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Need Help-4H project!!

Discussion in 'Chicken Breeders & Hatcheries' started by dixie&trixie, Jan 19, 2011.

  1. dixie&trixie

    dixie&trixie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 26, 2010
    Yreka California
    So my daughter is interested in joining 4H and has chose poultry as her project. Im super excited for her as we already have a small flock and glad to see her interested in it. My issue is I dont know what breed would be best for her to start with. Anyone with suggestions or input would be greatly appreciated. My thoughts were BO or Cochin.

    Also, any breeders in Nor Cal? Im way up north (Yreka).

    Thanks BYCers!!
     
  2. calicokat

    calicokat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2009
    azalia, indiana
    My dd was new to 4H last year and did poultry. Our local 4H group makes an order of chicks each year and encouraged the new kids to specify Large Fowl, or Bantum, but not a specific breed. So when the group orders from their breeder they order what the specific requests are and then X number of mixed/extras.

    We got 5 bantum chicks - one D'uccle, one Buckeye, a Brahama, and two polish (we knew the polish when we picked them out of the mixed box - the poof on top gives em away, LOL) DD really had to work to identify the other three though - it was a good experience for her. Of course, by the second year, we now have favorites and a breed she wants to get into - so no mixed bin for us this time, but maybe . . . . if there's a few left . . . . . . [​IMG]
     
  3. JoAnn_WI_4-H_Mom

    JoAnn_WI_4-H_Mom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 17, 2009
    West Central WI
    Where we are everyone does bantam sized birds. You often have to hatch many chicks to get a few show quality birds. Bantams reach a size where you can see how they will mature much earlier than Standard/Large size fowl. So it costs less in time and feed to get better results. It also seems to be slightly easier to find breeders of bantam size birds, so you can source better quality birds to begin with. Smaller kids can work with smaller birds more easily.

    That said....everyone does bantams so there is more competition in those classes!

    You may find that your existing flock does not have any "show quality" birds and that she will have to start from scratch. If so, start with the best quality birds you can. If there are not a lot of chicken fanciers in your area, you may have to choose from the good quality breeds available in your area. So it pays to be flexible, at least for your first set of birds.

    There are many lovely picture books of chickens, see if your local library has any or can transit any from other libraries to you. Feathersite.com also has many pics of breeds. She may fall in love with the picture of a particular breed. Then the hunt is on to find good quality birds of that breed!

    I imagine you are interested in the temperment and other attributes that are not shown in a picture. I found the chart below useful. Attributes of course vary by individual bird, but I think many of the generalities hold true.

    http://www.ithaca.edu/staff/jhenderson/chooks/chooks.html

    Now my 15yo boy loves standard/large size Speckled Sussex, but it is near impossible to find quality examples of this breed in our area. So we are working with what we have and understand when we do not get blue ribbons at the shows. Each generation looks a little better than the last. [​IMG]

    The 12yo boy perfers our overly friendly Delawares, my husband the meaty-looking Buckeyes, my mom likes the elegant looking Ameraucanas.

    I like all of them and want more (chicken math).

    Good Luck with your search for your "best breed"!
     
  4. Celtic Hill

    Celtic Hill Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 7, 2010
    Scotland CT
    Well stick with bantams, showmanship with LF is not fun! lol, I like Duccles alot!
     
  5. ultasol

    ultasol Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 30, 2009
    SE Washington
    If you want some quality birds, look at the thread on Featherhills Farm owned by Tony Albritton. He has some AWESOME birds. From his list my top picks for kids bantams,would be the Plymouth Rock bantams ($5 each chick), the Speckled Sussex ($7 each), the White Wyandotte ($5 each), the chanteclers ($5 each), Buckeye ($5 each).

    All of these seem to have nice temperments. The bantams have the advantage of small size. While docile, the chanteclers are heavy birds. The reason I recommend him is you can get top quality birds (Tony often wins shows) without paying top dollar for adults. Get 15-20 chicks, let them mature, sell the extra males and cull females. They will be well worth it. The main $$$ will be housing and feed, and it costs the same $$$ to house and feed a poor quality murray Mcmurray bird as it does something with competitive potential.
     

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