2021-03-01: Avian Science Notes March Newsletter



            North coast and 4-H poultry loses a wonderful friend

            Broiler Raising Tips

            The Coronavirus, 4-H, and the Avian Bowl Qualifier

            What is the largest producer of feed in the world?

            Origin of our California 4-H Clubs

             NEW QUIZ - based on 2021 Avian Bowl Study Sections

             PDF version of the March Avian Science Notes



North coast and 4-H poultry loses a wonderful friend

     It is with sadness that I report the death of Mrs. Lisa Jensen.   Those of you who’ve had the pleasure of attending a Humboldt Poultry Fanciers’ Association (HPFA) Show, will certainly remember this warm lady.    I first met her when she was a 4-H Mom and Leader, but decades after her children left 4-H, she continued to provide great leadership for 4-H Poultry in Humboldt County.   One of the hard working members of HPFA, she shared Show Secretary duties with Harry Majors and was often assisted by another 4-H veteran, Mrs. Cynthia De Martini.

Lisa Jensen

    Mrs. Jensen was ever organized and on-time.   Not only was she professional in her work, she took time to do the little things that made a big difference to exhibitors and judges.   She loved the birds, but she was devoted to each new generation of poultry 4-Hers.   She wanted them to have great experiences at the HPFA Show and at the county fair, but she was always encouraging them to venture out of the county, to other poultry shows, State Qualifiers, and State Fair.

     To all the young people who were mentored and supported by Mrs. Jensen: remember to help a child who also shares your fascination for poultry...volunteer to be a 4-H Leader...sponsor a 4-H trophy at the next poultry show.   Share your knowledge and show kindness and you will honor the memory of Lisa Jensen.

Photo:  Mrs. Lisa Jensen (center) with husband, Eric, and daughter, Cassie.  Thank you to the De Martini Family for sharing this photo.


Broiler Raising Tips

    Some of you may be starting to raise your 2021 meat chickens, i.e., broilers.   For many years we have heard that always having light on in the broiler house will encourage the growing birds to eat more.   Dr. Karen Schwean-Lardner (Assoc. Professor of Animal and Poultry Science, University of Saskatchewan, Ontario, Canada) has reported findings of a study looking at day length and broiler welfare and growth.   She found that continuous lighting was NOT the best system.   Broilers provided with 4 hours of darkness per day were sick less, had lower mortality, and higher feed efficiency.

     I hope you all remember that feed efficiency is determined by calculating the pounds of feed consumed divided by the pounds of weight gained.    Given that the cost of feed is your biggest expense when raising birds, a system that results in healthier birds and highest feed efficiency is the way to go.

     So if you are using artificial light when raising your broilers, invest in a time clock.   That will allow you to regulate the light and insure that your birds have 4 hours of darkness per day.

The Coronavirus, 4-H, and the Avian Bowl Qualifier

   As of late February, word on the State 4-H site is that all state programming is virtual.   Readers were referred to county 4-H web sites for local directives.   With appropriate training, it seems that some counties are allowing 4-H Leaders to conduct SMALL meetings, outdoors.   Those parameters will NOT work for our Avian Bowl State Qualifier.

   Good news is that conditions are improving and restrictions are gradually being relaxed.  I am hopeful that the Qualifier can be rescheduled for this summer.   Please keep checking my webpage: https://avian.ucdavis.edu/ for a new date and location.   KEEP STUDYING!

What is the largest producer of feed in the world?

     You may not know that the answer to the above question is CPF or Charoen Pokphand Foods of Thailand.   However, now that you do, you also know the name of the world’s fourth largest egg producer and sixth largest broiler producer.

      CPF’s founding family started the business 100 years ago selling seeds.   In the latter part of the 1900s they expanded into feed, poultry and other ventures.  CPF was just in the news announcing that they will embark on producing insect protein from black soldier flies.   They see this as a sustainable protein source in animal feeds.

      Over the years, some 4-H poultry parents have told me that they were “OK” with their children raising chickens for fun, but they did not think Avian Sciences or Poultry Science was a profitable line of study.    Let me share that two members of the CPF core family studied in my Department of Avian Sciences in the 1970s.    CPF’s CEO, Supchachai Chearavanont, and his family are now ranked as the 3rd richest family in Asia with a combined worth of $31.7 billion.  Now that sounds profitable to me.   Go Aggies - go poultry.

Origin of our California

4-H Clubs

Humboldt 4-H pigs

      You may know that the 4-H Program in California started in 1913.   However, did you know that the first clubs were in Humboldt County?    Those pioneering clubs were in Arcata Bottoms, Ferndale, and Fortuna.

Photo:  Three of the early 4-H Club members from Humboldt County and their pigs.   Appreciation to Humboldt UCCE Office Manager, Leslie Canafax, for sharing the photo.



NEW QUIZ - based on 2021 Avian Bowl Study Sections

    The current Quiz is to have a little competition and to also insure that you all continue to review the 2021 Study Sections in the Avian Bowl Manual.    The eligibility has changed for this contest.   If you were a winner in any of the contests in Fall 2020, you are not eligible for this current contest.   For all you recent winners (1st, 2nd & 3rd place finishers), please recruit another 4-Her from your family or club to enter the contest.

     The answers to the questions can be found in the Avian Bowl Study Manual.  You need to complete the following equation:

A             +   B          +    C             +    D               -   E             - F             +  G        = ***

page __     page__     pages _____  page ___       page __      page ___     page___


A =   Day of incubation the tongue begins to form ____

Page ___ where I found answer


B = Maximum number of chicks provided free to each 4-H Pullet Chain Participant ____

Page ___where I found answer


C = Number of breeds in the Asiatic Class ____

Pages ___to___ where I found the answer


D = Year Mrs. Cecile Steele is credited with starting the commercial broiler industry ____

Page ___ where I found the answer


E = Incubation period for Egyptian geese _____

Page ___ where I found the answer


F = minimum listed adult weight for an emu _____

Page ___where I found the answer


G = Number of letter “u”s in the name of dish served on Jewish Sabbath, it is a baked custard, often containing noodles   _____

Page ___where I found the answer

                                                                 *** = ____________________________

To enter, fill in all the blanks above (A through G, and the equation solution ***), as well as the page numbers of where you found each answer.    E-mail ALL of the details to my Assistant, Dave Emery, at davemery@ucdavis.edu by March 22, 2021.   You can fill out the hard-copy newsletter and take a (high resolution) photo to e-mail to Dave, or copy, paste and e-mail from the digital version of the newsletter on the website:  https://avian.ucdavis.edu/avian-science-notes.   Be sure to include your Name and complete USPS mailing address, and phone number.




March 19th – California Farm Day

March 22nd – Email your complete Quiz answers to davemery@ucdavis.edu

Summer - Humboldt Poultry Fanciers’ Association (HPFA) Summer Show, check HPFA  website:  https://humboldtpoultry.org for news on this event.


Questions: Dr. Bradley 760 699-5078














Photo:  Three of the early 4-H Club members from Humboldt County and their pigs.   Appreciation to Humboldt UCCE Office Manager, Leslie Canafax, for sharing the photo.


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