COARSEGOLD – Coarsegold 4-H members were invited to be guest speakers at Chick Days on Saturday, Mar. 7.
Chick Days is an informational day for people from our area to learn about chicks and chickens, sponsored by Oakhurst Feed & Pet Supply in Oakhurst. This is the second year that Coarsegold 4-H members have been a part of this event.
Chicks are hatched in hatcheries and are shipped to stores at one day old. This is very stressful and so it is important to learn about chick care so you know how to care for your chicks when you get them. Chicks should be kept at about 100 degrees to start and then lower the heat by about 5 degrees each week. You should provide them with plenty of water, chick starter feed, and a heat lamp. They should have enough room so that if they are too hot, they can move away from the heat.
Happy chicks do not make much noise. If they are noisy, they need food, water, or are stressed. Kelsey from Nutrena Feed taught us about the feeds that Nutrena carries and a new kind of feed called Feather Fixer. This feed is made to kill mites by drying them out and preventing mite problems so I am planning on trying this at my house soon. Many people feed their chickens scratch. Scratch is a good snack, but if you want better eggs, layer crumble or pellets are better because it has more protein and will make your hens lay more eggs.
Chicks need heat until they have full feathers and can keep warm on their own. As they get older and the days get hotter, they should need the heat light less. Hens will start to lay eggs at about 6 months old. If grown hens stop laying eggs, they may be sick or molting (when their feathers change). You can tell what color eggs they will lay by the color of their earlobes which are on the side of their head.
Coarsegold 4-H spoke about why it’s good to have backyard chickens. Chickens are good pest control, eggs provide lots of vitamins, and chickens leave the smallest imprint on our environment compared to other farm animals like cows, pigs, and sheep. Our big display board will be at Oakhurst Feed store for two more weeks.
There was also a guest speaker that spoke to us about bees and how to keep bees. I do not have bees, but this was also very interesting to learn about bees.
Also recently, Coarsegold 4-H had a guest speaker come to talk to us about Wool for Worthy Causes at our last sheep meeting. Mr. Ray Sarna is the director of this company that collects wool donations from sheep owners all over California. He comes from Ojai, California. He brought us big burlap sacks to put our wool in and talked to us about what his company does. They collect the sheared wool from sheep owners and like the first shear of the year because it is the longest since it had time to grow over the winter.
They would like the wool to be separated by color and then stored out of the sun and the rain. Then they make arrangements to pick it up. After it is picked up, it goes to a place like the Alabama Institue for the Deaf and Blind where blind and disabled workers get jobs cleaning the wool and making it ready to make things like blankets and socks. The blankets that they make go to the military and so this is an extra special cause because it helps our country.
Coarsegold 4-H Sheep project will donate all of their wool and we are working on getting more from other Madera clubs also. If you are a sheep owner and would like to donate wool too, please contact our sheep leader, Karl Hussey at (559) 641-2781 and we will find a way to get it from you to donate.
Wool for Worthy Causes is planning to be at our Coarsegold Rodeo, this year Friday through Sunday, May 1 – 3 to educate the public about what they do and how we can help. They will also have wool for you to see and touch, examples of the blankets they make, and other wool products for sale. Mr. Ray said that wool socks don’t make you feel hot and that your feet won’t stink if you wear them. On May 1, known as Heritage Days at the Rodeo, they will be a part of the many activities that the Coarsegold Rodeo will have for the kids.
If you would like to know more about their company, you can check out their website at www.woolforworthycauses.org. Big wool donations can be tax deductible.
Coarsegold 4-H will have an animal display at the Rodeo with different kinds of farm animals like sheep, goats, pig, poultry, and llamas for you to see and touch.
In 4-H, anyone under 9 years old is a mini-member. Junior means members in grades 4 and 5. Intermediate means they are in grades 6, 7 or 8. Senior means they are in High School.
Our leader is Pat Strimling and if you would like to join our 4-H, you can call her at 683-5149. Anyone can join! You don’t have to be a student at Coarsegold Elementary to be a member of Coarsegold 4-H, you can live anywhere in Madera County as long as you can come to our meetings and you can join at any time.
Now you can also follow us on our new website at www.coarsegold4h.com or Facebook. Our club meetings meet every second Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Coarsegold Community Center.
4-H Statement: Madera County 4-H Youth Program is a non-profit organization for youth who are 9 years old or who have completed grade 3 and up to age 19 years of age. All youth and adults in Madera County are invited to participate in the 4-H Program regardless of race, creed, religion, color, national origin, sex, mental or physical handicap.
Coarsegold Sheep Project members with Wool for Worthy Causes Director, Mr. Ray holding one of the burlap sacks waiting to be filled with wool. (Top Left to right): Colton Beckstead, Mr. Ray, Eden Hussey, Erin McCully, Jenna Annis, Emma Hussey (Bottom Left to Right) Makayla Beckstead, Suzanna Gonzalez, Savanna Gonzalez, Katie Colan, Kylie Colan. Photo by Karl Hussey