By: Sarah Dyer
Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Agent
UGA College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences | Dade County UGA Extension
On November 23rd, 2020 we held the annual Dade County 4-H Chicken Show followed by the inaugural Sale of Champions for our 2020 Chick-to-Chicken Project 4-H’ers. In May 2020, 4-H’ers in the project purchased 10 chicks each. They built a coop, gathered the necessary feed and supplies, and they raised the chicks into soon-to-be laying hens. Preparing for the show, 4-H’ers picked out their three best hens to compete. They bathed and prepped their hens to look their very best for the show.
On the night of the show, our judge and Dade County 4-H Alumnus, Mr. Jeremy Dyer, evaluated each pen of three hens. He placed the pens based on laying hen qualities such as body capacity, fleshing and laying ability, pen uniformity, and general health. The Grand Champion Pen of Hens was raised by 4-H’er Morgan Mentzer – Congratulations, Morgan! Dade County 4-H’er, Nathan Canfield, was named Reserve Champion with his pen of hens, and in 3rd Place were the hens exhibited by 4-H’ers Aubrey and Adrian Hill. Way to go!
Following the show, we held the inaugural Sale of Champions. Our guest auctioneer, Mr. Dustin Bradford of Arab, Alabama, auctioned off the top three pens. The Grand Champion Pen raised by Morgan sold to community member, Dylon Floyd, for $425! South Lake Insurance, Dyer Livestock, and The Ted G. Dyer Memorial Fund all pitched in to purchase Nathan’s Reserve Champion Pen for $250. Case Farms couldn’t go home empty handed, so they became the proud new owners of Aubrey and Adrian’s 3rd Place Hens for $225. Dade County 4-H would like to shout a big “Thank You” to all of the bidders and buyers who made our inaugural Sale of Champions a huge success! The sale taught our 4-H’ers that “it pays to work hard,” just as our auctioneer stated after the Grand Champion Pen sold.
Through this project 4-H’ers learn a great level of responsibility, the biological processes of poultry, how to be good stewards of livestock, and an understanding of the food-producing animal industry that feeds our world. This project requires commitment from family members of the 4-H’ers, and the loving family support was evident the night of the sale. The show and sale could not have happened without our judge and auctioneer both willing to step up to the plate and serve. Ultimately, this program would not be nearly as successful without the support of community members and businesses who rewarded the kids for their months of hard work through the Sale of Champions. Thank you to all of these parties mentioned above for making this program both possible and successful! Like so much else in 2020, the event didn’t follow the norm (held outside on a cold night and socially distancing limited fellowship), but we are thankful that the event was still possible and that you all joined us, nonetheless.
If you’re interested in the 2021 Chick-to-Chicken Project, stay tuned to our Dade County 4-H Facebook page for announcements and information to be released around February.
Pictured Below: Grand Champion – Morgan Mentzer; Reserve Champion Nathan Canfield; 3rd Place Audrey and Adrian Hill; Judge Jeremy Dyer.