BRITT – Isabel Stromer has worked hard the past few years to learn as much as she could about showing her market broilers at their highest potential.

At this year’s Hancock County District Fair, Stromer again showed a pen-of-three market broilers.

Stromer, 12, a seventh grader and a member of the Concord Challengers, has been a 4-H member for three years. Prior to that, she took part in Clover Kids.

“Washing them is a big part of it,” Stromer said. “I use water and soap, borax and different containers to rinse them in.”

Stromer said she got her market broilers when they were one day old. Since that time, Stromer has been consistently feeding them and keeping track of their weight gain. Stromer said she focused on gaining proficiency in how to finish them faster.

“The quicker you finish them, the less feed they need,” Stromer said.

She added as part of recordkeeping for her market bird project, she not only tracked the rate-of-gain but also the amount of food needing in raising them as well as the cost of that food.

For the past three years, Stromer has shown market broilers, sending them off to be butchered following the fair. Her latest batch was scheduled to be sent off on the Tuesday following the close of fair. Still, it will be several weeks before Stromer has the processed meat back, as it takes time to prepare a broiler, she said.

“I like the broilers because I like to have the meat for my family’s table,” Stromer said. “I really like the home-raised chickens, they are delicious.”

Still, Stromer has found herself the owner of a pet chicken as well, named Salsa, after a book she enjoyed called “Chicks and Salsa.”

“She was kind of an accident,” Stromer said. “She came with a group of broilers. She was supposed to be a broiler, only she wasn’t a broiler, she was a leghorn, which is a layer. I just decided to keep her. She can ride on my shoulder and acts like she owns the barn.

“There was originally another leghorn with her, that one I named Chicks, but she didn’t make it.”

When asked what’s the hardest thing about working with chickens, outside of washing them and keeping them clean, Stromer said, at times, the chickens could be ornery and even scratch.

“The ones in my reserve pen were really ornery,” Stromer said, “I still have scratches on my arm from them.”

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