800 baby chicks, uncountable cheeps, and happy 4-H families… these are the tell-tale signs of fair season approaching.
Black Hawk County 4-H is excited to have 18 4-H youth and 2 adult volunteers from 11 4-H families participating in the annual “Broiler Chick Project”. Our broiler chick project is unique as 4-H’ers have the opportunity to raise broiler chicks (at just the cost of feed), exhibit their poultry at the fair, and donate fresh poultry meat to the Northeast Iowa Food Bank.
How it works…
4-H members pre-register for the chick project by placing a member or family order for chicks. At pick up, members pay $20 per batch of 20 chicks and receive a free bag of feed if they commit to donating at least 4-5 birds to the food bank in July.
Members then raise their chicks using safe practices and following all Food Safety and Quality Assurance guidelines. Upon proper registration for fair, families bring their broilers to the Black Hawk County 4-H and FFA Fair to show. Members choose their best four chickens to exhibit with a focus on health, cleanliness, and uniformity in the pen of four animal.
At fair check in, families receive their initial investment of $20.00 back for bringing the chicks to fair. At the end of fair, our poultry superintendent transports poultry for donation to the site of processing. Post-processing, the food bank picks up the donated meat in a refrigerated truck.
4-H’ers that participate in the broiler chick project gain self-esteem, understanding of the livestock industry and animal cares, as well as personal achievement by knowing they contributed positively to their community.
It has been proven that individuals that raise animals or market livestock experience high value of responsibility throughout their daily lives. For more on this, check out this article published by Purdue!
Black Hawk County 4-H’s Broiler Chick Project started in 2013. Since then, more than one tone of fresh poultry meat has been donated to the Northeast Iowa Food Bank. In 2016 alone, 890 pounds of meat were donated. This year, participant’s goal is to donate over 1000 pounds of poultry to the Northeast Iowa Food Bank!
Black Hawk County 4-H has a rich history of youth development and community involvement. Check us out!