UF/IFAS Extension office in Highlands County hosted a Basics of: Backyard Chickens Workshop last week and it went splendidly!!
While a smaller crowd attended, there is always room to grow- especially with this program. Topics I covered included chicken nutrition, factors affecting egg production, types of parasites, common diseases, methods to to de-worming, the importance of vaccination, how to read product labels, and types of marketing. Locals attended the workshop and offered great questions and discussion! Attendees were able to talk about their flocks, how they have handled different situations including predator management and decrease in egg production. Some attendees came to learn about chicken management before investing in this new hobby. Based on a pre/posttest, the attendees showed a knowledge gain of 48% in the topics of flock health management, egg production, nutrition, and conventional vs. organic marketing.
Our local newspaper has been running ads in The Highlands News-Sun to promote the workshop. A reporter from the newspaper attended the workshop to report on the information provided and to interview the attendees on their thoughts about chickens. A county employee had originally offered to attend the workshop to answer any zoning questions the citizens may have, but unfortunately she was unable to attend the day of the workshop.
Prior to the workshop date, “Backyard Chickens” has recently became a hot topic throughout the community of Highlands County. Highlands County has different zoning and permitting regulations for each city along with the outskirts of the cities. Many locals have been calling the office with zoning questions within city limits and outside of the cities…hope I didn’t ruffle too many feathers with hosting this event!!
Overall, I would say not only did they learn a lot about the welfare of their flocks, but we also had great conversation and fellowship during our engaging workshop!