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Clemson, 4-H offering spring projects

Posted: February 16, 2017 5:43 p.m.
Updated: February 17, 2017 1:00 a.m.

Sidney Goff

The Clemson Extension and 4-H will soon be offering spring projects, including raising chickens and planting gardens.

Although there are other ways for youth to obtain chicks, by working through 4-H youth (from ages 5 to 18) have the opportunity to learn valuable lessons in the care and maintaining of a flock of chickens in a fun and engaging atmosphere with other youth. Raising baby chicks from day one to egg-laying age can be a rewarding experience for 4-H youth across South Carolina.  The deposit for the chicks is less expensive than one can typically purchase privately and once the youth successfully complete the project they will have the deposit returned. Registration will remain open until March 15, 2017.

The 4-H poultry project remains the most popular animal project and one that does not require too much time or expense -- other than feed and shelter. This year, youth can order multiples of twelve (for $35) or twenty-five (for $60) chicks to grow out over the summer. Chicks will be placed with the youth around the first of May. The four breeds of chicks that will be offered this year are Golden Comets, Buff Orpingtons, Araucanas and Plymouth Barred Rocks.  All of these breeds are hardy, easy to raise and lay large brown eggs, except for the Araucana which lays blue/green eggs. Upon successful completion of the project (participating in one show, completing a project record book and returning either 3 (for those raising 12) or 5 (for those raising 25) birds to our final auction in November) the entire deposit will be returned and all remaining birds are the participant’s to keep. 

If youth already have chickens and do not wish to raise more this year, they can participate in the 4-H Laying Flock project. Using the birds you already own, you can participate and enjoy all of the opportunities of youth in our pullet project. Youth in these poultry projects will receive timely newsletters to guide them through the project and caring of the birds.

The purpose of the Small Garden Project is to educate youth of South Carolina on where and how their food is grown, using hands on, in-the-garden experiences. It is open to youth age 5 to 18 and will be supplemented with newsletters to assist the youth in planting and maintaining a successful garden. Youth in this project also have the chance to earn awards based upon their record book. Youth will plant a small garden of at least 50 square feet that contains a minimum of four vegetables. Two of the vegetables planted will be a surprise given to you at the beginning of the project. Youth must plant at least two additional edible crops of their choice. Cost for this project is $10.

 To participate in any of these projects, youth will need to complete an application form, available through the local Clemson Extension Office. Online registration is available this year as well; contact the Clemson Extension office  for the link. Pullet Project registrations are due by March 15, 2017; Laying Flock registrations are due May 1, 2017; and Gardening Project registrations are due April 7, 2017. 

Youth who are not already a member of 4-H for the 2016-2017 year will be required to pay an additional membership fee of $10. With membership, youth will receive a t-shirt and also have the opportunity to participate in other 4-H projects offered for the year including clubs, projects, and numerous summer camps. 

Participating in 4-H is a rewarding experience for our youth.  They learn responsibility and caring, as well as a vast array of life skills that will help them grow into versatile, well-rounded adults.  4-H projects, such as the 4-H Poultry and Gardening Projects, encourage the process of “discovery” of knowledge and solutions, and build competence and confidence.

For more information, contact your local Clemson Extension Office in Camden at 803-432-9071 ext. 0 or email local extension agent Deon Legette at



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