In the 4-H Poultry projects, participants will learn:
- how to identify breeds and select quality poultry animals;
- best practices for animal care and management;
- safe and ethical practices for animal welfare;
- showing skills;
- how to promote the use of poultry products and the poultry industry; and
- skills such as decision-making, getting along with others, self-responsibility, plannings and organizing, and improving your knowledge of general science and technology.
National 4-H has a variety of project curriculum materials available to help with 4-H poultry projects.
Additional materials are also available at different state extension websites.
Help guide for 4-H leaders in poultry projects (Pennsylvania State University)
Prevention booklet - A young person's guide to keeping animals safe and happy (The Ohio State University)
Leaders' guide on animal welfare for fairs & exhibitions (Ohio State University)
Youth guide on animal welfare for fairs and exhibitions (Ohio State University)
NOTE: There have been recent human outbreaks of Salmonella associated with chicks and ducklings associated with an Ohio hatchery.
Avoid contact with the feces of young fowl, and carefully wash your hands with soap and water after handling these animals and anything that has come in contact with them.
CDC article: Multistate outbreak of Human Salmonella infections linked to live poultry (May 30, 2012)
WebMD article: Salmonella outbreak again tied to Ohio hatchery (May 31, 2012)
Safe handling of chicks (University of Kentucky)
Risk of Human Salmonella infections from live baby poultry (Center for Disease Control)
Information on specific poultry projects
Raising broilers and turkeys for competitions (University of Arkansas)
4-H Poultry Showmanship rules (University of Connecticut)
4-H Poultry Showmanship questions (University of Connecticut)
Reasons to raise chickens (Heritage Poultry Conservancy)
Getting kids involved in raising chicks (Heritage Poultry Conservancy)
Things to watch for as your chickens grow (Heritage Poultry Conservancy)
Fun with chickens - broiler showmanship (Louisiana State University)
Handling broilers for showmanship (Louisiana State University)
Fun with chickens - Exhibition showmanship (Louisiana State University)
How to wash your chickens (poultrycrazy)
Chicken showmanship demonstration (poultrycrazy)
Poultry prep (Volusia County youngsters learn poultry presentation as they get ready to enter their birds in competition in the county fair)
How to mail order chicks (Richard Dunne)
The Alpharma Reach Teach Learn program includes a Student Essay Contest to put food production in the spotlight and create a positive public perception of agriculture. The contest is part of a partnership between Alpharma, the American Farm Bureau (AFB) and Agriculture In The Classroom, a grassroots program from the United States Department of Agriculture to raise students’ awareness of agriculture’s role in the economy and society.
The essay contest is part of curriculum centered around the book The Man Who Fed the World by Leon Hesser. This authorized biography of Nobel Laureate Norman Borlaug chronicles his quest to feed the world through his contributions to international agricultural development.
To help teachers use this book in the classroom, the AFB publishes a teacher’s guide to address standards in Social Studies, Science and Language Arts. The Student Essay Contest is designed to encourage students and teachers to build their knowledge and understanding of agriculture, and rewards outstanding entries.