crucial
Shane Harris, Tallapoosa County Extension coordinator, is one agent involved in the 4–H Chick Chain program. | Alison James
Shane Harris, Tallapoosa County Extension coordinator, is one agent involved in the 4–H Chick Chain program. | Alison James

Archived Story

4–H students take on Chick Chain project

Published 12:04pm Thursday, May 23, 2013

A new Tallapoosa County 4-H project is taking wing.

The 4-H Chick Chain project has been available in Alabama about three years, and this year about 20 children from throughout the county are participating.

“It’s not just raising chickens,” said Kirsten Holt, 4-H regional extension agent. “There’s more to it than raising chickens.”

But raising chickens is where it starts. Children are provided with eight barred Plymouth Rocks and eight Rhode Island Red chicks. They are tasked with raising and taking care of the chicks.

“Whatever happens they are going to document,” Holt said. “It’s definitely a project that hits a lot of different life skills.”

Learning – responsibility, management, entrepreneurship, leadership and more – is an integral part of the program.

“Everything we do is career exploration,” said Tallapoosa County Extension coordinator Shane Harris. “You’re introducing them into a whole different world of things – in this case, animal science. At that early age, you never know when that might spark an interest to go into biology, animal science or production.”

Students will be able to display the fruits of their labor at the Lee County Fair, where they will compete in breed classes and showmanship. Each child will bring his or her top three birds in one breed to compete and then to auction off.

Until then, the 4-H extension agents try to stay hands off.

“We will visit them, though, to see how the project is going,” Harris said.

Agents are also looking for sponsors to help defray program costs. To find out more or become a sponsor, call Harris at 256-825-1050.

 

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