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Coarsegold 4-H: Poultry Project goes to Chick Days

Coarsegold 4-H was invited to be guest speakers at Oakhurst Feed’s Chick Days on March 7. This is the second year that we have been a part of this event. Chick Days is an informational day for people from our area to learn about chicks and chickens.

Chicks are hatched in hatcheries and are shipped to stores at one day old. This is very stressful and so it is important to learn about chick care so you know how to care for your chicks when you get them. Chicks should be kept at about 100 degrees to start and then lower the heat by about five degrees each week. You should provide them with plenty of water, chick starter feed, and a heat lamp. They should have enough room so that if they are too hot, they can move away from the heat. Happy chicks do not make much noise. If they are noisy, they need food, water, or are stressed.

Kelsey from Nutrena Feed taught us about the feeds that Nutrena carries and a new kind of feed called Feather Fixer. This feed is made to kill mites by drying them out and preventing mite problems so I am planning on trying this at my house soon. Many people feed their chickens scratch. Scratch is a good snack, but if you want better eggs, layer crumble or pellets are better because it has more protein and will make your hens lay more eggs.

Chicks need heat until they have full feathers and can keep warm on their own. As they get older and the days get hotter, they should need the heat light less. Hens will start to lay eggs at about 6 months old. If grown hens stop laying eggs, they may be sick or molting (when their feathers change). You can tell what color eggs they will lay by the color of their earlobes which are on the side of their head. Coarsegold 4-H spoke about why having backyard chickens is good. Chickens are good pest control, eggs provide lots of vitamins, and chickens leave the smallest imprint on our environment compared to other farm animals like cows, pigs, and sheep. Our big display board will be at Oakhurst Feed store for two more weeks if you would like to see it.

There was also a guest speaker that spoke to us about bees and how to keep bees. I do not have bees, but this was also very interesting to learn about bees.

In 4-H, anyone under 9 years old is a mini-member. Junior means members in fourth and fifth grade. Intermediate means they are in sixth, seventh, or eighth grade. Senior means they are in High School.

Our leader is Pat Strimling and if you would like to join our 4-H, you can call her at 683-5149. Anyone can join. You don’t have to be a student at Coarsegold Elementary to be a member of Coarsegold 4-H, you can live anywhere in Madera County as long as you can come to our meetings and you can join at any time.

Now you can also follow us on our new website at www.coarsegold4h.com or Facebook. Our club meetings meet every second Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Coarsegold Community Center.

4-H Statement: Madera County 4-H Youth Program is a non-profit organization for youth who are 9 years old or who have completed the third grade and up to age 19 years of age. All youth and adults in Madera County are invited to participate in the 4-H Program regardless of race, creed, religion, color, national origin, sex, mental or physical handicap.

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