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Small Animal Advisory

In small animal science projects, 4-H members:

  • Learn about animals and their behavior, health, and reproduction.
  • Practice leadership skills and roles, take part in community affairs, and demonstrate citizenship responsibility.
  • Explore career, job, and productive leisure opportunities.
  • Learn to use accepted practices for mental, physical, and emotional health.
  • Develop personal integrity, a sense of sportsmanship and team cooperation, and an ability to speak in public through participation in related activities, such as demonstrations, talks, judging events, field days, tours, and exhibits.
  • Share acquired knowledge and skills with other 4-H members.
  • Show their animal science projects at county fairs and expositions.
  • Develop skills, knowledge and attitudes for lifelong use.

In Western societies, the guinea pig (cavies)has enjoyed widespread popularity as a household pet. Domestic guinea pigs generally live in cages, come in many breeds, and become amenable to human handling. 4-H members may keep guinea pigs as pets and exhibit them in shows.

The dog has developed into hundreds of varied breeds. Dogs are highly social animals who are trainable, playful, and have an ability to fit into human households and social situations.  4-H members may engage in dog care and training 4-H projects.

Entomology is the scientific study of insects. Insect identification is an increasingly common hobby, with butterflies and dragonflies being the most popular. 4-H members may choose to take an entomology or beekeeping project.

Historically, rabbits have been used as a food and clothing source. However, many people now keep rabbits as pets. Rabbits can live indoors in a pen and are fairly easy to train. Rabbits are a favorite project for 4-H members with space limitations.

Many species of birds are of economic importance, mostly as sources of food acquired through hunting or farming.  Some species, particularly songbirds and parrots, are popular as pets. Many types of 4-H projects are available to 4-H members who are interested in birds. For those interested in production of meat and eggs, there are 4-H poultry, game bird or embryology projects. For those interested in pets, there are 4-H exotic bird projects.  More information can be found at UC Davis Poultry and Egg website.

Many species of animal fall under the Small Animal Advisory committee.  These include but are not limited to;

  • Rats
  • Mice
  • Lizards
  • Snakes
  • Dozens of varieties of birds
  • Fish
  • Turtles
  • crabs
  • Moles
  • Gerbils
  • And many, many, more

For more information please contact your local 4-H club or the county office.



Intermediate Cavy Show Reagan Ochalek