Coos 4-H Backyard Broiler Project

Wed, 03/24/2021 to Wed, 06/30/2021
UNH Cooperative Extension / 4-H
629A Main St
Lancaster, NH 03584

Have you ever wanted to grow your own chicken nuggets?  Yes-then the 4-H Bacyard Broiler Project is a great place to start.  All 4-H Poultry Projects are designed to engage youth in learning life skills while having fun raising chickens.  Throughout New Hampshire, youth have the option to participate in a variety of poultry projects from laying hens to meat chickens.  In the The 4-H Backyard Broiler Project, youth raise day old chicks for approximately 6 to 8 weeks into healthy broilers, and learn how to process the birds at a backyard clinic.  Youth participating in the Backyard Broiler processing clinics must have an adult attending with them. Please note that this project only allows birds to be  processed at clinics for home consumption, as they are not labeled or inspected for sale.

The objectives of 4-H Poultry Projects are that youth will:

  • Set goals, plan activities and strategies to achieve desired outcomes.
  • Reflect on their yearly work by documenting their skill development and learning experiences. 
  • Give back to their communities through educational and service activities.
  • Learn valuable skills in record keeping, financial management, and written communication.
  • Gain valuable life lessons by caring and providing for their 4-H bird


  • Project registration is open to 4-H Members and youth participants.
  • Registration closes March 25, 2021
  • Participants may choose any quantity of birds at $2.00 per chick, and pay $5 handling fee per order
  • An additional charge of approximately $3.00 per bird will be collected in June prior to the processing clinic.

Breed options: The Cornish Cross Chicken is a cross between the Commercial Cornish Chicken and a White Rock Chicken. They are a rapid grower and hens can reach 4 1/2 lbs. by 6 weeks of age and cockerels 6 lbs. by 6 weeks of age. They grow so fast that it is not recommended that they be kept for breeding. This breed was developed specifically to harvest and is not recommended for a pet. This breed is your best option for efficient feed/time to butcher weight. It is recommended to harvest this chicken broiler between 4-10 weeks of age depending on desired weight. It takes roughly 14 lbs. of feed to get 1 chick to 8 weeks of age. This is a good choice if you have a limited space coop.

Project Expectations

  • Pick up chicks from Coos County Extension, care for them in the project duration, and participate in processing clinic.
  • Provide a brooder space that is a safe and protective environment for your chicks (consider weather, temperature, wildlife, pets, or other animals that may harm chicks).
  • Provide appropriate spacing for your flock (minimum 2’x2’ per bird coop space).
  • Provide a nutritional diet for birds to grow properly with a starter-grower ration, 20-26+% crude protein is recommended). No scratch feed. Free choice, clean water at all times.

Activities & Events

  • Chick Pick-up: Date will be given – expected late April.
  • Processing: Each participant is encouraged to bring all of their birds to the backyard processing clinic and help process at the clinic. You will go home with the exact birds that you raise;  Freezer ready. Exact processing fee schedule will be available prior to June date.
  • Absolutely no selling of 4-H backyard broiler meat. They are not labeled or inspected under New Hampshire or Vermont law for sale

An introductory Zoom workshop will be held March 23rd.  More information can be found here:

Should you require special accommodations due to a disability, please notify our office ten days prior to the event.

For more information contact Christine Whiting, Coos County 4-H Program:  603-788-4961



$2.00 per bird and $5.00 handling fee