Masters Theses


Okeke Chime

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Agricultural Extension

Major Professor

Robert S. Dotson

Committee Members

Cecil E. Carter Jr., Robert W. Bastien, David W. Brown


This historical, descriptive study was done to document the development of the 4-H Pullet Show and Sale Activity in Tennessee from its beginning in 1952 through FY 1980. Application also was made to develop a procedure for adapting the poultry chain concept to a Young Farmers' situation in Anambra State, Nigeria. Study methods included a survey of 95 Agricultural Extension Agents in Tennessee (i.e., 71 responding), interviews with present and former state poultry specialists, review of pullet show and sale records in State Extension files, and study of relevant related literature available. Fifty-seven of the 71 agents responding in 1981 reported having 4-H pullet shows and sales this compared to 13 in 1952. Sears Roebuck Foundation sponsored the activity until 1971, when the Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA) took over. The basic concept of the chick chain is: A sponsor provides 25 baby chicks to selected boys and girls in each county, who grow out the pullets returning their best six birds for the show and sale. Money realized from the sale of the birds will go into the 4-H fund to support the buying of the chicks for the next year and to pay for the prize money that will be awarded. Major findings from the agent survey disclosed that: 1. Feed stores, banks, sales of pullets and general 4-H funds appeared to be the major sources of funds other than TDA, for organizing the activity 2. The most frequently mentioned type of clubs used was school clubs 3. The primary criterion for selection of 4-H'ers to participate was based on their filling out an application form or signing a contract 4. Determination of the actual number of participants appeared to be based on a number pre-determined by the agents 5. Agents responsible for the activity seemed to prefer Black Sex Link type to chicks, and the 4-H'ers themselves preferred raising pullets only 6. Among the basic Extension teaching methods used in pullet shows and sales, farm and home visits appeared to be the most basic one and the most effective in FY 1980 7. The majority of the agents did not require the 4-H'ers to keep records of expenditures and receipts 8. The mean number of days devoted by the 57 county staff members to the activity in FY 1980 was 7.0 days per county 9. There was a strong preference for the University of Tennessee Poultry Extension Specialists to be the ones to judge the pullets at the county show and sale 10. The primary method of publicity used for the activity was personal letters 11. The primary educational purpose of the pullet shows and sales appeared to be that it developed a sense of responsibility in the 4-H'ers n 12. Major strengths of the activity were: a) its relatively inexpensiveness; b) provision of learning opportunities to participants; and c) teaching of responsibility 13. A vast majority saw no major weaknesses to the activity. Major weaknesses mentioned by two or three respondents were: a) lack of staff time; b) inadequate funding; and c) in adequate literature publication. Application was made to a Nigerian situation and recommendations were suggested for uses of finding and further research.

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