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Cooperative Extension offers workshop for small-scale poultry owners

Posted 8/31/2015

A chicken.

Classes to teach about getting started, facility requirements, and keeping flocks healthy and productive

Small-scale backyard poultry has become quite popular in recent years in northern Nevada. University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s Herds and Harvest Program is offering a small-scale poultry class Sept. 17 to help poultry owners get a good start and maintain a healthy flock.

"More people want to know where their food comes from, and as such, they desire to produce at least some of their own food," said Extension Educator Steve Lewis, who organized the workshop. "This class will help them get started, as well as provide resources to help them along. It will also give them ideas to improve their operation and protect their chickens."

Topics include:

  • Getting started: facility requirements, chicken sources, free ranging tips, manure management and safety concerns, taught by Rob Holley from Holley Farms
  • Common diseases in backyard poultry and the role of the Nevada Animal Disease Lab, taught by Keith Forbes from the Nevada Department of Agriculture
  • Producer certification labeling and grading standards, taught by Marlea Stout from the Nevada Department of Agriculture
  • Laws and restrictions — what’s legal and what’s not, taught by Environmental Health Specialist Dave McNinch with the Washoe County Health District
  • Health and nutrition, feeds and feeding, egg production and sales, taught by Wendy Baroli from Girl Farm
  • What a small-scale operation will cost, taught by Extension Educator Carol Bishop

The workshop is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Washoe County Cooperative Extension office, 4955 Energy Way in Reno. Register online at

It will also be available via interactive video at the following locations:

The cost is $20 per person and includes snacks and workshop materials. Those attending are encouraged to preregister at the websites given above to ensure ample space and educational materials are available. You can also register by contacting Jennifer Kintz at 775-945-3444, ext. 12 or Persons in need of special accommodations or assistance should call at least three days prior to the scheduled event.

Cooperative Extension’s Herds and Harvest Program helps farmers and ranchers develop agricultural entrepreneurship, implement sustainable agricultural marketing strategies and improve profitability. Since 2011, the program has reached several hundred farmers and ranchers across the state. Two-thirds of the participants report they would make changes in their business practices because of what they learned through the program. The program is supported by the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, part of the United States Department of Agriculture.

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