4-H Poultry Judging
What is Poultry Judging?
4-H Poultry Judging is a 4-H Activity in which participants compete in teams to demonstrate poultry judging mastery.
Participants and Scoring
A poultry judging team has three or four members from a county. The three highest scores from a team combine into a single team score.
The top North Carolina team represents the state at the National 4-H Poultry and Egg Conference.
There are three divisions in poultry judging. The North Carolina contest has ten classes in the three divisions.
- DIVISION I: Egg Production – Past Production Hens
- DIVISION II: Market Poultry – Ready-to-Cook and Parts Identification
- DIVISION III: Eggs: Interior, Exterior and Broken-Out Eggs
4-H Poultry Judging Manual
The 31-page National 4-H Poultry Judging Manual covers what coaches and participants need to know about 4-H Poultry Judging Contests.
The manual is the recommended reference for participants competing in the 4-H Annual Congress.
State Contest Information
All youth must be registered members of a 4-H Club to participate.
Youth will compete as Junior (ages 9-13) or Senior (ages 14-18) participants.
North Carolina 4-H agents with an NC State Unity ID can register youth for participation in the North Carolina 4-H Annual Congress.
Prior registration is highly recommended.
Counties may register multiple Junior and/or Senior level teams. Mixed-age-level teams are not allowed.
During competition, teams are divided so that no two contestants from the same team will be in the same group. Groups remain together throughout the contest.
Individuals are allowed to compete who are not members of a team.
The first-place Senior team of the North Carolina 4-H Poultry Judging Contest is eligible to attend the National 4-H Poultry and Egg Conference.
Junior and Senior winning individuals or teams at the North Carolina 4-H Poultry Judging Contest may participate in subsequent state contests.
If the first-place Senior team attends the National 4-H Poultry and Egg Conference contest, they may participate in the next year’s state contest. However, they may not place first, second or third.
The first-place Senior team attending the National 4-H Poultry and Egg Conference context may not return to the national contest in poultry judging. They may return if they participate and win any of the state 4-H Egg Cookery, Chicken Barbecue or Turkey Barbecue Demonstration events.
Poultry Judging Division and Class Details
This section includes detailed descriptions of each poultry judging division and class.
The total possible score for all divisions and classes is 1000 points.
DIVISION I: Egg Production – Hens
Perfect Score – 300 points
Classes 1 & 2 – Past Production Hens
You will judge eight (8) hens for past egg production qualities (4 hens in each class). The birds, which show the best production qualities, should be placed first, second, third and fourth. This is comparison judging, and you must describe why the class was placed accordingly during your oral reasons. Pigment loss, handling qualities and body capacity must be mentioned. Birds in this class must be handled. Contestants will give reasons on either Class 1 or 2. Each class is worth 100 points.
Class 3 – Oral Reasons
No notes are allowed while giving reasons. Ten (10) points will be deducted if notes are used. If contestants are not properly prepared or give inadequate reasons, they will be scored accordingly. Reasons class is worth 100 points.
DIVISION II: Market Poultry
Perfect Score – 200 points
Class 4 – Ready-to-Cook
RTC will be composed of ten (10) Ready-to-Cook broilers in the 2 to 6 pound category. All carcasses will be judged according to USDA standards and graded A, B or C quality.
Carcasses are not to be handled. Five (5) points will be deducted for each grade separation line crossed. Ten (10) points will be deducted if the contestant fails to enter a grade or if more than one grade is entered. Carcass class is worth 100 points.
Class 5 – Poultry Parts
This class will consist of ten (10) mixed poultry parts. Each contestant is to identify the parts by name. The parts cannot be handled. The parts are listed in the National Manual plus drummette and flat (these are in the new manual). Ten (10) points will be deducted for each incorrect answer. Parts class is worth 100 points.
DIVISION III: Eggs
Perfect Score – 500 points
Classes 6 & 7 – Exterior Eggs
This class will have 20 white eggs to be graded for exterior shell quality and graded A, B or Dirty. One (1) point will be deducted if the A-B line is crossed and three (3) points deducted if the B-Dirty line is crossed. Four (4) points will be deducted if a contestant fails to enter a grade or if multiple grades are entered for an egg. Exterior egg class is worth 200 points.
Classes 8 & 9 – Interior Eggs
This class will have 20 white eggs to be judged for interior quality by candling them and grading them AA, A, B or Inedible. One (1) point will be deducted for each grade separation line crossed except when the line between B and Inedible is crossed, then three (3) points will be deducted. Five (5) points will be deducted if a contestant fails to enter a grade or enters more than one grade for an egg.
Class 10 – Broken-Out Eggs
This class will have ten (10) broken-out eggs to be judged for interior quality and graded AA, A, B or Inedible. Three (3) points will be deducted for each grade separation, except when the line between B and Inedible is crossed, then four (4) points will be deducted. Ten (10) points will be deducted if a contestant fails to enter a grade or enters multiple grades for an egg. Broken out class is worth 100 points.