Del Norte 4-H: Animal projects abound with 4-H Club

By Christine Jones February 29, 2012 06:52 pm

Editor’s note: The Del Norte 4-H column appears every four weeks. Today’s column was written by Christine Jones.

Earlier this month 4-H members and leaders traveled to Ukiah for a youth livestock exposition.

Eight youths and six leaders from four 4-H clubs attended. The expo was put on by Mendocino County 4-H and FFA.

Many youths and adults attended an ethics workshop. Attendance at an ethics workshop is mandatory for all local youths who show market animals at the Del Norte County Fair.

Participants also attended market animal workshops for meat goats, sheep, poultry and rabbits.  They also attended learning labs on bio security, dissection, carcass evaluation and horse-shoeing. 

Most of our 4-H projects are up and going.  Some of our non-animal projects are complete, while many of the market animal projects are just starting up. There are a wide variety of animal projects to choose from, including market, breeding and show/pet.

While most of the 4-H market animal projects are short-term, there are some that are year-round projects.

Members raising market beef have had their animals since the fall. Most market goat, lamb and swine project members will be buying their animals in March and April. Some poultry and rabbit project members have their market animals, while others will be buying their animals later in the spring.

For some their animal projects are year-round, mostly small animal projects (dog, guinea pig, poultry, pygmy goat and rabbit) and dairy goats. A few youths raise their own market rabbits and show and auction fryer rabbits at our county fair. A handful of local 4-H’ers breed and raise their own market animals for fair. A few 4-H’ers even travel outside the county to show their animals at other fairs and breed shows.

Many of these animals will be going through the auction at the Del Norte County Fair in August. We would like to invite past, present and future buyers to attend and bid on locally grown animals.