Nineteen Washtenaw County 4-H members participated in the debut 4-H Poultry Community Service Project this summer, which benefited Faith in Action and the St. Louis Center.
They ranged in age from 9-18 years and were given 200 meat hen chicks, 10 to each participant on June 1. Their mission was to raise them for nine weeks and return five to be processed and delivered to needy families on Aug. 4, according to information provided by Cindy Fisher, one of the 4-H leaders on the project committee.
Each youth was required to keep a record book of their experience and have it judged at the Washtenaw County 4-H Youth Show by Linda Reilly of Lyndon Township, a Washtenaw County Farm Bureau member.
Here is a sampling of the things that the youth said they learned from the project: care and feeding, responsibility, ways to keep the birds cool in the extreme heat, dedication, good feelings because they were helping others.
Eleven of the participants said they’d do it again, while one said no, and seven did not answer the question.
Participants said they’d like to allow the chickens to run outside more often and several said they’d like to meet the families they helped.
On Aug. 4, the participants gathered at the home of Paul and Susan Zalucha in Dexter at 6:30 a.m. to deliver their completed project for processing. And, Fisher said in a press release, several members accompanied their birds to Fowlerville to Munsell’s Poultry Processing to see the project to its completion.
A total of 116 birds were processed and delivered to Faith in Action and St. Louis Center.
The following businesses supported the 4-Her’s efforts: Townline Hatchery, Kalmbach Feeds – Rick Baldus, Dexter Mill, Washtenaw County Farm Bureau, Munsell’s Poultry Processing, Saline Town and Country and the Washtenaw County 4-H Advisory Council.
Because of these sponsorships, the youth were able to complete this community service project at no cost to them.
Committee members for the project were: Sheri & Allison Bellairs, Cindy Fischer, Debbie Luckhardt, Cathie Mason, and Paul & Susan Zalucha, all 4-H leaders.