Note: this was intended for publication in our local news. Just wanted to share. Feel free to edit and place your local information and your name. Really do not care who gets credit, as long as folks are educated. We will also make this availabel to our local farm supply, along with a handout on raising chicks. A Poultry Breeders Perspective Jim Hall, Drew County 4H Poultry Club leader Poultry are a flock bird. Within a flock there is comfort, companionship and contentment for each member of the flock. With baby chicks, ducklings, poults, etc. they have a natural instinct to flock together. Many times a single chick will die of loneliness. With Easter a few days away, many will want to purchase a baby chick for the children. What will you do when the chick is grown? Many breeds of poultry live very long lives. A chicken can live to more than 13 years. A goose can live to be 25 or more years old. With any pet, one must contemplate the full cost and long term obligations of the pet. With poultry one must consider housing and maintenance for the long term. Keeping poultry can be a very enjoyable hobby. The online forum backyardchickens.com has over 60,000 members. The backyard garden craze is partly to blame for the backyard poultry explosion. Some keep backyard flocks for fun, others exhibition and still others for wholesome fresh eggs. When the Recession hit, many started planting gardens. We recalled how our grandparents survived the Great Depression. There were the Victory Gardens and the backyard flocks. Sunday dinner came out of the garden and the coop, not the grocery store. So in recent months thousands have started keeping backyard flocks. Even Uncle Sam wanted folks to keep a backyard flock. http://www.poultrytribune.com/photo/uncle-sam-expects-you-to-keep?context=latest Many celebrities have backyard flocks. Little Rocks P. Allen Smith has a very large flock of Heritage chickens, ducks and turkeys. Martha Stewart, Jennie Garth and Tori Spelling are among many celebrities that raise backyard poultry. Before purchasing a baby chick, ask yourself these questions: Am I prepared to have this chick for another 10 years? 13 years? Who will care for this chick? Where will I house this chick? What will I feed this chick? Do I have a brooder or tub that will keep this chick constantly warm at 95 degrees? Yesterday, I saw a family at our local farm supply. The mother wanted to purchase a baby chick for her children. Posted on the brooders was the state statute on selling baby chicks. It is unlawful in Arkansas to sell in quantity less than six (6). It is a Class C misdemeanor with a possible fine of up to $500 and/or up to 30 days in jail. This mother became very upset because the clerk would not sell her just one baby chick. The law was passed to protect one of Gods creatures. Hopefully this mother will read this article and come to understand the reasoning behind the law. Hopefully she will bring her children to our 4H Club meetings and help them learn about poultry. Then she can help them pick out a small flock of chicks, with equipment, heat, feed and water ready. The Drew County 4H Poultry Club meets the second Tuesday of each month. Contact the leader, Jim Hall at 870/723-3724 Ark. Stat. Ann. § 5-62-121 (2003) § 5-62-121. Transfer of certain chicks, ducklings, or rabbits (a) It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to sell or offer for sale, barter, or give away living baby chicks, rabbits, or ducklings under two (2) months of age in any quantity less than six (6). (b) It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to sell, offer for sale, barter, give away, or display living baby chicks, rabbits, or ducklings which have been dyed, colored, or otherwise treated so as to impart to them an artificial color. (c) This section shall not be construed to prohibit the sale or display of natural baby chicks, rabbits, or ducklings in proper brooder facilities by hatcheries or stores engaged in the business of selling them for commercial purposes. (d) Any person, firm, or corporation violating any of the provisions of this section shall, upon conviction, be deemed guilty of a Class C misdemeanor. (e) Nothing in this section shall prohibit growers of living baby chicks, rabbits, ducklings, or other fowl from selling or making gifts thereof in quantities they deem appropriate.