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4-H Poultry & Eggs Project

female 4-H youth holding a white duck

The poultry project area is for all youth interested in chickens, pigeons, waterfowl, game birds, and turkeys. In the poultry project youth have the opportunity to show their birds, and their chicken’s eggs, at Achievement Days and the South Dakota State Fair. Whether or not you own a bird, you can participate in poultry judging at the State Fair, teach others about your favorite species of poultry through a talk or display, or explore the poultry 4-H curriculum.

Ages and Stages of Youth Development


Beginner poultry project members should be knowledgeable of the breeds they exhibit, including class, breed use, and key characteristics. Be able to locate and name key parts of a bird.


Juniors should advance their knowledge from a beginner level. Learn how to evaluate eggs and poultry products, be able to candle eggs for viability, and describe the signs of a healthy bird.


Senior poultry project members should continue advancing their knowledge and be knowledgeable of the major breeds within the species they exhibit and explain biosecurity practices.

4-H Programming Priorities


Participants can become a leader by assisting with their local show, mentoring fellow youth who are new to the project, and managing their own flock.

Health & Wellness

Health & wellness are addressed as members learn about the nutritional value of eggs & poultry and proper practices to keep their birds and themselves healthy.


Breeding, hatching, feeding, processing and consuming poultry all provide chances to explore the science of improving a member’s poultry project.


Teaching youth about birds and their uses advances agriculture. One example is assisting a school teacher with an embryology project in their classroom.

Get Involved

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Youth Voice

  • Demonstrate preparing a bird for the show
  • Illustrated talk teaching others about eggs
  • Talk about selecting a bird for show or production
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Community Service

  • Donate poultry or eggs to a local food pantry
  • Visit a nursing home with your favorite bird
  • Assist an elementary teacher with hatching chicks
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Career Connections

  • Hatchery manager
  • Poultry veterinarian
  • Nutritionist
  • Geneticist
  • Poultry farm manager
  • Poultry food scientist
  • Ornithologist

Exhibit Ideas

  • Display a dozen of your chicken’s eggs
  • Create a poster about the types of chicken combs
  • Display on the classes of chickens and some breeds in each
  • Put together a booklet on common poultry diseases
  • Compare breeds and their uses