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DEADLINE EXTENDED: 2023 Animal Crackers: Dairy, Sheep, Poultry, Rabbit/Cavy

Registration is open until April 28!

The Cornell University Department of Animal Science is pleased to announce 2023 Animal Crackers, "All Creatures Great and Small”, on Saturday, May 6, 2023, on the Cornell University campus. This year’s program will highlight Dairy, Sheep, Poultry, Rabbit and Cavy topics. Interesting, educational, hands-on activities are planned to make Animal Crackers a memorable learning event. Participants will have the opportunity to learn about Dairy, Sheep, Poultry, Rabbit and Cavy, biology, and management while having fun participating in a variety of interactive activities, with 4-H’ers from across NYS. 4-H youth 8-12 years old or those with beginner to intermediate knowledge of the covered species are invited to participate.

Workshops information:

Dairy:

  • Workshop 1: Holy Cow! Why can cows and sheep eat grass and other farm animals can’t? Rather than a small stomach like people have, dairy cattle have a different type of digestive system with a large stomach with four parts. Did you know they actually have a little help when it comes to digesting plant materials? Special digesting microbes live in the cow’s rumen. Have a look and feel inside a live cow rumen. Instructor: Rink Tacoma-Fogal, CALS Animal Science PhD Candidate, Cornell University.

  • Workshop 2: What’s in My TMR? To keep our dairy cows healthy just like us, they need the right combination of nutrients daily. Find out how to make the healthiest, tastiest meal for your cow and how all of the feeds work together. Instructor: Elaine Noble, CCE Chemung.

Sheep:

  • Workshop 1: Beauty and the Fleece. “What makes a fleece beautiful? Come explore different types of wool and natural fleeces and learn what uses they each “shine” at. We’ll learn the steps for turning wool into clothing and try our hands at some of them.” Instructors: Katharine Perz, CCE Suffolk, and Bruce Berggren-Thomas, CALS Animal Science, Cornell University.

  • Workshop 2: Welcome to the Club! “Are you interested in showing club lambs? Club lambs are born in the winter or spring and sold for meat in the fall. Learn to judge whether a lamb is likely to be good for this purpose. We’ll discuss getting your lamb show ring ready and practice teaching lambs to show at their best!” Instructors: Liz, Sunny Hill Farm, and Tammi Kron, CCE Erie.

Poultry:

  • Workshop 1: Birds of a Feather... Wait! What about body type, comb, etc.... Meat, Eggs, Fancy and more! Every breed has a unique look and purpose. In this track, we will be learning the different purposes for raising poultry and what breeds fall into each of those purposes. A few of our feathered friends will be joining us to help instruct! Instructors: Erica Orlwoski and Matt Gogis, Fulton Montgomery 4-H Volunteers.

  • Workshop 2: TBD


Rabbit/Cavy:

  • Workshop 1: Rabbits: What’s my Type? All About Rabbit Body and Fur Types. Join an ARBA Judge to learn about the 5 body types and 4 fur types into which rabbits are classified. Instructor: Kyle Yacobucci, CCE Fulton-Montgomery and Becca Coombe.

  • Workshop 2: Cavies: Cavy Cuisine and Rabbit Nutrition, Too. Cavies and rabbits make great animal science projects, especially if you have limited space. Learn their nutritional needs so you can keep them healthy, happy, and in their best condition for showing. Instructors: Kristina Gabalski, CCE Orleans, and Barb Kurzowksi, Orleans County Volunteer.

Registration: There is a $20 per youth cost to attend the program - adult chaperones are free. Attendees are asked to bring their own lunch. Registration for the event must be done through your local Cornell Cooperative Extension Office and must be completed no later than April 24, 2023. All groups must have at least one chaperone. Chaperones are asked to review the chaperone information sheet on the Animal Crackers website. Additional information about the event, as well as the Cornell University campus, can be found on the same website.

Mark your calendars for one of the most exciting animal science programs of 2023!

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