Alabama 4-H Chick Chain is Aug. 26

Published 4:33 pm Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Chilton County Extension Office will host its Third Annual Chick Chain presented by Alabama 4-H on Aug. 26 at the Chilton Research and Extension Center in Clanton.

This year Chilton County will partner with Bibb County for a show and auction beginning at 9:15 a.m. with the auction scheduled to start around 11:30 a.m.

Each of the chickens shown and auctioned off were raised as part of the Chick Chain program by children in Alabama 4-H.

Six different breeds of laying hens were available to be selected by the children participating.

By signing up and paying the entry fee, each of the kids involved were given their choice of 10 chicks that they would be responsible for maintaining and keeping healthy over a 21-week period.

Saturday will mark the end of that time frame and the child will be faced with a decision to select two of the best hens to be presented at auction.

If everything went according to plan, there would be eight hens remaining that the child would be allowed to keep for their own use.

The birds will be auctioned off as a pen, with both hens being sold together.

The public is welcome to attend the auction and take part in the bidding process for some hand-raised chickens.

“They [chickens] are just about ready to lay,” County Extension Coordinator Gay West said. “Maybe we’ll have an egg or two.”

Eighteen kids signed up from Chilton County to take part in the Chick Chain initiative and 13 of those will be represented in the show and auction, with about 40 hens for sale from both Chilton and Bibb counties.

According to West, Chick Chain is much more easily manageable for the children compared to larger livestock, such as cattle shows.

“It’s a fun project that is not real expensive,” West said. “The children can handle the chickens pretty easily and we encourage them to work with the chickens so that they are calm and tame for the show.”

Chick Chain participants will be required to take a test about their knowledge and are encouraged to bring a record book that tracks the upkeep of their birds over the 21 weeks.

Records will include the cost of feed, photos of the chickens in the various growing stages and any other information that deals with the caring of the birds.

Awards will be given in several categories based on breed, showmanship, as well as an overall winner. Contestants from Chilton and Bibb counties will be judged separately.