2021 Spring Dog Obedience
Image by Madison County CCE
2021 County Fair Rabbit Show

Dog & Small Animal

Youth interested in dogs, cats, rabbits, cavies, poultry,  or other birds can participate in 4-H Small Animal projects and learn about animal health, anatomy, nutrition, showing, pet care, and more.

Dog Program

4-H Dog Obedience 

Oneida County offers a 4-H Dog Obedience Program for youth ages 9 to 19 years. Classes usually being in May and meet once per week for approximately four weeks.

If you would like to spend some time learning and having fun with your dog then consider taking 4-H Dog Obedience classes.

Using positive reinforcement training techniques youth will learn how to train their dogs in the basic commands of sit, heal, come, halt, stand, stay and down.4-H volunteers will work with the youth and dogs to demonstrate and teach technique. Youth are then expected to go home and work with their animal. The most important part of this program is learning about dogs while having fun. Upon completion of this program youth may participate in the Oneida County 4-H Dog Show usually held at the Boonville Oneida County Fair.

 All dogs must be at least 6 months of age. Proof of Rabies Vaccination Required.

Rabbits/Cavy Program

A 4-H Rabbit/Cavy Project is a chance for youth to learn about the selection, production, management, health and showing of rabbit and cavies but also a chance to expand and build on the knowledge they currently have.In Oneida County we have many activities for Rabbit and Cavy lovers.

Rabbit and Cavy Showing:

At the county fair we have a Rabbit and Cavy Show. To the left are showmanship score cards that the judge uses to grade the showman on their skills and knowledge. 

Rabbit and Cavy Decathlon:

Participants are given 4 minutes at each station to answer verbal questions.

There are 10 stations in the NYS 4-H Rabbit Science Decathlon:

  1. Anatomy & Physiology (involves questions about mammalian digestive systems, body parts, bones etc.) 3 divisions
  2. Nutrition (involves questions about feed content, water and feed requirements, nutritional needs for different stages of development) 3 divisions
  3. Housing & Equipment (involves questions about hutches, cages, floor space, nest boxes, feeders, ventilation, environment in general) 3 divisions
  4. Health & Diseases (includes questions about any health problem, identification of symptoms, treatments) 3 divisions
  5. Terminology (may include questions about breed standards) 3 divisions
  6. Reproduction & Genetics (involves questions about sexing, responsible breeding practices, general inheritance patterns) 3 divisions
  7. Breed Identification (All participants will identify 5 breeds of live rabbits. Novice will identify the breed only, Juniors will identify the breed and variety, Seniors will identify the breed, variety and class (4 or 6) or body type.) 3 divisions
  8. Records & Project Evaluation/Management (participants MUST bring a NYS 4-H Rabbit or Cavy Project Record to the station.) They are evaluated on what they know and have recorded. 
  9. Handling & Evaluation (Novice and Junior participants handle, examine, pose and judge their own rabbit in front of a proctor). Bring a rabbit that you can handle and one for which you know the breed standard requirements. This station resembles showmanship in other states. Show coats are not required. Expected attire at this station will include either a long sleeve show coat of any color OR a long sleeve collared white button shirt. A live judging or culling component may be included for Seniors only. 
  10. Standards of Perfection. Novice, Juniors and Seniors will have an opportunity to use a standard of perfection reference at this station. Participants should be familiar with body types and know the difference between full arched, semi-arched, commercial, compact, and cylindrical body types. Questions about judging a rabbit will also be asked.

Seniors Only will have an opportunity to rank a live class of rabbits OR cull a young litter of bunnies. Seniors will assess which rabbit would be judged higher on certain standard characteristics. These characteristics might include head, ears, general type, fur quality, color, markings, condition or disqualifications. In addition to choosing the correct rank order, the participant may be asked to state why the particular rabbits were selected.

To encourage 4-H’ers to work as a team before the day of the event, the NYS 4-H Rabbit & Cavy advisory committee has agreed to repeat a component in the decathlon contest for teams only. After each individual contestant has competed by county in the decathlon, teammates will meet to solve a problem scenario and they will select a captain or leader amongst themselves to take notes for their group’s work. Each team will receive points for their effort. These points will be added to the individual scores of the top 3 team members of each team in order to ascertain the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th place teams in each division.

Poultry Program

A 4-H Poultry Project is a chance for youth to learn about the selection, production, management, health and showing of poultry but also a chance to expand and build on the knowledge they currently have.

Poultry Showing:

Onieda County offers a 4-H poultry show which is a friendly competition of exhibition poultry, which may include chickens, domestic ducks, domestic geese, domestic Guinea fowl and domestic turkey. 

Please Note: All poultry (except waterfowl) being exhibited at a fair must test negative for Pullorum within 90 days of the fair or originate from a US Pullorum Typhoid clean flock or a flock which has had a negative official test in the previous two years. Documentation must be presented to the State Veterinarian. Waterfowl do not require any testing/certification. A Pullorum Testing Clinic is hosted sometime in June at the Oneida County CCE Office. 

Last updated January 4, 2024