COUNTY AG NEWS

Poultry learning event for poultry enthusiasts to be held in Montello

 

There has been a significant increase in the number of people interested in raising poultry across the United States. This is true even in urban areas, where keeping chickens poses some challenges that are different from those of raising poultry in rural environments.

There are many benefits to raising poultry; the first that comes to mind is having fresh eggs on hand. There are a number of other benefits. Chickens make good pets and can be a source of companionship. Many people gain a sense of pride and satisfaction from raising well-cared-for healthy birds. Some families find that raising poultry is a great way for their children to learn about animal care.

Chickens may help homeowners go green. Poultry waste is an excellent source of nutrients for plants, providing many of the key ingredients for composting. Many poultry owners use their birds to keep kitchen wastes out of their trash bins. Chickens will eat many vegetables and unseasoned meat scraps.

Across the country many towns are changing their ordinances to allow homeowners to keep a small number of hen chickens. Wautoma now allows people to obtain a permit to have up to four hen chickens.

In the past two of the major concerns with chickens have been noise and smell. If chickens are cared for and supplied proper amounts of bedding there should not be any issues with offensive odors. Allowing people to keep only hen chickens solves the problem with noise as it is the roosters crowing that causes noise issues.

On Thursday, April 18, there will be an educational meeting at the UW-Extension office at 480 Underwood Avenue, Montello. The meeting will start at 5:30 p.m. and will finish around 8 p.m.

The meeting will feature UW-Madison poultry specialist, Ron Kean, talking about health and biosecurity of your home flock. He grew up on a small, diversified farm in Nebraska. He has degrees in Animal Science from the University of Nebraska and Animal Breeding from Iowa State University. He has been at UW-Madison for more than 25 years. Ron teaches several courses and also answers poultry questions as “the Answer Man” in the Backyard Poultry magazine.

Also speaking at this meeting will be Nick Levendoski who is employed by Sunnyside Hatchery at Beaver Dam. Nick grew up as a 4-H member showing poultry at the county and state levels. Nick went on to get a poultry science degree from UW-Madison.

There is no charge for this educational meeting, but attendees are asked to pre-register to ensure enough seating for all. You can register by calling the Marquette County UW-Extension office at 608-297-3141 or online at http://bit.ly/2019EggcitingEvening.

There are a number of publications available through UW-Extension for those interested in becoming a small chicken producer. Contact Richland County UW-Extension for a number of related resources; http://richland.uwex.edu/agriculture/poultry-and-rabbits/.