UNION — Representatives from the Clemson Extension Office say the time for local youth to register for the 2014 4-H Pullet Project is now.
“It may be cold now, but spring will be here before you know it and the days will be getting warmer,” said 4-H agent Ann Brock. “With that in mind, you know you want to join the fun of raising chickens, either for the first time or as a veteran chicken grower.”
Brock said raising baby chicks from day one to egg-laying age can be an extremely rewarding experience for youth who participate in the Union County 4-H program.
“This has been one of our most popular projects, and one that does not require too much time, or expense, other than feed and shelter,” Brock said.
Participants will have the option of ordering multiples of 12 or 25 chicks to grow over the summer. They will return five of the pullets if they ordered 25 chicks, and three pullets if they ordered 12 chicks. The returned pullets will be auctioned at the Fall Pullet Sale on Nov. 2. The remainder of the pullets will be for the youth participant to keep. Chicks will be placed with participants around the end of April.
Three breeds of chicks will be offered this year — Golden Comets, Buff Orpingtons and Rhode Island Reds. Brock said all of the breeds are hearty, easy to raise, and lay large brown eggs.
To participate in this project, youth will need to complete an application form — available through the local Clemson Extension Office — and pay a deposit of $35 for each 12 or $60 for each 25 chicks ordered. All applications are due by March 6. The deposit will be returned to the youth in the fall, after they satisfactorily complete the project, and return the designated number of pullets for the fall auction. Proceeds from the auction will help finance next year’s pullet project.
This year, the 4-H Laying Flock Project will also be offered for youth participants who may already have a flock of chickens at home and prefer not to raise their pullets from baby chicks. To participate in the Laying Flock Project, participants must manage a flock of at least five laying hens, complete their record book, show one of their hens at least once, and bring a dozen eggs to the Fall Pullet Show and Sale on Nov. 2. The application and $10 fee for this project is due to the Clemson Extension office by April 10. Youth are allowed to participate in both the Pullet Project and the Laying Flock Project simultaneously.
Youth who are not already a 2013 4-H member will be required to pay an additional annual membership fee of $10. With the membership, youth will receive a 4-H t-shirt and also have the opportunity to join other 4-H projects offered for the year including clubs, projects, and numerous summer camps.
The Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to people of all ages, regardless of race, color, gender, religion, national origin, disability, political belief, sexual orientation, marital or family status and is an equal opportunity employer.
“The 4-H Pullet Project and Laying Flock Project — like our other animal projects — are rewarding experience for young people,” Brock said. “They learn responsibility and caring, as well as a vast array of life skills that will help them grow into versatile, well-rounded adults. 4-H animal projects such as the 4-H Pullet Project and the 4-H Laying Flock Project encourage the process of ‘discovery’ of knowledge and solutions, and build competence and confidence.”
For more information, or to request the needed forms, contact your local Clemson Extension Office in Union at (864) 427-6259, Ext. 113, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Staff Writer Derik Vanderford can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 29, or by email at email@example.com.