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Sad day at the fair for one 4H kid

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by chickenology, Aug 1, 2011.

  1. chickenology

    chickenology Chirping

    Dec 3, 2010
    Our county fair is this week, and this evening we were in the poultry barn checking our chickens, when I came across a distraught 10 year old girl and her mother. This is the girl's first year in 4H, and her only project was a pen of market broilers. It has been terribly hot this week, and the broiler show is in a couple days so the girl was giving the birds a bath when one started flapping and ended up breaking its wing. The bird had been put back in its pen by the time I saw it, and it caught my eye because the fracture was open and bleeding. I spoke with the mother for a moment and she told me what happened and that the bird was going to be removed. Now our county's rules are that the three birds that are weighed in at the beginning of the fair are the three birds that are shown and there are no substitutions allowed for any reason. So basically this young lady's fair is over as she doesn't have a project to show, and she is blaming herself for hurting the bird. I assured her that these things happen to even experienced people but she was DEVASTATED, crying inconsolably. Her poor mother was really doing a great job with the girl, but it was a miserable time for everyone. I don't want this to be the end of her experience at the fair, as I think it should be a little bit more fun for the kids, especially considering the amount of work she must have put in to the project. So how can I make this better for her? I feel like she should get some sort of award for caring so much about these birds, or maybe I should ask to purchase the pen of two from her as she won't be able to sell them at the auction. I am on the poultry committee for the fair but don't think this can be a committee thing, because there have been other kids in similar situations that have lost a bird from their pen this week due to the heat. I just didn't happen to see their reactions or talk to their mothers. I will check tomorrow, but I may have banded these birds on arrival and could tell her how nice they were and that she had done a great job with the project... I just don't want her first fair experience to end like this, walking away with nothing. So I am hoping someone can offer some advice, or maybe there is another 4Her that has been in this situation before and can help? Thanks!

  2. mulewagon

    mulewagon Songster

    Nov 13, 2010
    Poor kid, I feel for her...the way my chickens flap and struggle sometimes, I'm amazed they haven't broken anything yet, but I'm always scared of it.

    It's sweet of you to want to do something for her - maybe give a chicken book that she doesn't have? Something to encourage her to continue her hobby...
  3. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    I think I would share with her that animals are fragile and some are just more so than others. Rabbits that buck too hard break their backs. Silkies get wry neck, or hang themselves (because silkies are stupid), goats get bloat. Ducks need extra niacin..... Maybe let her know she is not alone, and this is not the end of the world for her. She is 10 and just starting out, though I know how the poor kid feels. It totally sucks to accidently injure an animal.
  4. ChickenAlgebra

    ChickenAlgebra Songster

    Mar 14, 2011
    Could she take one to the pet class? That way she'd still get the reward for her work.
  5. Spookwriter

    Spookwriter Crowing

    Feb 23, 2010
    Is 4-H about winning?

    Or is 4-H about young people learning, and growing, in a postive

    I'm not there, didn't see a thing. But Chickenology did. And on the committee even.

    4-H children are winners in my book. Not about the ribbons, not about the trophy.
    That's the adult in us that make those things matter. Some of these children spend
    months on their projects.

    And in that time, the child learns.

    Learning is it's own reward.

    This summer has had some heat. Even we, as growups, are dealing with it, learning
    about it, and how to cope.

    This heat is not the children's fault. So why punish the child?

    If I was voting, that would be my vote.

    Show the two remaining birds. Explain how the heat has affected us all.

    Praise the young child and the effort she did make.

    And we ALL win.

    Isn't that what 4-H is really about?
  6. Firefighter Chick

    Firefighter Chick Songster

    May 8, 2011
    Southeast Minnesota
    Yes, it's about learning and experience. My husband (who is 32) STILL talks and laughs about his pig running loose through the exhibits at the state fair. Perhaps next year she'll widen her horizons and show more than one project. Bless your heart for thinking of her to purchase her two remaining. I'd say if you have the room for two more birds, go for it!
  7. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    Quote:I could not have said this better.

  8. Dunkopf

    Dunkopf Songster

    Sep 24, 2010
    Kiowa, Colorado
    A.T. Hagan :

    Quote:I could not have said this better.

    That's what 4H is supposed to be all about. If you asked the other kids they would probably agree. The parents wouldn't though.​
  9. welsummerchicks

    welsummerchicks Songster

    Jul 26, 2010
    I don't think it is appropriate to make it all go away by buying the two chickens or anything else.

    CHildren need to learn that when life hands them disappointment, it's okay to have a good cry, but learn from the sad event, stand up tall and do the right thing.

    Take a fan to the county fair next time, or don't show the birds if the heat or bathing in a strange place may cause injury or death.

    The attitude here of 'oh well, the birds died because it was hot in the building'.....WHAAAAATTTT????????

    Frankly, I cannot see why anyone would have a kid leave their birds in a building where birds are dying because the building is so stuffy and poorly ventilated. What kind of lesson is that?
  10. mikensara

    mikensara Chirping

    Jun 16, 2011
    New York
    being a mom and having a daughter around that age I would even if it may seem absurd print out a certificate for raising such fine birds with 25$ in an envelope from a mysterious donor. That poor girl she worked so hard and was trying to keep her chickens cool.

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