Morgan County implements chick chain programPublished 12:05pm Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Morgan County has become the third Alabama County to implement a Chick Chain Program for youth of ages 9 to 19.
The Morgan County Extension Office distributed 12 baby chicks to 22 participating youth on Friday to implement the program. A $25 fee was collected as a personal investment.
The participants will feed and care for the chicks for 20 weeks, after which three will be returned to the Extension Office for a show/auction in October. The $25 will be refunded and each participant will keep the nine other chickens and receive 50 percent of the suction proceeds for their three chickens.
“This is a nice animal project for kids because you don’t need a lot of space to grow chickens,” said Sharon Fisher, assistant Extension agent. “We had thought we wouldn’t get many kids to sign up,” she added, “but we were pleasantly surprised that we had 22 participants the first year.”
The program teaches youth poultry management skills, business management, record keeping and responsibility for taking care of animals.
The participants had five breeds of chickens from which to choose: Buff Orpington, Amercauna, Rhode Island Red, Barred Plymouth Rock and New Hampshire Red.
Fisher said some chick chain participants in Etowah and Cherokee counties have grown profitable laying hen businesses as a result of their participation over the past six years.
She said Extension agents would visit the chick growers twice during the summer to inspect the conditions of the chickens and offer advice if needed. At 22 weeks the pullets will begin laying eggs.