Is this the 4-H project for me? – An introduction
There are several factors to consider when choosing a 4-H animal science project. This series of articles will outline what a particular species entails.
Selecting a 4-H animal science project can be a difficult task. Over a series of Michigan State University Extension articles, we’ll outline housing, purchase price, feed and time commitment for a number of 4-H animal science projects.
Housing is a very important component to think about when choosing an animal. Do you have a barn or shelter that an animal can be kept in to escape the wind, sun and elements? If you are exploring the option of a large animal, is there adequate room for the animal to exercise or go outside? Do you have proper fencing? Is there a source for clean, fresh water? For small animals, do you have access to proper caging and cage accessories such as water bottles and feeders?
Once you have assessed what kind of project you have proper housing for, it is time to look at your budget. You will likely have to purchase an animal and purchase feed for the animal. These expenses can be significant input costs that you must consider. Different species have different price points; in each species, we will give a range of what animals can be purchased for as a point of reference. Each breeder and feed store may have their own price—these numbers are for reference only and are meant to be used as a guide.
Lastly, the time commitment that each species takes may vary. You must consider if you have the time to spend with the animal in order to properly train it and prepare it for show. Again, each species will vary and the outlined time commitment is based upon daily best practices for each species.
To learn more about Michigan 4-H Animal Science Programs, please visit the Michigan 4-H Animal Science webpage.