Wiregrass 4-H Youth are Egg-cellent!

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The 2013 Southeast Alabama 4-H Chick Chain Show and Auction was held at the Ag-Plex Arena in Ozark, AL.

This event marked the completion of a 20 week project where 4-H members cared for and raised 16 pullets (young female chickens). These youth began their journey by selecting 16 tiny day-old pullet chicks (eight chicks each from two breeds) with the intention to grow egg-laying birds.

Nineteen outstanding youth from Barbour, Coffee, Crenshaw, Dale, Geneva, Henry, Houston, Pike and Russell counties finished the project by selecting their three best pullets to bring to the 4-H Chick Chain Show and Auction. Once there, each pen of three pullets was judged based on health and appearance.

Breeds represented at the show included some of the best egg-layers: Black Australorp, Black Minorca, Barred Plymouth Rock and Ameraucana. Supreme and reserve champions were selected from among the top winners for each breed. Grand and reserve champion winners were awarded by county and overall by breed. Additionally, the youth went on to compete in showmanship events which highlighted the animal husbandry knowledge and skills the 4-H’ers learned throughout the project.

Showmanship included the youth handling the birds and interviews with two separate judges. Half of the student’s showmanship score was based on the student’s accuracy, creativity, and neatness in keeping portfolio records for the flock. Showmanship and portfolio winners were awarded by age group.

Seven Wiregrass youth participating in the 4-H Chick Chain Show and Auction included: Noah Owens, Mike Lynn, Will White, Austin Knight, Perry Summerford, Kalub Wilkerson and Buddy Skipper.

Overall Reserve Champion

Mike Lynn – Dale County – Ameraucauna breed

County Champions

Noah Owens – Geneva County Grand Champion - Ameraucana breed

Mike Lynn – Dale County Grand Champion - Ameraucana breed

Will White – Dale County Reserve Grand Champion - Barred Plymouth Rock breed

Perry Summerford – Houston County Grand Champion - Black Minorca breed

Kalub Wilkerson – Henry County Grand Champion - Black Australorp breed

Buddy Skipper – Coffee County Grand Champion - Black Australorp breed

Breed Grand and Reserve Champions

Mike Lynn – Dale County – Ameraucana Grand Champion

Perry Summerford – Houston County – Black Minorca Grand Champion

Will White – Dale County – Barred Plymouth Rock Reserve Champion

Showmanship Winners

Noah Owens (Geneva Co) – 1st Place Junior Level

Will White (Dale Co) – 2nd Place Junior Level

Mike Lynn (Dale Co) – 5th Place Junior Level

Austin Knight (Dale Co) – 3rd Place Intermediate Level

Perry Summerford (Houston Co) – 4th Place Intermediate Level

Kalub Wilkerson (Henry Co) – 2nd Place Senior I Level

Buddy Skipper (Coffee Co) – 1st Place Senior II Level

After the competition concluded, each pen of three pullets was auctioned to the highest bidder. All pens of birds sold for a minimum of $40.

And just what happened to the birds left at home? The youth kept their remaining flock, and many pullets have now started laying eggs. Some plan to sell their birds, while others have become very attached to their pets. Yet others have decided to become entrepreneurs, producing and selling eggs. Regardless of the path chosen, these youth have learned responsibility and life skills throughout this 4-H project.