An increasing number of small- and medium-sized farm owners are looking at poultry as a source of income. While they cannot compete with the large poultry companies, they are well suited to meet the growing niche market for pasture and/or organic poultry products. There has also been an increased interest in using heritage poultry breeds within pasture.
Poultry-related activities provide a wide range of learning opportunities for youth. There are several low cost poultry projects that require very little space, making them a suitable project for those interested in animal science but don’t have the resources to keep a cow, sheep or pig. There are also large-scale poultry projects (e.g., managing a breeding flock), but no matter the cost of the birds or the facilities used, they have the same learning value.
4-H poultry projects provide youth and their families with diverse learning environments – poultry are an excellent model to teach nutrition, physiology, genetics, record keeping, production and health management. Participation in competitive events teach sportsmanship, and character. Because a poultry project involves living creatures, it requires regular care and management developing these life skills in the participants.
Management guide for the backyard flock (University of Georgia)
Management of the small flocks of chickens (Kansas State University)
Poultry for the small producer (Oklahoma State University)
Basic management of small flocks (University of Connecticut)
Managing a family chicken flock (University of Missouri)
How to keep a small poultry flock (New Mexico State University)
A small-scale alternative: Poultry (Virginia Tech)
4-H POULTRY PROJECTS
Selecting and preparing poultry for exhibition (Kansas State University)
Preparing poultry for show (University of Florida)
Exhibiting 4-H poultry (University of Nebraska)
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