4-H Chick Chain Project Open to Youth

Many people are familiar with the term ‘4-H’ but do you actually know what the four H’s stand for? Head, Heart, Hands and Health!
The 4-H Youth Development Program was established through the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Cooperative Extension System. The overall objective of the 4-H program is to help youth gain the knowledge and skills they need to be responsible and productive citizens. 4-H serves youth through a variety of methods such as organized 4-H clubs, school enrichment programs, camping and many others.
One upcoming opportunity for youth in Jefferson County to become involved in 4-H is through the Chick Chain program. The 4-H Chick Chain program is for youth that are interested in completing a poultry project. Through the 4-H Chick Chain program, youth will learn how to raise baby chicks into mature production pullets. The program is much more than just raising chicks. Youth will learn responsibility, ethical treatment of animals, biosecurity, record keeping and communication skills.
The 4-H Chick Chain program begins in March but it’s never too early to start planning! In March, youth will purchase or hatch their chicks. They are allowed to purchase or hatch any number of chicks from the following breeds: Autralorp, Barred Rock, Brahma, Jersey Giant, Leghorn, Orpington, Rhode Island Red, Silky, Welsummer or Wyandotte. They will register and care for their project for 21 weeks. During the course of the 21 weeks, they will participate in workshops learning how to care for their chicks, how to show hens, and how to complete their project record books.
At the end of their project, they will select two of their best birds to show for judging and an additional bird for showmanship. They will also be able to compete in the skill-a-thon and showmanship contest as well as the poultry photography contest. The 4-H slogan is “learn by doing” and with the Chick Chain program, youth will certainly do so!
The Chick Chain program is open to 4-H members ages 5 to 18 (as of Sept. 1, 2018) in Jefferson County. If you are interested in learning more about 4-H and the Chick Chain program, plan to attend the informational Chick Chain Meeting at the Jefferson County Extension Office (2729 W. Washington Hwy.) on Thursday, March 7 at 6 p.m. or contact Allen Vanersen at (850) 342-0187 for more information.