Skip to content
young chicks
Cooperative Extension: 4-H Youth Leadership

Poultry Projects

Join 4-H

About the 4-H Poultry Project

4-H Poultry Projects engage youth in learning life skills while having fun raising chickens. In The 4-H Pullet Chain, youth raise day old chicks for 5 to 7 months. Project members will care for, train, and prepare their birds for show and/or final sale. The 4-H Laying Flock Project provides the same opportunities; however, it is designed for youth that have older laying hens or purchased chicks on their own to raise.

agent with 4her
two girls with ribbons
show winners with their ribbons

Project Objectives

  • Set goals, plan activities, and strategies to achieve desired outcomes.
  • Reflect on their yearly work by documenting their skill development and learning experiences.
  • Give back to their communities through educational and service activities.
  • Learn valuable skills in record keeping, financial management, and written communication.
  • Gain valuable life lessons by caring and providing for their 4-H birds.

Project Information

Throughout the project, youth and their families will receive a project newsletter that provides valuable information to ensure success. Participants will receive show dates, deadline reminders, and poultry related information through the project newsletter and the South Carolina 4-H Poultry Projects Facebook page.

Note that 4-H poultry project opportunities and shows offered through local county 4-H programs may vary.

Project Expectations

  • Pick up chicks first part of May, care for them for the project duration, participate in a minimum of 1 show or poultry event, participate in 4-H auction, and complete 4-H Poultry Project Record Book.

  • Provide a brooder space that is a safe and protective environment for your chicks (consider weather, temperature, wildlife, pets, or other animals that may harm chicks).

  • Provide appropriate spacing for your flock (minimum 3’x3’ per bird coop space).

  • Provide a nutritional diet for birds to grow properly with a starter-grower ration, 18-22% crude protein is recommended. Change feed to a layer ration at egg production age (around 5-6 months for most breeds). Free choice, clean water at all times.

Project Fees

Pullet Chain

  • 12 birds = $45
  • 25 birds = $85
  • Sibling participation Fee $10

Laying Flock Project

  • $10 per youth in Laying Flock

Registration Information

Laying Flock Project

The Laying Flock project is for youth who already have chickens and do not want to raise new ones or for those who will obtain chicks on their own before May 15, 2024. The deadline to register is May 1, 2024. Please read all details on the registration page.

Register Now
showmanship lesson

4-H Pullet Chain

The 4-H Pullet Chain is for youth who want to raise new chicks through 4-H. Participants will select to receive either 12 or 25 pullets (pullets are females). When you register, you will register for 12 or 25 of the same breed. We do not mix or split orders; however, you can work with another 4-H Pullet Chain participant to diversify your flock. The deadline to register is March 4, 2024, at 8am. Please read all details on the registration page.

Register Now
chicken getting judged

Pullet Chain Breed Options

Golden Comet

Golden Comets

Golden Comets are widely acclaimed in the poultry industry as one of the absolute best layers of large brown eggs available today. They mature early (laying as early as 4 months old) and are a quiet bird. They adapt well to the backyard flock and are very docile. They are quite robust and can easily handle the colder, non-insulated housing during our South Carolina winters. Golden Comets are also easier to separate by gender at hatching as the females will be a reddish color and the males will be mostly white. While the hatchery guarantees a 90% success rate at getting female chicks when ordering pullets, with Golden Comets they typically achieve a much higher success rate. Golden Comets on average will lay around 310 large to extra-large brown eggs per year.

Rhose Island Red

Rhode Island Red

An old time favorite, Rhode Island Reds are excellent egg layers that are also slightly larger than the Golden Comet. While not quite as strong of an egg layer as the comets, they are not far behind averaging around 300 large to extra-large brown eggs per year. They mature at 5-6 months of age. Rhode Island Red pullets are generally docile birds that are well adapted to the backyard coop and our climate. The hatchery guarantees a 90% success rate in determining the gender of our overall order.


Barred Plymouth Rock

This is another old favorite and one that many are used to seeing. With the striking contrast in their feathering, they make a beautiful addition to any backyard. Like the Rhode Island Red, the hatchery guarantees a 90% success rate in determining the gender of our overall order. Barred Plymouth Rocks will average about 275 large brown eggs per year and they mature at 5-6 months of age.

Contact Us

If you have additional questions or need assistance, contact your local 4-H agent or your regional poultry project coordinator at:


Lucy Charping



Steve Hucks


Pee Dee

Elizabeth Snipes


Savannah Valley

Dawn Stuckey


4-H Agriculture & Animals
4-H Agriculture & Animals | 275-B Lehotsky Hall Clemson, SC 29634