Poultry science and 4-H: From a project to a career

Participation in a 4-H poultry project can lead to a major in college and a career.

In a 4-H poultry project, youth have an opportunity to learn about many facets of poultry science including poultry management, housing, nutrition and products, as well as potentially compete in breeding classes and showmanship. Poultry projects can consists of chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, pheasants, pigeons or coturnix (Japanese quail).

If you’re a youth between the ages of 9-19 who is not in 4-H and you’re interested in poultry as a career, consider joining 4-H to participate in a poultry project and take advantage of the events and activities 4-H has to offer.

If you are a 4-H member who participates in a poultry project, you may attend 4-H club meetings and learn from the different resources that are offered through the 4-H Mall for poultry and embryology, or the Michigan 4-H Project Poultry Snapshot. You also have an opportunity to participate in county and state 4-H events.

Have you enjoyed learning about poultry through 4-H? If so, an experience in a 4-H poultry project can lead to a career related in this field.

As you graduate from high school and you’re thinking of a major, think about majoring in animal science with a specialization in poultry management, biology or other majors in science that can apply to poultry. To help prepare for college, try to find a pre-college program like the one offered by Michigan 4-H Youth Development called the Michigan 4-H Animal and Veterinary Science Camp.

Also, during your time in high school, take classes in the sciences such as biology and chemistry and check with your counselor on the other types of classes you can take.

What type of career areas can a student go into for poultry? Genetics, nutrition, engineering, business, management, food processing, communications, research, education and public service are career areas for poultry science.

To build skills and prepare for a major or career related to poultry science, consider the following:

  • Teach other youth in 4-H or in other community programs about poultry.
  • Seek an opportunity to volunteer or intern at a poultry farm/facility.
  • Participate in a science fair and feature poultry as your project.
  • Teach embryology in K-5 classrooms.
  • Meet with your county 4-H staff to write an article about poultry in the 4-H newsletter.

If you’re a 4-H member or future 4-H member in a poultry project, take the steps to put your learning to action to prepare for a major or career in this field. 4-H has the resources, opportunities and people to assist you for a successful career in poultry science.

Michigan State University Extension and Michigan 4-H Youth Development help to prepare young people for successful futures. As a result of career exploration and workforce preparation activities, thousands of Michigan youth are better equipped to make important decisions about their professional future, ready to contribute to the workforce and able to take fiscal responsibility in their personal lives.

To learn about the positive impact of Michigan 4-H youth career preparation, money management and entrepreneurship programs, read the Impact Report: “Preparing Michigan Youth for Future Careers and Employment.”