The 4-H annual chick chain has officially begun with 52 chicks being delivered earlier this month.
The chick chain is a learning experience designed to give youth the opportunity to raise an animal, teach responsibility, learn money management skills, and gain knowledge in biology.
Each participant receives 15 cinnamon queen chicks, ranging from 2-3 days old. Between April and September, students will raise these chicks into full-grown hens that are used to produce eggs. At the Warren County A&L Fair in September, each individual will submit three hens for a show and sell auction, where their hens will compete for ribbons and be sold to the public.
Advertising for this and other 4-H events is mostly done in classrooms, therefore the chick chain is available to all students in Warren County between grades 4-12. The largest group of participants is between grades 4-6, and they receive a rewarding experience watching the chicks grow into hens, attending the fair’s show and sale, and feeling accomplished as their hard work comes full circle.
The older and more experienced members of 4-H learn money management skills when it comes to the cost of food and all materials needed for the shelter and upkeep of their chicks as they grow, as well as selling eggs once the hens have matured.
The chicks are viewed as pets by some and livestock by others who partake in the chick chain. Regardless of personal beliefs, for five months the welfare of these animals is in the hands of each student, teaching the individuals multiple lessons.
Some students and families decide not to submit three hens to the fair since they have grown close to the birds. However, all of the funds raised through the auction and the down payments from those wanting to keep their chickens allow the program to continue for the upcoming year.
The financial goal is to break even to buy next year’s birds.