Raising young meat-type chickens (broilers) is one of the most interesting and fun-filled activities a 4-H’er can experience. Even though the 4-H Broiler Project is one of the most competitive projects among parish and state poultry contests, more and more Terrebonne Parish youth are discovering how easy it is – while learning the meaning of responsibility – the backbone of the 4-H program.
The project lasts for only 42 days. The chicks will arrive tentatively on January 8, 2015, with the birds being ready for contests and market in February. The chicks are brought to Houma at one day of age. Each chick costs .40 cents with 15 costing $6.00, a very low cost. Once you have the chicks, all that is needed is space, feed, water, and care. Other expenses include feed, housing, and other equipment (heating and lighting). The many local feed stores are always stocked with the best feed and equipment. Each broiler will weigh about five pounds, upon completing the project. After dressing, each will yield about three and one-half pounds of plump tender meat of better quality than purchased fryers. You can keep the meat for the family needs, or sell your birds and make some money.
Space requirements are small! A floor pen of only five (5) feet by five (5) feet is good for 25 broilers. That’s only one square foot per bird. Since these chickens do not “crow”, you can raise them without complaints from your neighbors. This is one reason why the project is so popular, since many of our 4-H’ers live in the city limits of Houma, in residential areas.
For Contests, you bring your three (3) best looking broilers. These should be carried to the show in a small cardboard box about two (2) feet by two (2) feet, and then carried inside any car without fear. The Parish Broiler Show will be held on January 24, 2015. The District Show will be held February 5-7, 2015. All 4-H members enrolled in the 4-H broiler project are eligible to participate in the State 4-H Poultry Show in Gonzales, to be held in February 14-21, 2015.
Even though a 4-H’er has not selected a poultry project in September during enrollment, he/she may participate in the broiler contests. Information on “How to Raise Broilers”, including what to feed, equipment and facilities needed, will be provided once your order is received.
If you are interested in participating in the 4-H Broiler Project, just complete the order blank below and return to the 4-H Office by Friday, October 31, 2014. Please submit payment at this time to insure your order. No order less than 15 chicks will be accepted.