At the most recent of my niece Lydia’s 4H meeting, the children were instructed to bring an egg from their flock for a lesson. One teenage member, Aimee, brought a tiny egg laid by her Serama hen, a bird which she had just acquired a couple of months ago. The tiny egg produced by her diminutive bird was about the same size as a candy egg for Easter. When the egg was cracked open as part of this 4H project, things got even more interesting. Continue reading
Contrary to a common misunderstanding, you don’t have to be “100% country” or live on a farm for your children to be active in 4H. Truly, 4H clubs are located everywhere – including very large cities across the country.
My niece Lydia, is a perfect example. She lives in a very urban area and yet she has been participating as a “Cloverbud” (youngest rank for a 4H member) for the past three years and loving it. Lydia is pictured above with one of her bantam Wyandotte cockerels, named Nimbus (yes, after a Harry Potter broomstick) in the 4H poultry costume contest at the Western Idaho Fair this past week. Nimbus is “driving” a little John Deere Tractor as his costume and he (and Lydia) won 3rd place.
Participating in 4H, even as urban or suburban backyard chicken keepers is beneficial to both your kids and the community. Continue reading
Earlier this month, my sister and I dipped our toes into the pool of competitive chicken shows by entering several birds at our local county fair. When I first started down the backyard chicken trail, I would have never considered getting into showing chickens. So what changed?
In fact, I have lots and lots of new chickens in my life which I have been remiss in telling you (the Urban Chicken Podcast family) all about. Late this past spring, I was generously gifted about 2 dozen rare and fancy breed day old chicks. I have been sharing those birds with my sister and niece (a few living at my house and the bulk of birds at hers). Consequently we have decided to try our hands at chicken breeding and hatching with some of the recent additions to our flock.
We are now at a point where between our established flocks and all of the newbie birds, we have more chickens than we know what to do with – and they keep growing and eating more and more. The hard truth is that we need to figure out which of our birds are of breeding quality and which are just pretty duds.
The timing of the local American Poultry Association (A.P.A.) sanctioned poultry show at our county fair was perfect! We could take a bunch of the birds that we really needed some professional feedback on and enter them into the chicken show. The birds would be inspected and judged by an A.P.A. certified poultry expert, and he would be able to give us the insight that we needed to move forward.
Now entering chickens into a show involves more than just scooping your birds out of the backyard and dropping them off at the fairgrounds. There is an important primping process involved in getting your chickens ready to strut their stuff for the judges. Today on the Urban Chicken Podcast, I walk you through how to get your birds ready to show – a process that I just experienced firsthand for the first time recently.
What do Johnny Cash, Jackie Kennedy Onassis and Orville Redenbacher all have in common? 4H – they were all members of 4H in their youth. Continue reading