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With more than 76.5 billion eggs consumed in the U.S. each year, you might be thinking of a career in the poultry industry. We know that judging contests help kids improve their decision-making skills and teaches them to defend those decisions by giving voice to their reasoning. Poultry judging teaches standards of poultry and egg production to ensure a safe and nutritious consumer product. Learn what makes a good egg as you compete for prizes in the Illinois 4-H State Poultry Judging Contest. 

LEARN MORE to be a successful 4-H poultry judge.

Want to learn more about the Egg Industry? Check out this COOL WEBSITE.

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The 2018 Illinois 4-H State Poultry Judging Contest will be June 26. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. at the U of I Stock Pavilion in Champaign. Youth 8 to 13 (on Jan. 1, 2018) compete as juniors; youth 14 and older compete as seniors. The top winners will represent Illinois at the National 4-H Poultry and Egg Conference in November in Louisville, Ky.

The contest will include three classes of past egg production hens, two classes ready-to-cook fowl or fryers, one class of ready-to-cook heavy fowl, one class of broken-out eggs, two classes of shell eggs candled, and two classes of exterior egg quality. Oral reasons will be on one of the egg production classes. The official resource is the National 4-H Poultry Judging Manual available from UNL Extension Marketplace, University of Nebraska. Copies of the manual and more information are available from Extension Poultry Specialist Dr. Ken Koelkebeck, kkoelkeb@illinois.edu.

Contest Classes

A. Classes A, B, C, and RC -- Egg Production and Reasons: POSSIBLE 400

Class RC represents the Reasons portion of the contest, which are given on Class  C.  Three classes of four (4) Leghorns or Leghorn type hybrids are to be judged on past production qualities. Hens may be handled.  Contestants are not allowed to move or bend the hen’s pubic bones. The contestant can touch and place your fingers on each side of the pubic bones.  But, you are not to try to move the pubic bones. Flexibility of the pubic bone is no longer to be considered a factor in placing the class. Contestants may NOT compare hens with others in their group. The hen that has laid the most eggs to date should be placed FIRST; the next highest, SECOND; the next THIRD; and poorest layer, FOURTH. This is placing by comparison. Contestants will give oral reasons on Class C. Using notes while giving reasons will NOT be permitted. A maximum of two minutes will be allowed for giving reasons for each class.

B. Classes E and F -- Meat Quality – Ready-To-Cook Birds: POSSIBLE 200

This group (Classes E and F) include two classes of eight (8) ready-to-cook broilers. Each individual bird will be classified as A, B, or C. Carcasses will be displayed on a table.  Birds may NOT be touched or handled. Pinfeathers, diminutive feathers, hairs, and discoloration are to be disregarded.

C. Class I -- Broken-Out Market Eggs: POSSIBLE100

One class of 10 eggs will be broken out on a flat surface.  Each egg is to be classified AA, A, B, or Inedible. Eggs and containers CANNOT be touched or handled.

D. Classes J and K -- Market Eggs -- Candled: POSSIBLE200

Two classes of 20 white shelled eggs each are to be candled individually and classified AA, A, B, or Inedible. The Speed-King Candler will be used for candling eggs. Eggs MUST be handled.

E. Classes L and M -- Exterior Egg Quality: POSSIBLE200

Two classes of 20 white shelled eggs to be individually classified A, B, or Dirty.  Eggs CANNOT be handled.

Total: 1,100

Contact for More Information:

U of I Animal Science Educator
Dan Jennings
U of I Extension Poultry Specialist
Ken Koelkebeck
Photo of Chicken

Event Information

Jun 26, 2018
U of I Stock Pavilion
1402 W Pennsylvania Avenue