The following 4-H Youth Development and Agriculture and Natural Resources article printed in the 2018 Winter edition of the Oldham County Extension Newsletter and the 2018 Oldham County Extension Report to the People.
Raising Poultry for Family and Markets
In Oldham County, the sourcing and purchasing of local foods is a continuing trend. This has also spurred a growing number of people to seek information about raising their own food, and keeping poultry flocks is a very popular enterprise. Oldham County poultry and egg sales have continued to increase over the last two decades, according to the U.S. Census of Agriculture.
To meet the growing need for poultry production knowledge, the Oldham County Agriculture and 4-H Agents and the Shelby County Horticulture Assistant planned a two-part ‘Chickens 101’ program. The program was geared to both adults and youth interested in egg and meat chicken production.
This March 2018 program featured both classroom presentations and live poultry demonstrations. Sixty-six adults and youth attended one or both sessions of Chickens 101. Participants learned about breed selection, chick care, housing, predator control, flock health, and nutrition.
A post evaluation revealed that:
- 100% of respondents learned new information relevant to raising chickens
- 100% of respondents reported they would use information learned to raise chickens to produce eggs for their families
- 36% reported that new knowledge would help them raise meat chickens for their families
- 45% reported they will sell eggs to others
- 23% reported they will sell processed/finished meat chickens to others
Based on evaluation response, classes on selling eggs and meat chickens – plus other production-oriented topics – are in demand and needed. The Oldham County Extension Service plans to host future poultry programs to provide continuing education to both youth and adults.
The success of the Chickens 101 series also led to the establishment of the Oldham County 4-H Poultry Club in the fall of 2018.