The 4-H Poultry Project provides youth a fun and hands-on learning experience that develops life skills, as well as teaches valuable information about properly caring for their birds. Subjects such as such as general care, nutrition housing, and health care are presented in the curricular materials, through workshops and activities such as poultry judging, and in preparation of an exhibit. Youth also have the opportunity to develop responsibility, decision-making, nurturing, and communication skills through active participation in the 4-H Poultry Project.
For Judging and Check-in information, consult the current 4-H Catalog.
For additional resources see the Indiana 4-H Youth Development Project Page.
- All 4-H General Rules, Livestock Rules and Health Regulations apply.
- Project manuals are assigned as follows:
- Level 1 (Grades 3-6)
- Level 2 (Grades 7-10)
- Level 3 (Grades 11-12)
- Members are required to complete a minimum of two activities in the project manual each year. For members enrolled in both Poultry—Frozen Broilers and Poultry—Live Birds; a total of three activities or one workshop must be completed each year. A completed project manual and record sheet must be turned in by the established and posted date.
- One record sheet must be filled out for each category of bird owned: Commercials Meat Birds, Commercial Egg Production Birds, Exhibition Birds and All Other Breeds Poultry. Maximum number of records sheets is 4 total.
- Only Poultry Breeds recognized in the most current American Standard of Perfection will be recognized in the exhibition classes. Birds not recognized in the American Standard of Perfection will show together in the All Other Breed Class.
- There will be an American Standard of Perfection book available for 4-H’ers to view at Poultry Club meetings and at the Extension Office.
- All birds must be in the members’ possession by May 15th of the current year, except for commercial meat class. 4-H members must fill out the Official 4-H Poultry Enrollment Intent Form and turn into the Extension Office by 4:30PM on May 15th.
- All birds must come from a NPIP certified flock or be blood-tested by a certified tester from ISPA prior to the fair. All birds over 1 year old must be blood-tested. Proof of NPIP compliance must be submitted before birds allowed to pen.
- Members will have full responsibility for the care of their birds. Shavings for bedding will be provided by a local sponsor. All birds must be free from external parasites.
- 4-H Poultry may only show in one category in a given year. Birds may not show in both the Commercial and Exhibition Classes in a given year.
- Workshop Verification OR Livestock Activity Sheets, Manuals, and Record Sheets are due into the Extension Office by 4:30 PM on July 1st. 4-H’ers not turning in the required paperwork will not be eligible to show or sell at the Adams County 4-H Fair.
- A 4 x 6 (landscape) picture of yourself and the animal you plan to sell in the auction must be turned in at fair check-in. 4-H’ers Name and Animal ID must be on the back of the picture.
Poultry is divided into 4 categories with Grand Champions in Commercial Meat, Commercial Egg Production and Exhibition categories:
- Commercial Meat
- Commercial Egg Production
- All Other Breeds Poultry - This class is for Poultry not recognized in the most current American Standard of Perfection.
Commercial Meat Classes
- Commercial Meat
- Broilers - Exhibit two birds of the same sex, 6-8 weeks of age and not over 5.6 pounds on entrance day.
- Roasters - Exhibit two birds of the same sex, 8-12 weeks of age and 5.6 to 10 pounds on entrance day.
- Waterfowl – Exhibit one bird
- Ducks (Pekins and AOC)
- Geese (Embden and AOC)
- Turkeys – Exhibit one bird
- An overall Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion will be selected from the Commercial Meat Classes. Only live birds from the Commercial Meat Category will be allowed to sell in the Livestock Auction.
Commercial Egg Production Category
- Commercial Egg-Hen Classes - Judging will be on animal egg production. Exhibit 2 female birds (hens of the same breed in laying condition hatched before July of the prior year. Hens must be blood tested.
- White egg layers
- Brown egg layers
- Commercial Egg-Pullets Classes - Judging will be on animal egg production. Exhibit 2 female birds hatched after July 1st of the prior year.
- White egg layers
- Brown egg layers
- Commercial Egg Classes - Exhibit 6 eggs in a foam egg carton. Eggs will be judged on uniformity and marketability.
- White eggs
- Brown eggs
- Other eggs
An overall Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion from the Commercial Egg Production will be selected. This category will not be selling in the Livestock Auction.
Exhibition Birds Category
- Bantams - Exhibitor will be allowed to exhibit 3 birds in each class subdivision. Classes will be subdivided into breed, sex and age. Exhibition birds are judged to breed standards.
- Modern Game
- Old English Game
- Single Comb Clean Legged
- Rose Comb Clean Legged
- All Other Combs Clean Legged
- Feather Legged
2. Standard Large Fowl - Exhibitor will be allowed to exhibit 3 birds in each class subdivision. Classes will be subdivided into breed, sex and age. Exhibition birds are judged to breed standards.
- American Breeds
- Asiatic Breeds
- Continental Breeds
- English Breeds
- Mediterranean Breeds
- All Other Standard Breeds (A.O.S.B)
3. Waterfowl - Exhibitor will be allowed to exhibit 3 birds in each class subdivision. Classes will be subdivided into breed, sex and age. Exhibition birds are judged to breed standards.
- Light Weight Ducks
- Medium Weight Ducks
- Heavy Weight Ducks
- Bantam Ducks
- Light Weight Geese
- Medium Weight Geese
- Heavy Weight Geese
4. Game Birds - Exhibitor will be allowed to exhibit 3 birds in each class subdivision. Classes will be subdivided into breed, sex and age. Exhibition birds are judged to breed standards.
5. A Champion and Reserve Champion will be selected from each of the Exhibition Classes. An overall Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion will be selected from the Exhibition Class Champions.
All Other Breeds Poultry
- Any bird that is not recognized in the current American Standard of Perfection will show in the All Other Breed Poultry Class. Exhibitors are allowed to exhibit a maximum of 3 single birds in this class.
- A Champion and Reserve Champion All Other Breeds Poultry will be selected; however, these classes do not compete for any other awards.
- Showmanship is on a volunteer basis with members strongly encouraged to participate.
- Members must currently be enrolled in the Poultry–Live Bird project. In an event a 4-H’er is unable to show their own bird and with poultry committee’s approval they are still eligible for showmanship. All birds used in poultry showmanship must be entered into the Adams County 4-H fair.
- Showmanship classes will be divided into four classes:
- Junior (Grades 3-5) Junior winner will compete in the Intermediate division the following year. Junior winner cannot repeat as Champion Junior Poultry Showman.
- Intermediate (Grades 6-8) Intermediate winner will compete in Senior division the following year. Intermediate winner cannot repeat as Champion Intermediate Poultry Showman.
- Senior (Grades 9-12) Senior winner will compete in premier division the following year. Senior winner cannot repeat as Champion Senior Poultry Showman.
- Premier- The Premier Showman will be selected from the current Beginner, Intermediate and Senior Showman and any past Senior and Premier Showmanship winners still enrolled in 4-H. The winner will represent the Poultry species in the overall Supreme Showman contest. A Premier Showmanship runner-up will be selected and announced.
- Exhibitors may sell only once through the 4-H auction. Members must inform the committee of their intent to sell or take the animal home within 30 minutes of the completion of the Poultry Show.
- Only those animals showing in the Commercial Meat Classes are eligible to sell in the Livestock Auction. These include Broilers, Roasters, Ducks, Geese and Turkeys.
- For bio-security reasons, all birds will be released at the conclusion of the Poultry Show, therefore, auction Poultry–Live Birds will not go through the auction ring with the 4-H’er.
Please see Mini 4-H Poultry rules and requirements in the Mini 4-H section of this 4-H Catalog.