4-H Poultry

4-H members have the opportunity to learn about poultry in a variety of projects and activities like skillathon, poultry judging, exhibiting poultry at the Williamson County Fair and/or participating in the Chick Chain project where they raise their own backyard flock per project guidelines. Some events within the poultry project like Chick Chain, Skillathon and Judging have separate meeting times and contests. Register now for 4-H Poultry by clicking the “Registration” button below so you will receive updates on the project opportunities. Chick-Chain participants need to register for the Poultry Project Group and complete the Chick-Chain Application.

Description-Chick Chain is a unique way for students to raise their own flock at home and learn about poultry in a hands-on experience. Chick Chain teaches responsibility, financial management, record keeping, communication and marketing all while allowing participants to enjoy their project and reap the rewards of their hard work. Participants attend a mandatory training seminar on “how to” raise blue ribbon pullets (a term used to describe a female hen before she lays eggs)

When the Williamson County Fair rolls around in August, students bring a pen of 5 hens back for a competition where trophies, ribbons and prize money are distributed to those who complete the project. The pens of 5 are auctioned to the public and the funds collected from the sale pay for the chicks for next year’s participants…making it a complete chick-chain.


Application Deadline – January 29, 2024

Project Begins – February 2024

Workshop Meeting Date– February 6th, 2024 at 6:30 PM (Ag Expo Park Meeting Room)

Location: Williamson County Extension – 4215 Long Lane, Franklin, TN 37064

Next Chick Pickup Date-March, 2024

Class Limit-60

2024 Fair Date-Saturday, August 10, 2024

Description-Participants learn about the poultry industry, judging and USDA grading standards, and breed identification as well as nutrition, anatomy & physiology and flock management. Skillathon is a fun, quiz based event to help students bring their skills and knowledge into competition. Prizes and awards are distributed during the Williamson County Fair.



Contest-July 9, 2024 (Ag Expo Park Meeting Room)

Meeting Time-6:30pm – 8:00pm

Class Limit-Unlimited

Description-Poultry judging is a great way to learn a lot about poultry, eggs, egg production and poultry meat. Participants compete as a part of a team but are also competing for individual awards. Participants learn how to grade eggs and meat according to USDA standards and learn how to evaluate live hens for their past and potential egg production. This is a fun, experiential, hands-on learning opportunity that teaches numerous life skills. While the contest typically occurs in September, it is for students in the qualifying grades of January 1 of the current calendar year.

Eligibility-4th-12th as of January 1, 2023. (Even though a new school year will have started, students will compete in the grade they were in on Jan 1, 2023)

Location-Williamson County Extension-4215 Long Ln, Franklin, TN 37064


Dates– Fall 2023 Practices begin in August after school starts.

August 17- Introduction to Poultry Judging

August 24- Eggs and Grading

August 31- Carcass and Meat Cut I.D.

September 7- Handling live birds

September 14 – (Open)

*September 18 – Contest practice

September (TBD) – Central Region Poultry Judging Contest!

*This practice is on a Monday evening.

Meeting Time-TBD (this will be emailed to those who enroll using the link below)

Class Limit-Unlimited


Doug Berny

Doug Berny

Doug has extensive experience in mixed poultry flock management, incubation and embryology. Doug coordinates the Poultry project group, Chick Chain project and trains our poultry judging teams.

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