Raising A Heritage Breed of Poultry

Final Report for YNC08-009

Project Type: Youth
Funds awarded in 2008: $400.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2009
Region: North Central
State: Illinois
Project Coordinator:
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Project Information


The project explored the sustainable agricultural issue of preserving a heritage breed of poultry for future generations. As an American Langshan producer for the past four years, I have focused on raising this heritage breed of poultry. I saw a real need to get the word out that it was important to keep the breed alive and to encourage 4-H youth to select heritage breeds such as the American Langshan when they show at the local fairs. Most 4-H’s are not aware of the importance to keep heritage breeds alive. Most of their selection of breeds comes from local stock or mail order production birds. Thru the efforts of this grant, I have been able to encourage many 4-H’s and adults alike to consider raising this unique breed of poultry.

Before the grant, I have been active in raising American Langshans for the past four years and am a licensed USDA Hatchery. For the past ten years of my 4-H career, I have focused on raising all types of rare and endangered species of poultry. As my 4-H career evolved, I have been able to use this experience to achieve the highest honor to be selected for 4-H National Congress in the area of Animal Science (Poultry).

The goals of the project were as follows:
*Obtain a healthy, reliable source of feed for the established breeding flock of American Langshan
*Raise and hatch a new generation of the flock for sale to 4-H community
*Show birds at local Rare Breed Show and County 4-H to raise awareness
*Prepare and Distribute informational flyer on the breed
*Remain available to make presentations at local 4-H meetings to encourage the future production and showing of this breed

All the goals were met by the grant in an effort to bring awareness to the breed and provide healthy stock for showing in the future.
*Step 1: Reseach nutritional needs and breeding requirements for the breed
*Step 2: Purchase correct feed and raise the birds in a healthy environment
*Step 3: Hatch new chicks for the upcoming show season
*Step 4: Market the new chicks to 4-Hers and adult breeders
*Step 5: Develop information flyer to display at shows
*Step 6: Identify key shows to be in attendance
*Step 7: Get proper testing and paperwork ready for shows
*Step 8: Wash and prepare birds for show
*Step 9: Take birds to show and display flyers
*Step 10: Be available to help 4-hers in their showing skills and raising the breed

I would like to thank the following people who assisted me in making my project a success:
Donna and Scott Lehrer (parents) provided financial support and helped with chores when I was away at school and 4-H events
Natasha Lehrer (sister) helped with chores and flyer design
Forrest Beauford (American Langshan Club) gave advice on bird selection and breeding techniques
Kent Bateman and Jake Cooper continued to support my efforts as my 4-H leaders
Kim Eisnaugle, Kendall County 4-H Director, supported my career in Animal Sciences at the local, State and National levels
Local Feed Stores, D&H and Blackberry Station owners who offered advice on feed selection
Stagecoach 4-H Club Members for their ongoing support and purchases of the birds
Garfield Farm Board of Directors for allowing me to show at the Rare Breed Show in May 2009

The results of this project may be summarized as follows:
*gained a continued respect for raising heritage poultry breeds
*provided financial assistance to provide adequate feed to make the program a success
*provided a good informational flyer that can be distributed throughout the state to encourage the production of the heritage breed
*Gave many 4-H students an opportunity to develop leadership skills in the raising and showing of a heritage poultry breed
*Helped the local community to gain awareness of the NRC-SARE programs that assist youth in our region

Sustainable farming is the method my family farm has been using for the past ten years. It has been rewarding to share my experiences with my 4-H community, school groups and the local farming community. It is an ongoing educational process to inform the public about how a sustainable farmer operates and how much he/she cares for the livestock and crops. I look forward to continuing my career in agriculture and being a diplomat for the sustainable farmer in the community and beyond.


Participation Summary
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.