Kaylee Bosma’s chicken project got its start as a birthday present when she was a sixth-grader.
Bosma got interested in chickens while visiting her friend Alicia Ruud’s house and checking out her chickens. Her interest became an ask for chickens for her birthday in fifth grade. It took her parents a year to come around before she got 30 chickens for her birthday as a sixth-grader.
“They were all standard birds from TSC. We started there and that wasn’t that bad. We added on a little more and then we showed a little bit. It was really fun. I kept pushing for more. Then we expanded into bantams,” she said.
Today, the Lennox High School senior has grown her flock to hundreds of birds and used the poultry project as her supervised agriculture experience (SAE) with the Lennox Sundstrom FFA Chapter.
She used those records and experience to win the state FFA poultry production - entrepreneurship/placement proficiency. After winning the state, she tweaked her application and sent it in for the national contest. Now she is one of four national finalists for poultry.
As part of her project, Bosma went from buying birds to hatching her own. Their first hatch was a live hatch where the hen sits on the eggs. Since they have used an incubator and now have multiple incubators.
They usually start putting eggs in incubators toward the end of December and start hatching the first part of January and then hatch through March.
With all of their bantams, they end up with a lot of small eggs. Most of them are cream colored eggs.
Bosma found out she was a finalist while on a break at marching band practice.
“It was actually pretty crazy because Mr. Duxbury called me right before we were getting ready to start band rehearsal again. We took our 15 minute break. I said it has to be quick. I started crying and everyone asked what was wrong. I was so excited. Then everybody started clapping,” she said.
Bosma will do a Zoom interview in September as part of the competition. Then she will travel to Indianapolis for the National FFA Convention Oct. 27-30 to see where she placed among the four poultry finalists, which include her and FFA members from California, Georgia and Missouri.
Lennox Sundstrom FFA adviser Brady Duxbury appreciates Bosma’s passion for poultry.
“Kaylee is a very passionate young lady who combines natural talent and hard work to achieve her goals. She started her poultry operation with almost no experience and has grown it into a much larger and far more diverse operation. Her knowledge on the poultry industry grows daily and her passion grows with experience,” Duxbury said.
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