A workshop for Small, Sustainable Poultry Farmers who are interested in breeding, growing and selling standard bred poultry.
Have you ever tasted a farm-fresh egg or freshly-harvested chicken? Many people are now raising their own poultry for personal use or for sale, making this an exciting time in the poultry industry. The marketplace for historical, heritage breeds of poultry is growing rapidly. Would you like to learn about standard bred poultry? Learn how to breed and reproduce heritage poultry for eggs and meat! Learn about sustainable breeding, and how to market poultry products in stores, restaurants, and in your community! Learn what breeds are on the verge of extinction and how you can be a part of their preservation! During this workshop, you’ll learn how to identify breeds, how to select and breed them legally and safely, how to create an environment for maximum, natural production, and finally, how to strategically market your poultry for a small farm profit.
Every year during the holiday season, more and more families are looking for a historical, standard bred, locally grown turkey to purchase and cook for their Thanksgiving and Christmas meals! A turkey that is true to the breed can naturally reproduce and is treated humanely on the farm where it is raised! The demand for these birds is increasing all the time. In this workshop you will learn about the history of commercial/industrialized turkeys verses heritage turkeys. You will also learn about the opportunities and necessities as you consider raising these birds on your local farm. We’ll discuss how to choose your breed, prepare your pasture and look at facility options for your flock. You’ll learn the basics of brooding poults – dealing with heat, feeding, watering, pastures, proper fencing and even how to deal with predators. The workshop will end with wonderful secrets to marketing your products, planning for profit, and building a sustainable farming program with your flock.
8:30 AM Registration
9:00 – 10:30 AM – Session 1 & 2 – “Necessity of Identifying Heritage Poultry”
There is a lot of misunderstanding regarding what is exactly a heritage chicken and even a heritage turkey. In the opening sessions of this workshop, you will learn how to truly identify a heritage bird as described in the Standard of Perfection published by the American Poultry Association. It is critical that you understand the differences of industrialized poultry versus standard bred poultry. You will learn how to properly choose your birds and learn of the best place to purchase your sustainable flock of poultry.
10:30 – 11:00 AM Break
11:00 AM Session 3 – “Facilities, Feed and Forage”
What about facilities for your newly acquired heritage poultry? What is all this talk about pastured poultry? How much space do I need? In this session you will learn about permanent structures versus mobile units. And how many birds can you raise on your property? Should you use organic, natural, or maybe just the ‘good old’ Purina feed? These details will all be covered in this session.
12:15 PM LUNCH
1:00 – 2:30 PM Session 4 – “Selecting Heritage Poultry for Production” (both meat and eggs)
This is the “hands on” part of the workshop. You will learn the “Hogan Selection Principles” of selecting birds for meat production and rate of growth. You will learn how to assess your current flock of layers to see who is in production and who is not. Everyone will have the opportunity to learn how to properly handle fowls and learn the essential selection process for keeping the best birds to improve production in your flock. This session will also include a tour of the model farm that is hosting the workshop.
2:30 PM Break
3:00 – 4:00PM Session 5 – “Introduction to Breeding Standard Bred Poultry”
Breeding is essential if we are going to develop sustainable flocks of standard poultry. The decline in these historical, heirloom breeds of poultry are directly connected to the lack of quality breeding programs. In this session you will be introduced to the essentials of breeding your favorite breed of poultry, and learn how you can improve the breed and preserve it!
4:00 – 5:00PM Session 6 – “Budgeting, Marketing and your Small Farm Business Planning”
In this session you will learn of the direct costs and indirect costs involved in starting your flock of sustainable poultry. What about processing and selling your birds? You will learn some of the secrets to marketing and have opportunities to network with other like-minded farmers. Our goal is to prepare you with the necessary information and skills to succeed and make a profit through your heritage poultry farming.
5:00 PM – Workshop Ends!