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Ways to stand out?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by melodyrg, Jan 13, 2013.

  1. melodyrg

    melodyrg Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi everyone!! I'm really excited to get my first chicks on my birthday in March this year! I'm raising chickens for my poultry production SAE for FFA. For those of you who don't know what that is, it stands for Supervised Agricultural Experience. I have to keep strict records on my chickens and eventually my records can be put into a contest. So here's my issue. To win at state levels, or even the national level, which is my goal, you have to have something in your project that stands out. For instance, someone who bred dairy cows would also research genetics and specific diseases and breed against them, this would make them stand out, as the usual dairy cow project would just be breeding for show. Anyway, I need something that will make my poultry project unique. I was already planning on donating eggs to a food bank, and somehow reaching out to the community through my project. Any ideas? I'm open to everything! Thanks in advance!
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2013
  2. dreamcatcherarabians

    dreamcatcherarabians Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I donate eggs to the Salvation Army Food Bank in my hometown, they're very appreciative! You might also look at your state's chilc hunger programs. Here in OK we have statewide programs to try to alleviate childhood hunger and show how donating your eggs can help such programs.

    Here's a link to several programs that I'm familiar with here in my state:
    http://www.news9.com/category/208728/food-for-kids

    You might also check with your school to see what they are doing. Here we have certain kids who eat breakfast, lunch and a late day snack at school, to try to keep them from being hungry at home. We also have a Backpack program where the kids take a backback full of food home over the weekends and holidays to try to help keep them fed. This program is served by the Regional Food Bank and individual schools and communities also make these programs a success.

    Good luck!
     
  3. melodyrg

    melodyrg Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks! Yeah I'll have to look into what my school does, although I live in a pretty rural area so I don't know. Also, what do you think about the legion? Would they take donations?
     
  4. dreamcatcherarabians

    dreamcatcherarabians Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't know about the Legion. You might call your local post and see what they say.
     
  5. wsmith

    wsmith Chillin' With My Peeps

    Is this going to be a one year project or a multi-year project? If it long term, beside donating eggs, which is a great thing, you can also breed for longer laying with less human interferance, like lighting and heat. That way you are helping the small operator keep costs down, rather than helping the the big-time operations. Just a thought from a guy who was once a Chapter Farmer, FFA, a long time ago. Keep exceptional records. Use a spreadsheet, record rate of lay each day, averages, temperatures, daylight length, feed consumption, etc. Plot out all the results on a graph to help visualize the results.
     
  6. wsmith

    wsmith Chillin' With My Peeps

    Or focus on heritage breed and promote it. Sustainable agriculture for the small time operator......Dual purpose breeds that do it all....Just some thoughts.
     
  7. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    If you want to donate the eggs, google "food bank" or "food pantry" in your area. The Salvation Army doesn't have a pantry around me, but the Mid-Ohio Food Bank LOVES getting my eggs.

    Then you could work the human interest angle, and invite one of the families (with kids) who get your eggs out to see the chickens.

    If this is a multi-year project:

    You could also try to find chickens on the endangered list and breed them, helping to sustain the breed for future generations.

    You could breed for a specific trait in the eggs, like large blue eggs. (That one's fairly easy, cross an Ameraucana--not an EE-- with a white Leghorn)

    You could play with feather color. Get a breed that runs blue-black-splash and chart the color genetics of the offspring. Or talk to someone with a lavender project. Or work to get the very best silver-penciled Rock you can (that one's pretty difficult).

    Play with sex-linked genetics. Get some breeds that make sex-linked chicks and raise your own.

    Make your own hybrid cross for meat or eggs.



    As others have said, keep crazy detailed records. That in and of itself will set you apart from many.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013
  8. melodyrg

    melodyrg Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:
    I hope it'll be a multi-year project, I'm a junior now and hope to stay at home for my first two years of college so I'll have about 2 and half years. What do you mean about temperatures, like the outside temp? I definitely was to breed for different traits, I really like WalkingonSunshine's idea of breeding for a certain type of blue egg. My issue is though that I already have 10 chickens coming in March, here's my list Ancona, White leghorn, Australorp, Plymouth Rock, Golden Buff, RIR, Cuckoo Marans, EE, Silver Laced Wyandotte, Buff Orpington. But I really like the idea of breeding for a large egg color. Anyone have more details on that? Thanks guys for the great ideas!
     
  9. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    Delewares are an American breed, a nice dual purpose breed. that is what I am working on this spring
     
  10. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    With your mix of chickens, and your wish for breeding for egg color, get a true Ameraucana rooster--one that was hatched out of a super blue egg, if possible. Choose a few of your new layers and breed those to him, and see what the resulting egg colors are from the progeny of those crosses. Keep super detailed charts on egg frequency and weight. Sell it as trying to produce Colored Egg Layers for the Commercial Egg Market. If you REALLY want to do it right, and you're slightly obsessive about it, LOL, you can also chart how much feed each of the progeny eats and chart that by egg weight, looking for the ideal blue egg layer--lays large blue eggs, with great egg frequency, but eats relatively little. You could produce the white Leghorn of colored egg layers!

    The nice thing about this project is that you'll have until this fall to find your rooster and incubator, since your pullets won't be old enough to breed before then.

    eta: Oh! And you could also chart comb type vs. egg color in the progeny. The pea comb is very closely linked to egg color, so any progeny that get the pea comb will probably lay blue or green eggs.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2013

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