouri that you have to take a test called Sho-me quality assurance. It is on how/where to give shots, why you do that and etc. It is fairly simple but required for Missouri kids to show at the state fair and county fairs. Check that out so you will be covered.

    If you mean do you have to spend EXCESS money like pumping the grain to a calf to get it to market weight and fat and happy quickly. YES if you do beef or some of the other projects. there are MANY MANY projects that don't require an animal at all. You can do woodworking, ceramics, sewing, public speaking etc.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2009
  6. WA4-Hpoultrymom

    WA4-Hpoultrymom Never enough coops...

    Feb 5, 2009
    Monroe, WA
    My Coop

    found this link with contact info for each county. Find the county you live in, contact the person listed on that list, tell them which projects you are interested in doing, and ask them if they can recommend a club near you that offers those projects. It may turn out one club offers two projects you are interested in, and another club offers the rest....it all depends on the clubs near you. What county are you in?
  7. WA4-Hpoultrymom

    WA4-Hpoultrymom Never enough coops...

    Feb 5, 2009
    Monroe, WA
    My Coop
    Once you find out which clubs offer the projects you want, call the club leaders (get their contact info from the contact person on that list I posted a link too).

    Ask the club leaders when they have their meetings, what their club requirements are, ask for the contact info for the project leaders for the different projects. Each club has different requirements for showing at fair, same with each project.

    The only cost for participating in 4-H, are club dues if there are any. We pay $15/year for each kid.

    Hope that helps!

  8. Empera

    Empera Songster

    Jan 27, 2009
    Issaquah, WA
    Thanks for the links and advice. [​IMG]

    The reason I want to join 4-H and work/raise/show animals is because I wish to become a veterinarian in my future. The more experience, and knowledge I have with a wide range of animals proves to be very helpful with such difficult classes like anatomy. (I guess that's where people have the most difficulty remembering)

    Personal experiences with animals to deal with their anatomy is excellent.

    My state's vet college looks at experience just as important as grades. Although my grades are average and above, I would look great with becoming a 4-H member, working at a clinic, showing animals, etc.

    I have a great passion for animals, and would love a challenge. That's why raising a lamb or goat would be ideal, due to bottle feeding and socializing at a young age.

    How long does it take for a baby to become an adult?
  9. scarter

    scarter Songster

    Aug 22, 2008
    Roberts, WI
    Your county extension office should be able to help you. Call them and ask about joining a club and if you can still show for this years fair. Our cut off is March so you might not be showing this year. Our llama project group doesn't require you to own a llama but they will match you up with one to show. You can enter showmanship with these llamas but not show the llama. We also have a county horseless horse project for people that don't have horses but are interested in them. I'd call to see what your county offers. We have specific requrements for each year like for example you have to attend so many of your group meetings and then a speech in front of your group and a yearly scrapbook or logbook etc. I'm sure it's different for every county. Some of the projects that our county offers are woodworking, all sorts of animals, preservation of food, baking, photography, crafts, gardening, building, archery etc. You should jump in. My kids have a lot of fun.
  10. WA4-Hpoultrymom

    WA4-Hpoultrymom Never enough coops...

    Feb 5, 2009
    Monroe, WA
    My Coop
    Yes, 4-H will be excellent experience to have to get into a Veterinary Program. Are you looking at WSU? My oldest DD who is only 13, wants to go there. [​IMG]

    As far as how long an animal is a baby, I'm thinking it may be different for each animal. Sheep are different than poultry I would imagine. But get yourself involved with a club as soon as you can, because some clubs have requirements to show at fair, which is really the goal in most animal projects.

    Our club requires that you do a Public Presentation, and those are coming up very soon. Some projects require you to attend a juding contest as well. We have two Poultry judging contest coming up soon also, although they are not required for fair in our county.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by