Help! My 9 year old son wants to do 4H Chickens for next year's fair.

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by klpenny, Aug 16, 2011.

  1. klpenny

    klpenny Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 1, 2011
    Pittsburgh
    I am in Southwestern PA a little south of Pittsburgh. We have some chickens (3) that are pets that were hatched in my son's third grade classroom science project. 2 white leghorn hens and a mutt rooster that doesn't know he is a chicken. We just came back from the local county fair and my son who is 9 wants to do the chicken thing with the local 4H for next year. Honestly I cringe as I remember how political 4H was for the horse thing (that is why I did Pony Club). Any advice would be welcome.
    [​IMG]

    ps I don't know chickens but my leghorns look pretty darn good compared to what we saw at the fair.
     
  2. thesweetone

    thesweetone Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 8, 2011
    Guelph, Ontario
    I can't speak for the chicken portion of 4H only the vet and dairy clubs. I'm sure there was politics but as a kid I was never aware. I had fun, learned a lot about caring for animals and the cycles of life and am glad I did. Sometimes we see things only through our parental eyes and forget that things look different as kids. Sharing an interest with kids his own age and learning a love of our favourite birds might be worth the risk of maybe encountering politics.

    Does he want you to LEAD the club or simply to participate?
     
  3. chicken_boy_Kurt

    chicken_boy_Kurt Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 20, 2008
    I say go for it. My club's fair was this weekend and it's a great time and an awesome experience.

    What would make you say no?
     
  4. ?ZeZo?

    ?ZeZo? New Egg

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    Aug 16, 2011
    i would sayy yes! it sounds like great fun! I would love to go with my Easter Egger rooster, ZeZo
     
  5. mrheinz77

    mrheinz77 New Beginnings Poultry

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    May 22, 2011
    SE Wisconsin
    I showed in 4-H and will never forget the experience. I'd say go for it. At our fair you could show 15 birds. They've now upped that to 20. I'd say start small the first year. You can always go bigger. Get a docile solid colored breed and give it a try. Orpingtons are rather docile and you have great Orp breeders in you state. Just my opinion.
    Jim
     
  6. klpenny

    klpenny Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 1, 2011
    Pittsburgh
    Thanks everyone! The local equine 4H club was and still is all about showing, and who can get to "State". Not about learning, I have experienced first hand, the only kids that get attention and "learn" are the ones that bring in the ribbons and make a name for the club. I remember I had a freind who did sheep and that was really laid back and the rivalry between the sheep and the pig people was kind of fun.

    My son (and my nephew) both have chickens at home and LOVE their chickens and I was hoping that the poultry/chicken 4H was more laid back. I just want my son to have fun with kids who are interested in the same things that he is. My newphew is kind of backward and shy and if I can get him involved in anything that would be great too. Neither of the boys are traditional suburban yuppie team sport kind of kids that are into baseball, soccer, etc. They tried it and dont' like those kinds of things because of the crazy schedules and over the top parents.

    I am just trying to get a feel for if this is something that we would enjoy doing. Looking for lots of good stories and advice from 4H'rs who have done the chicken thing.
     
  7. Buugette

    Buugette [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG]Cra

    May 26, 2009
    Bucks County, PA
    I put my kids in the poultry 4H last year... it is very laid back, informative and fun. I would say go for it. I have heard that the other groups are very competitive... but I have not had that situation with the poultry group. Our Grange Fair starts tomorrow... my daughter can't wait.

    Best of luck.

    D
     
  8. Peep Talk

    Peep Talk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 25, 2010
    Fort Loudon, PA
    klpenny, I have an 8 month old blue orpington rooster who is the sweetest thing that I am looking to rehome because I would prefer my Easter Egger rooster to be the head rooster in my flock. He is a beautiful dark blue and is the biggest baby! We can cradle him in our arms. I actually got him off of a fellow BYCer who breeds these beautiful birds. I would let you have him for free for your son who is interested in 4-H. He would make a great bird for a child to handle. My son and daughter pick him up and carry him around. I even had my mom hold him in her arms like a baby and he just loves it. I will post pictures once they upload for you to see him.

    Let me know! [​IMG] I live in Fort Loudon just off of the turnpike.
    Samantha
     
  9. Peep Talk

    Peep Talk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 25, 2010
    Fort Loudon, PA
    Here is Bloo Rue [​IMG] He is only in the pen until I can find him a home. I free range all of my birds.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Engteacher

    Engteacher Poultry, Poetry, and Prose

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    Hastings, MN
    We started in 4H last year when our son was an 8th grader. He's had a great time showing his birds and the kids in our county from other clubs are wonderful mentors to him. The poultry people seem real salt-of-the-earth people who are genuinely kind-hearted. I can't say this is true everywhere, but hopefully our experience can give you added peace of mind.

    One guy was telling me that he sells chicks to a couple of 4H families in the spring, they raise the chicks, pick birds for the fair. And since they don't keep birds through the winter, he comes back after fair time and brings them back to his farm. He picks the best for his next season's breeding stock. Talk about a win-win!

    Best of luck!
     

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