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Pike Couny 4-H Chick Chain project registration underway

The Pike County Extension Office is in the middle of the 4-H programming year, with many activities and projects going on throughout the county.

“Most recently, our youth have been participating in in-school clubs, Reality Checks, and steer and heifer shows,” said Grant Lyons, Pike County Extension coordinator. “Another project that begins later this spring is the 4-H Chick Chain.  The Chick Chain project has grown tremendously since its inception a few years ago.  Last year, in the Wiregrass

Region alone, we had more than 80 youth participate in the project.”

Lyons said the Chick Chain project encourages 4-H youth to produce healthy chickens and life skills and lessons include an introduction to business management, developing record keeping skills, contributing to the family’s food supply, and realizing the pride of accomplishment.

“Here’s how it works,” he said. “Youth sign up for the project in the spring and select six chicks from three different breeds, for a total of 18 chicks.  This year the breeds offered are Black Laced Golden Wyandotte, Buff Orpington, Dominique, Easter Egger and Rhode Island Red.

“Next, in April, youth attend a mandatory meeting, which is designed to help the youth and parents understand proper care of the chicks.  Later in the spring, typically around the middle of May, youth will pick up their 18 chicks that are one to two days old and are all pullets (females).”

The 4-H’ers will care for the pullets for approximately 21 weeks.  At that time, they will bring their three best pullets to the 4-H Chick Chain Show and Auction.

“Once there, each pen of three pullets will be judged based on health and appearance of the birds,” Lyons said. “The youth may also go on to compete in showmanship events that afternoon which highlight the animal husbandry knowledge and skills that the 4-H’ers have learned throughout the project.  These events will include having students handle and show birds, and also interview with the judges.”

For more information on the Chick Chain project, or to register, contact the Pike County Extension Office at 334-566-0985 or visit www.Alabama4H.com.