About the Poultry Project
The Poultry Project was designed to help members learn about chickens, turkeys and other poultry. Youth in the Poultry project interact with research-based information that encourages confidence, character-building, industry knowledge, and sportsmanship. Youth will learn how to properly care for an animal and how to keep accurate records. Project Overview & Tips
Project levels are designed for members 8-18 years old, junior, intermediate and senior.
|Boulder County Fair Poultry Project Superintendent|
|Brande Charnoff ~ email@example.com|
|Poultry Project Assistant|
Record Books / e-Records
4-H Record Books are also called e-Records. Each project has its own record book that members are required to complete each year. Record books have a few times to be checked on progress throughout the year:
1. June- your 4-H leader will be sure your books are started and up to date.
2. Prior to showing at the Boulder County Fair, your record books will be checked by your superintendent to be sure they are up to date and complete as can be in order to participate and show at the fair.
3. New in 2022– Cavies will use the Companion Animal Record Book. Final Companion animal record books are due to be received at the extension office by the second Friday in September. (please note: your 4-H Leader may need an earlier deadline for review and signatures.)
Poultry Project Resources
All project manuals are received through the Extension office. These will be distributed to 4-H members through their organizational leaders (club leaders) after enrollment is complete. For more information on enrollment visit Join 4-H.
- Raising Fancy Poultry (Show birds):
- Raising Broilers (Market Chickens):
- Raising Pullets (Egg Production Project):
- Raising Turkeys (Market & Breeding Projects):
- Duck/Goose Project (All Waterfowl):
- Pigeon & Dove:
- Game Birds (Guinea Fowl, Pheasants, Quail): There is no manual, but we allow them at Fair. Please contact your Poultry Superintendent on basic guidelines for the project.
Before you decide which breed(s) of chickens to raise, view the website below for information on many different breeds of chicken, including variety, class, type, origin, productivity, egg color and size, combs, ear lobes, skin color, broodiness, hardiness, maturing and behavior.
- Helpful Poultry Books & Resources for Your Projects
- What Kind of Chicken Do I Want to Raise?
- Start Your Chickens Off Right
- Poultry Parts
- Poultry External Parasites
- Need a New Home for your Birds?
- Raising Baby Chicks – Youth Demonstration
- Incubating eggs for baby chickens – Youth Demonstration
- Boulder County 4-H Poultry Show Prep – Youth Demonstration
- Picking Your Best Bird – Youth Demonstration
- Showmanship Explanation – Youth Demonstration
- Handling Your Bird – Youth Demonstration
- Large Fowl Handling – Youth Demonstration
- Poultry Showmanship Dress – Youth Demonstration
- Example Virtual Junior Showmanship 2020 – Youth Demonstration
- Example Virtual Intermediate/Senior Showmanship 2020 – Youth Demonstration
Expand For Colorado Department of Agriculture Animal Health Division
|Step up Biosecurity – Avian Influenza Circulating Globally Avian Influenza outbreaks this winter in Asia and Europe resemble the global spread of avian influenza just before the disease appeared in the United States six years ago, which resulted in the largest foreign animal disease outbreak in US history. Avian Influenza was reported in 15 European countries between mid-November and early December, according to the World Organization for Animal Health. The pace of European outbreaks has picked up in the past two weeks, with new cases reported in the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, Russia and the Ukraine. Iran, Japan, South Korea and Laos also have reported recent outbreaks. World health officials trace the current European wave of bird flu to an outbreak in Russia in August. In response to the virus spreading in Europe, the USDA has tested 1,850 wild birds in 16 Atlantic flyway states since October, but has found no case of highly pathogenic avian influenza, a USDA spokesman said Wednesday. source World Organization for Animal Health – Avian Influenza Situation Reports|
What this means for Colorado veterinarians: There have been no cases of HPAI diagnosed in the United States this year. However, we are asking you to inform poultry producers and bird owners about HPAI and advise them to increase biosecurity measures to help prevent HPAI from occurring in Colorado. As part of good biosecurity practices, we recommend that flock owners limit any direct and indirect exposure of poultry to wildlife/wildlife areas. Wild birds serve as a reservoir of avian influenza viruses and can transmit the virus to domestic poultry flocks. The most important biosecurity practices that flock owners can take include limiting exposure of their birds to other flocks and limiting introduction of new birds into their flocks. The USDA Defend the Flock website has great resources for keeping poultry healthy. Veterinarians and producers must report increased morbidity and mortality in poultry flocks to the State Veterinarian’s office at 303-869-9130. If it is after hours, the voice message will indicate which staff veterinarian is on call. Additionally, it is vital to submit sick and dead birds to CSU’s veterinary diagnostic lab for HPAI testing. If you have sick birds or birds that have died from unknown causes, help is available at the Colorado Avian Health Call Line at CSU, their number is 970-297-4008. Thanks for your work and helping to prevent HPAI in Colorado!
Poultry Workshop Schedule for 2022 Listed below is the schedule for the Poultry workshops and important dates this year. More information will be coming.
Boulder County Fair
Expand For a breakdown of what happens in the Poultry Barn at the Boulder County!
As a safety precaution there will be NO FOOD ALLOWED in any barn. There will be designated areas around the fair grounds to enjoy your food. Please do not bring any food into the Poultry Barn and remember to wash your hands every time you handle any of your birds before you eat.
1 – Poultry Set Up. It requires a lot of help to get things in place and set up with the number of birds we have coming into the barn. If you have a couple hours to help that would be great. We will be getting all cages out, set up, and put in order. Jail crew will be there to do the brunt of the heavy lifting in the morning, but they are not enough, so I will need some extra hands. The help is greatly appreciated!
2 – Fair Check In. The CSU vet team will be there to check every bird. Check In includes all show poultry, breeding, and market birds together at the same time. This takes some time. While you are waiting for your turn, please sign up for a poultry herdsman shift, swap leg bands if needed, and get your record books checked. At least one shift per poultry member is required for herdsman. At least one adult and at least one kid per shift. There will be a herdsman ship award at the end of fair. Record books need to be up to date! Once, birds have passed the vet check, you have a herdsman shift, and record books are checked you may precede to take your birds into the barn and find their cages. There will be helpers on hand if you need help finding your cages. Feed and water your birds at this time. All gear needs to fit under the poultry cages. Go to the herdsman ship sign up link you will be sent before fair and sign up ahead of time. Please remember to bring one bag of shavings per family. A second sign up genius will go around for Adult Volunteer help throughout fair. With so much going on in a short period time, it will take several volunteers to make everything go smoothly. Please sign up!!
3 – Market Weigh In. You are invited to be a part of the weigh in for your market birds. If you have another event, no worries we will be there taking care of them.
4 – There is a Poultry sink in the wash rack area for any of you who need to wash your birds before the shows. Please transport your birds in cages and only take them directly there and then back to the barn.
5 – Egg Judging. This is a fun educational class. Please bring three identical eggs, for example: three Rhode Island Red eggs, cleaned and ready to be judged. Please consider being present during the judging as the judge will discuss what is being looked for.
6 – Egg Production/Market Judging. Please have your Egg Production records handed into me before then. If your chickens are still young and not yet laying, please still print out the form, fill it out, and state that on the form. (Anyone in Egg Production please save one or two dozen eggs for the Product Sale, if your chickens are laying.) Market members please come see me after the judging so those who intend to sale can get their intent to sale forms and we can work out getting pictures done.
7 – Showmanship. There will be a free ice cream certificate from the dairy bar for those who participate in showmanship. Please wear long pants, nice collared shirt, and closed toed shoes. PeeWee Showmanship will be starting at this same time!
8 – Poultry Judging. Please be in early to feed and water your birds and have your cages cleaned. You do not need to be in the barn for judging. Depending on how the judge’s day has progressed you may have an opportunity to speak with the judge once he/she is done. We will not know until that day. If an aisle is blocked off with a Closed for Judging sign, please do not enter until it has been removed. That means the judge is currently working in that aisle and we do not want to disturb them, it takes a long time to go through that many birds.
9 – Market Photos. will be taken for those kids intending to sell their market birds on August 6th in Barn A (TBD). Please have your showmanship clothes on hand that day, as you will need to have them to take your photos. We will be taking the photos ourselves, so we have some flexibility on the time.
10-Fun photo contest will be done Thursday August 6th TBD.
11 – Poultry Costume Contest. You will be judged in one large group in age classes starting with PeeWee, then Junior, then Intermediate, and last the Seniors. Please be ready on time.
12 – Poultry Agility Course. We will have two consecutive courses running at the same time, starting with Juniors and Intermediates. As soon as one of those groups have finished the Seniors will begin.
13 – Poultry Sale. Signs can go on the cages an hour before the sale. No phone numbers please. Each pullet should be placed for sale at $30. Roosters you may set your own price. The standard is $5 or $10 depending on whether it is for breeding or if you are willing to let it go for meat. Yes, we get a lot of people coming into the sale wanting to buy your roosters for meat. It is okay to ask them what they intend to use it for and if you are not okay with selling it for meat, just politely tell them no thank you. If you do not want your rooster to go for meat, it is advised to set it at a higher price. It is a first come first serve basis, please no presales. This means at 1:00pm please walk by each of your cages that are for sale. People will stand by your cage until you get there and then the sale transaction can take place. Once the bird is sold, please remove the leg band, place the bird in a box, and walk them to one of the exits. An adult member will be at the doors to verify who you sold the bird too and to collect leg bands. Due to participants being involved in multiple projects I know it has been a problem for some of you to be there. If this is a problem for you, please come speak with me and I will help you set up for the sale. Please no phone numbers on the for-sale signs. It has been posted on Facebook, craigslist, and in several feed stores, if you think of anywhere else it could be advertised, we could use the help in getting the word out.
14 – Small Animal Round Robin. This will be for the top two in each age division of showmanship. Please dress appropriately, white collared shirts, jeans, and closed toe shoes.
15 – Product Sale. This will be for the overall winner of the Egg Production division. You will take at least one dozen eggs and some kind of poultry related item for the auction and they will sell it to the highest bidder. Examples of what has sold in the past: Gift basket with eggs and other cooking items/Chicken wind chimes/Poultry products etc….
16 – Fun Class Photo Contest, two overall photos, will be chosen amongst the three age divisions and taken to the Market Sale BBQ to participate in a silent auction. The Market Sale BBQ will be at 12:00pm and the winners will be announced at the beginning of the market sale auction starting at 2:00pm. All money raised will be divided amongst all departments to go towards awards next year.
17 – Market Sale. This is for poultry members that are participating in the market department. The parade of Champions is at 1:30pm with the sale beginning at 2:00pm. Please be dressed appropriately. Poultry is now required to follow the same rules as all market sale animals. This means it is a terminal sale. Please read the following info and contact me with any questions. Every bird sold will be tagged with paint and transported to processing after the sale and the meat will be donated to Our Center. If your buyer wants their birds, please make sure they specify that so their birds can be tagged a different color. Once the sale is final the bird is no longer yours, we will move them to a different cage, and we will take care of them from there. If you would like your bird back, you must go to the fair office within one hour of the sale and buy your bird back. The buyback fee will be $20. Once that is done, please bring me your receipt and you can help me take your birds from holding and move them back to their cage. Birds will still be separated and tagged so we know which one yours until it is transported. R & C Custom Processing will do all our processing for the market sale birds on Sunday or Monday after the sale. I will transport the Market sale birds. Those who need processing for birds that did not go to sale or that you have at home are scheduled in August. Still waiting on the final date but will get that to you ASAP. You will need to transport your birds there and return to pick them up.
18 – Awards. Even if you do not think you won an award please show up anyway, we don’t announce all of the awards until that day. It is also the only time our entire poultry group is together, so it is very informational and a lot of fun!
19 – Release & Barn Clean Up. Please bring wheel barrels, shovels, and brooms to cleanup. Award money will be passed out once the barn is cleaned. THERE ARE NO EARLY RELEASES!! I know since you are all there for the awards you want to start taking your birds home, but please leave them until 2:00pm. You can haul your feed and gear out early. Help break down cages that are empty due to the Poultry and Market Sale, but please leave the birds until the required time. This is so we do not disrupt other events that day.
Fun Stuff – This year we will have the chicken photo booth set up again. You can take your bird out of the cage and take a picture of them, maybe with the ribbon they won. Or you can dress them up with one of the lovely props and take a picture of them looking their best.
Pee-Wee Showmanship. Any younger siblings of 4-H and FFA members or Clover Buds under 8 years old may participate in Peewee Showmanship. Please borrow a chicken from a family member or friend in the barn that you can hold. Sign up to do pee wee showmanship at Poultry Check In. Pee Wee Showmanship will be as the same time as regular check in.
Wall of Fame – To decorate the walls of the poultry barn we are having a poultry photo contest. Please bring a copy of a photo size 3 X 5 or 4x 6 of your favorite poultry photo you have taken of one of your feathery friends. You may each have two entries. Please put your last name, first initial, and age group on the back. Bring it during check in. They will be judged by age division and there will be an award for the first-place photo in each division!! These will all be put on the wall in the poultry barn on our Wall of Fame. In the fun class photo contest, two overall photos will be chosen amongst the three age divisions and taken to the Market Sale BBQ to participate in a silent auction. All money raised will be divided amongst all departments to go towards awards next year.
Not so Fun Stuff – For poultry members with waterfowl and market projects, please clean your cages daily. Since they like to play in the water and make a mess, their cages can get quite smelly. Cleaning them daily will help keep our barn cleaner. For the rest of the Poultry, please spot clean or clean on an as needed basis. You may all use the pine shavings stacked against the wall. Thank you!
We encourage all poultry members to hang out in the poultry barn and speak with the public. This is a fantastic opportunity to teach the public about poultry. You may get your well-mannered birds out of their cages to share with the public. Once they are checked in the barn, they may not leave the barn until check out. Please do not take them out of the barn at all, except to bath or compete, and only handle your own birds. There will be a white board in the barn that will have schedules and who is on herdsman that day. Please feel free to contact me anytime now or during fair. I will be in the barn every day during fair, just look for the lady in the chicken shirt! ??
Donations for awards and supplies are greatly appreciated. This project needs your support to cover all the show expenses. Please donate directly to/at the Fair Office. Be sure to specify that the donation is for poultry. => Donation Documentation
Running a Poultry Show is Hard Work!
Below is a list of items that we could use during Fair. If you can bring anything off this list.
|Paper towels||Blue painters tape||Stamps|
|Clorox wipes||Rubber bands||Brooms (Bring for last day of cleanup)|
|Baby wipes||Paper clips||Shovels (Bring for last day of cleanup.)|
|Fly swatters||Cardboard (25” X 27” between cages in case of fighting birds)||Wheel barrels (Bring last day for cleanup.)|
|Hand sanitizer||Cardstock for sale signs|
Poultry Barn Watch at Fair
Sign Up Genius (coming soon!) – Enter your name, check dates and times, click on “Save”.
We need your help during fair. We have a lot of visitors through the barn every day of fair and it’s always good to have a poultry person on hand to answer any questions, give guidance, and make sure all the birds are safe. Please sign up!
Duties include: Sweeping isles, checking water on all birds, keeping the birds safe, i.e. if someone is poking their finger through the cage at a bird – asking them to please be nice. Making sure no balloons or other animals enter the barn. Talking with the public and simply being a presence.
We are open to the public from Wednesday through Sunday during fair. The barn will be closed to the public on Tuesday during Check In.