This project will address the public's lack of knowledge and understanding of poultry and its uses on the small farm. Recently there has been a huge interest in small backyard flocks of laying hens. This project will address the public's rapidly growing interest in home raised fresh eggs and poultry by products. The exhibit will provide an interactive educational display with hands on learning complete with live birds. The public's interest in the poultry industry was evident at the big Fresno Fair based on the number of questions they asked the 4-H members exhibiting their poultry. Also there has been a huge increase in the number of laying hen chicks sold over the past few years. In fact the demand is so high; many hatcheries are sold out until 2014. The Fresno Chaffee Zoo has also noted the public's interest and they are now starting a small animal Zoo Farm to house locally raised small farm animals including poultry.
How will 4-H help?
This project includes two parts. The first is to design and implement an interactive chicken coop and educational display that includes all types of poultry showcasing how they benefit the farm. This will be done in partnership with the Fresno Chaffee Zoo. The coop will feature laying boxes, an incubator and brooder section. The second part of project involves 4-Hers volunteering one day a month at the Zoo Farm as docents. The 4-H members will interact with the public by answering questions and demonstrating how to care for various types of poultry. This part of the project will be ongoing with hopes of expanding it in the near future.