The Pee Dee Region 4-H Pullet Chain Project provides youth a fun and hands-on learning experience that develops life skills, as well as teaches valuable information about properly caring for their animal. Subjects such as such as general care, nutrition, housing, and health care are presented in the curricular materials, through workshops and activities and in preparation of an exhibit. Youth also have the opportunity to develop responsibility, decision-making, nurturing, and communication skills through active participation in the 4-H Pullet Chain Project. Each participant will recieve a special manual on caring for day-old chicks and raising them into healthy, egg-producing hens. Participants should expect to start chicks out in a brooder (warm and protective environment) and move them into a coop as they get older.
The project is open to 4-H members ages 5-19 who reside in one of the counties located in the Pee Dee Region. Each project participant will have the opportunity to participate in the Pee Dee Region 4-H Pullet Chain Show in August at the Eastern Carolina Agricultural Fair in Florence, SC.
Participants have the option to choose between three breeds of birds: Rhode Island Reds, Golden Comets, or Cuckoo Marans. They will receive 12 of their chosen breed to complete the project with. Rhode Island Reds and Golden Comets are our traditional breeds for the project and will be $40 for 12 chicks. Cuckoo Maranas are our "rare breed" for the project and will be $43. The chicks will be one-day old on arrival and should come near the first of May (an exact date will be given when the birds are ordered).
There is an additional $10 project fee as well.
Deadline for registration is March 15th. Chick pick-up will be the week of April 2.
As part of your completion of the project, you are required to:
-return four (4) pullets to the ECA Fair for the Pullet Chain Auction*
-complete a 4-H Record Book (ages 9-19) or a 4-H Cloverbud Record Book (ages 5-8) on your project.
-participate in the Pee Dee Region Pullet Chain Show
*The auction will be held on Saturday, August 25th. You are not required to be present at the auction but your 4 pullets are required to be auctioned off as a portion of the project and to benefit the regional 4-H program. There will be a buy-back option. Contact your 4-H agent for details and requirements prior to August 20th. Dates are subject to change.
Upon completion of the above requirements, a deposit of $35 will be returned to participants and all remaining pullets are yours to keep.
Note: A one time $10 4-H membership fee is required per year per participant. With the membership, youth will receive a t-shirt as well as access to everything else 4-H has to offer. If you are not already a member, contact your local 4-H Extension Agent. The Pee Dee Region 4-H Pullet Chain Project is open to youth in the following counties: Horry, Williamsburg, Chesterfield, Florence, Marlboro, Dillon, Darlington, Georgetown, Clarendon, Lee, Sumter, and Marion Counties.
What's the refund policy?
Refunds are allowed only through the end of the registration period on March 15, 2018. Chicks will be ordered on March 16, 2018. Once the chicks are ordered refunds will not be allowed.
What are the breed choices?
Rhode Island Red - Rhode Island Reds have earned the reputation of being one of the best layers of large brown eggs available today. They mature early and lay eggs of excellent size and quality. They're extremely cold hardy, and hardy in general. In fact, they're the state bird of Rhode Island. A check of National Egg laying contest records will reveal the superior egg laying qualities of this breed.
Golden Comet - The Comet has been widely acclaimed in all areas of the world where brown eggs are preferred. The reason is simple. The Comet pullet is easily one of the finest brown egg layers available today. They mature early and lay eggs of excellent size and quality. They are extremely quiet birds, that seem to be able to withstand the colder, non-insulated, laying houses of the small flock owner, better than most breeds. The Comet is a buff sex-link strain. When mature, the Comet pullet is golden red in color, but has some white showing through in her neck and back.
Cuckoo Maran - This is a new addition to our project and one that we feel will be a popular selection. They are known best for their distinctive chocolate brown eggs. The Cuckoo Maran is a rare breed that adapts well to confinement. They resemble a Barred Plymouth Rock except their bars are not as perfect and their colors are not as distinct. They are roughly 7-8 lbs when mature. Marans lay the darkest eggs of any breed and are a nice dual purpose bird. A great, interesting bird for your backyard flock.
How much space will I need in the coop?
As a general rule of thumb you will need about three square feet per mature chicken inside the coop, and 8 to 10 square feet in an outside run. More square footage is better. For roosting, it is best to have 10 to 12 inches of roost space per bird. It is recommended that you have one nesting box for every 5 hens (although, without fail, there will be one box that they most pick as their favorite).
Can I raise the birds on a scratch feed ration?
While chickens love to eat scratch feed, it does not supply the needed nutrients for them to develop properly. Think of scratch feed as 'candy for your birds'as it ony delievers about 6-8% protein content. If you use it at all, only do so as an occasional treat. When your birds are growing, they should be on a balanced ration that provides a minimum of 18% protein (20% is better). When you see the first egg, they should be transitioned to a layer ration that contains 16% protein.
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