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4-H Poultry Judging Program 2021-2022

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4-H Poultry Judging - Chickens, Eggs, Ready-to-cook and live birds; interactive learning with games, a trip to NC state univeristy for the contest. Image has chicken closeup and 4-H and Cooperative Extension Logos

Why Poultry Judging?

Students will learn . . .

  • Poultry Judging promotes the study of unique agricultural fields
  • To think critically
  • To make decisions based on a rubric or set of ideal standards
  • To decisively communicate their decisions to others
  • About poultry life cycles
  • Where their poultry produce comes from
  • How to grade eggs inside and out
  • How to judge production laying hens so that you can tell if a bird is going to be a good layer
  • How to grade ready-to-cook birds
  • The different cuts of meat for chickens
  • How to prepare your meat safely in your home
  • Participate at the State Poultry Competition at NC State University!
This is for youth ages 8-18 as of January 1, 2022. Please let me know if you would like to participate or would like more information. You can email the 4-H Agent, Ashley L. Brooks, at

A Serious Concern

A startling concern is the lack of interest young people have in the agricultural industry which could lead to major food crises in the future. A lack of understanding and appreciation of this industry could also impact future government workers who would fail to pass legislation that would positively impact agriculture or pass legislation that would negatively impact it. In order for young people to gain knowledge and appreciation of this, agricultural classes need to be taught in the classroom.

Poultry Can Help!

Poultry Judging gives students a look into one of the unique fields of agriculture. They gain insight and knowledge of what is involved in the poultry industry and how that affects them personally as they consume poultry products.

It gives students a look at how food is graded and what is safe and appropriate to eat along with being able to identify what they are eating and how to safely handle and cook their meat.

It also contributes to critical thinking and communication skills. Part of the program requires students to make decisions based on pre-determined criteria and to explain why they made the decisions they did to a judge. Students increase in skills and confidence in their speaking abilities and learn to make good decisions for specific reasons.

We will be starting our Poultry Judging Practices beginning Wednesday, January 5th at 4:00 p.m. on Zoom and will continue having them every other week until the contest. Please return to this page for updates, times, and cancelations.

Dates for Poultry Judging Practices

ALL TIMES ARE THE SAME:  4:00-5:00 p.m. and every practice is on a Wednesday afternoon unless otherwise noted.
  • January 5, 2022
  • January 12, 2022
  • February 2, 2022
  • February 16, 2022
  • March 2, 2022
  • March 16, 2022
  • March 30, 2022
  • April 13, 2022
  • April 27, 2022
  • May 11, 2022
  • May 25, 2022
  • June 8, 2022

Additional dates to be determined later

Poultry Judging Competition Information

The 2022 4-H Poultry Judging competition will be held July 12, 2022 starting at 9:00 a.m. Whether it will be held virtually or in person is yet-to-be-determined. We will post more information as it becomes available.

Poultry Judging Manual

The 4-H Poultry Judging manual is produced by the University of Kentucky and is available at the link below. We have put together a composite of the manual in one PDF Version and that is available for download below. There are a few extra notes on the composite than are on the original, but feel free to access either one.

Download Poultry Judging

University of Kentucky Poultry Judging Manual Website