South Stokes FFA recently brought their meat chicken Supervised Agriculture Experience (SAE) to an end. In partnership with Stokes County Cooperative Extension office, Susan Roudabush and her agricultural students raised 21 Cornish cross meat chickens.
The chickens were hatched and donated through LTD Lawn and Garden of King, in the fall, and were then raised in the chicken coop at South Stokes. Students took turns watering, feeding and cleaning out the coop.
Once all the chickens reached 8-10 lbs. several students and FFA members came together to process the chickens. FFA members Kayla Birkholz, Sarah Birkholz, Mackenzie Yontz, Jonathan Weavil, Logan Bray, Alex Booe, Wesley Fishel, Lucas Covington, Edward Byers and FFA alumni Gina Brown and Cooperative Extension Livestock Agent Carl Mitchell oversaw the process. Every student had a job from de-feathering to gutting.
Logan Bray, a junior and third generation FFA member said, “Raising and processing the chickens was an interesting experience. I learned a lot about chicken production that you can’t learn in a book. I feel prepared to raise a small flock of chickens if necessary in the future. Although I’m not really a small animal person, I hope to stick to cattle. Maybe we could try that next.”
The chickens were then donated to East Stokes Outreach Ministry, where they will go to provide a quality meal to a family in need. This FFA project, which may have looked minuscule at one time, has brought together many aspects of our community. This along with the valuable life lessons will forever have an impact on South Stokes FFA and its members. South Stokes FFA hopes this is just the beginning of their processing SAE’s.