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On rabbits, poultry, and most pets
michelle beran
Michelle Beran

I love getting to highlight all of the different projects that 4-H offers! While livestock is usually the first thing that people think of, I have highlighted 18 projects over the last few weeks and, while several have been related to agriculture, none have been our livestock projects.

This week I am starting off with the rabbit project! Rabbits are a great small animal project and help teach animal science and responsibility as well as a multitude of specific features of different breeds, and grooming and showmanship. I had no idea there were so many types of rabbits! Additionally, youth can experience learning to judge rabbits. 

Another small species project is poultry. While we generally think of chickens, the poultry project can include turkeys, geese, and ducks. Youth also have the opportunity to learn about other types of poultry, about eggs and candling, and can experience learning to poultry judge.

Nearly everyone has had a pet at some point and learning responsibility for feeding and care is a big deal! The Pet project lets 4-H youth explore different types of pets and how to care for a variety from fish to cats. Youth learn about potential hazards for pets in the home, about nutritional needs, and about diseases and symptoms. This is a great project for kids who want to explore the first steps of veterinary science.

Like any animal, the more that rabbits, poultry, and most pets are handled, the easier it is for youth to showcase their animal and what they have learned while gaining confidence and practicing communication skills in talking to a judge.

If you are interested in learning more about these or other 4-H projects, check out in the Projects section! All projects include communications skills, record keeping, career connections, and opportunities for leadership and community service!

Michelle Beran is the 4-H and Youth Development Agent for the Cottonwood District, Barton County office. For more information on this article or other 4-H Youth and Development related questions email Michelle at or call 620-793-1910.