Residents wanting to raise chickens on their property should register now to attend the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service’s Small Flock Poultry Expo Nov. 2-3 at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds.
“Interest in backyard poultry production has been growing markedly in recent years, but it is important to know and follow the correct ways to raise and sell chickens to ensure the well-being of people, the birds and the environment in which the chickens are raised,” said JJ Jones, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension area agricultural economist.
Jones added backyard poultry operators should think of the expo as “one-stop shopping,” where they can get the latest research-based information and management recommendations in an easy-to-understand format.
The expo will take place from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Nov. 2 and from 9 a.m. to noon on Nov. 3. The Cleveland County Fairgrounds are located at 615 E. Robinson St. in Norman, behind the Cleveland County Extension Office. Cost is $20 if pre-registering by Oct. 26 and $25 thereafter. The registration form is available online at http://backyardchickens.okstate.edu.
“We will be accepting registrations at the door,” Jones said. “However, we ask participants to pre-register if possible as it greatly aids our planning and helps ensure we have sufficient numbers of meals, refreshments and conference materials on hand. We will be serving dinner on Nov. 2, which is included in the cost of registration.”
Keynote speakers will include Dr. Fred Clark, University of Arkansas poultry veterinarian; Dr. Keith Bailey, OSU veterinarian and director of the Oklahoma Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory; Christine Heinrichs, author of “The Backyard Field Guide to Chickens;" and Chad Ward of the American Pastured Poultry Producers Association. In addition to the keynote addresses, there will be breakout sessions led by experts from OSU and industry.
Among the featured conference topics will be in-depth discussions detailing basic needs and costs relative to backyard flocks; poultry nutrition; external parasites of poultry; organic, natural and traditional poultry production; poultry diseases; showing of poultry and how show poultry are judged; and Oklahoma and federal rules for selling eggs and meat.
Anyone seeking additional information about the Nov. 2-3 expo should contact the Cleveland County Extension Office’s Brad Secraw by phone at 405-321-4774.
The conference is taking place in conjunction with the Mega Superbowl of Poultry Show. Expo sponsors include OSU’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, the Southern Region Extension Risk Management Education Center and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service is one of two state agencies administered by DASNR, and is a key part of OSU’s state and federally mandated teaching, research and Extension land-grant mission.