with Special Guest, Pat Foreman
Friday, March 10, 2016, 9:30 to 4:30
Franny’s Farm in Leicester, NC
$55 with weekend registration, $70 without
There is a back to the land movement and it’s happing in backyards and on small parcels across the world. Raising chickens is fun, empowering, and assures that your food is grown that way you want it: clean soils, heritage breeds, and with proper and high quality food inputs. Some people are finding they can’t eat commercial poultry because of food allergies and sensitives to the grain that the birds eat. With pastured production methods and heritage birds, you can become a backyard poultry grower and raise birds that you couldn’t otherwise source or afford. Learn everything you need to know from egg to table for small-scale backyard chicken operation including how to minimize work and maximize production and how to have fun doing it. Keep you and your family good health—occupy your backyard with chickens! In this all-day workshop, we’ll cover:
The Art & Practice of Incubation: Incubation is critical to sustainability. Understand how to successfully raise replacement birds for the rest of your life. Through learning about embryology and seeing into eggs at different stages of development you will have the basics to become a solid incubator. We’ll cover:
- Selecting eggs
- The incubating process both artificially and with broody hens.
- Broody hen management & feeding.
- Hatching eggs (pipping).
- The critical first week of chick-hood.
- Chick nutrition for optimal health.
- Primary chick health care.
- Chick-ability and why you must understand it as a life or death matter
Yard Pastured Poultry: Learn how you can turn your yard into a mini pasture and raise heritage birds in small batches throughout the seasons for year-round food. Practical and effective ways to employ chickens on the farm, garden, and homestead. We’ll cover:
- Use your yard as a mini-pasture (including rotational grazing systems)
- Chickens build topsoil, enrich soil fertility, and control insects, including ticks and fleas.
- Home-grown food sources, how chickens forage, what they prefer to eat, and how to provide fresh graze.
- Fencing, what works, and what doesn’t.
- Handling and communication for trust, gentleness and an emotional bond.
- Birdscaping, which is planting trees, shrubs. perennials and annuals that your flock will perpetually love.
Home Processing—Using Tools You Already Have or Can Make: Process your own chickens for healthy, high-quality meat and bones. You don’t need thousands of dollars of equipment to process birds. Learn how to humanely, safely, sanitarily and skillfully process your birds. Harvest as needed or all at once. We’ll cover:
- The power of knowing your meat source, how it was raised, fed and processed
- The sacred significance of taking a life—so that you can live
- The science & chemistry behind skilled meat processing
- Processing equipment that you have—or could easily borrow
- Hand plucking made fun
- Super simple evisceration & an educational anatomy lesson
- Nutritional differences of meat from heritage vs. commercial breeds
- Cold shorting & effective freezer packaging for long-term storage
Organic Growers School is a non-profit organization providing organic education since 1993. Our mission is to inspire, educate, and support people in our region to farm, garden, and live organically.