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Maybe now's the time to get some chickens; UF/IFAS breaks down reasons why

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Keeping backyard chickens is a growing trend, and Apopka has three great resources to get started

From UF / Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) Extension

The idea of keeping chickens in your backyard is a trend that is growing within our metropolitan areas. While store bought eggs are completely safe and wholesome, backyard chickens are continuing to grow due to a desire for the urban population to become reacquainted with food production. People in an urban environment are constantly trying to determine where and how their food is made. Having chickens in their backyard is an excellent way for them to experience how their food is derived and a great opportunity to discover a walk of life they are less familiar with.

Some of the reasons to keep urban backyard chickens are, but not limited to:

Have a steady supply of fresh eggs

Have the knowledge of where your eggs came from

Keep a “peck”-uliar pet

An “eggs”-cellent opportunity to help teach kids responsibility

Produce a valuable manure for composting

To see if a Backyard Chicken Class is scheduled, or to register for a class in Orange or Seminole Counties go to www.ufchickenclass.eventbrite.com.

Here are some of the topics covered in the class:

Chicken Nutrition

Local Ordinance Requirements

Biosecurity (Keeping you and your birds healthy)

Egg Production

Proper Coop Constructio

Interactive Map for resources near you:

See the interactive map below for local ordinance information, places to buy chickens and chicken supplies to help with your backyard chicken needs.

Recently, the nation has a seen a sudden increase in the number of Salmonella related sicknesses. The thought is that the owners of backyard chickens are not following the recommended safety practices. In the educational class taught by Cooperative Extension Services, we stress the importance of bio-security and hand washing to help prevent the spread of Salmonella and other bacteria.

For more information on chicken care go to: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_backyard_flocks

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