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Planning for 4-H summer programs includes chicken course

By Matthew McClellan

Rowan Cooperative Extension

I know that it’s still winter, and you probably aren’t entertaining thoughts of warmer weather and summer vacation.

Well, summer will be here before you know it and it’ll be time to figure out what to do with the kids again.

Every year, the Rowan County 4-H program offers exciting, fun, safe, affordable programming for youth during the summer. Now, while I do not have a calendar of programs ready to release just yet— probably within the next two weeks — I do want to give out some of the tentative plans for the 4-H Summer Fun! program.

This summer we will be offering cooking classes, outdoor adventures (camping, fishing, hiking, survival skills and firearm safety), an arts and crafts week, a course to teach youth how to raise poultry and much more, so stay tuned.

When the complete calendar and registration is ready, it will be distributed in the newspaper, through our social media outlets and through our county website.

If you are interested in knowing exactly when and how to register for the 4-H Summer Fun! series, I would recommend following our Rowan County 4-H Facebook page, which can be found at https://www.facebook.com/rowan4h/ . This is the best way to keep up to date with what’s going on in the Rowan 4-H program and lets you see all the other great ways that you can get your youth involved with the program.

I want to talk a little more in depth about one of the summer programs that we will be offering. Our youth poultry class, “From Chick to Trophy,” will be an opportunity for youth to learn about and construct all the necessary facilities to raise chickens at home.

The program will teach youth about what it takes to raise chickens for home consumption. At the end of the program, youth will get to take home a wire pen, water dispenser and feeder. The best part is we hope to provide youth with at least 10 broiler chicks to raise. Youth will then have the opportunity to raise the broilers and exhibit a pen of broilers (three birds) at the Rowan County Fair.

This will be a brand new project this year and we really would like to have at least 15 participants to have a good broiler show at the fair. This program should appeal to those of you who are interested in knowing exactly where your food comes from and how to produce your own food or those who have youth who are interested in learning about animals and don’t have a lot of room or money to deal with larger livestock species. This project also opens up the world of animal husbandry to those youth living within city limits where larger livestock species are not allowed, in most cases.

If you have any questions about the 4-H Summer Fun! Series, please contact me at the Rowan County Extension Office. If you have any questions about poultry production, please contact our livestock agent, Morgan Watts, also at the Extension office. The phone number is 704-216-8970.

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