Expert: Niche market may spell opportunity for small-scale poultry producers
SAN MARCOS – Cluck, cluck, cluck. Hear that? It’s the sound of money, said a Texas AgriLife Extension Service poultry specialist.
It also could be the sound of fresh eggs for your morning breakfast, or a great project for your kids, said Dr. Craig Coufal, AgriLife Extension poultry specialist in the Texas A&M University poultry science department, College Station.
For those interested, AgriLife Extension will be holding a small-scale poultry production workshop from 8 a.m – 4:45 p.m., July 27 at the Embassy Suites San Marcos Hotel, Spa and Conference Center, 1001 E. McCarty Lane in San Marcos, he said.
“With the increased interest in backyard and small-scale poultry production in Texas, we developed this program to provide useful information needed to successfully raise poultry for the production of meat and eggs,” Coufal said. “We held the first workshop of this type last year in College Station, so this year we revised the program based on feedback from last year’s attendees to make it even better.”
Workshop topics will include basic poultry management; breed selection; nutrition; disease and pest prevention and treatment; and state marketing rules and regulations, Coufal said.
“We selected topics we knew would be of general practical use and interest to small-scale producers, but also which would be of benefit to larger producers as well,” he said.
Morning topics will include poultry breeds and production characteristics; fertile egg management and incubation; feeds and feeding of poultry; egg production and quality; and turkey and game-bird production.
Afternoon topics will include insect and external pest identification and control; identification, treatment and prevention of poultry diseases and internal parasites; state regulations for the sale of poultry; Texas egg laws; organic production and certification; and processing and meat sales regulations.
Coufal said workshop presentations would be made by AgriLife Extension and Texas AgriLife Research experts from the department of poultry science and department of entomology at Texas A&M, as well as from the university system’s Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory in Gonzales.
Additional presentations will be made by representatives of the Texas Department of Agriculture, the Texas Department of State Health Services and Ideal Poultry Breeding Farms, Inc. in Cameron.
“This new workshop is an informative and practical educational opportunity for small-scale poultry producers,” said Bryan Davis, AgriLife Extension agent for Bexar County and local program coordinator. “We feel the choosing of San Marcos as the location for this program presentation will draw people from both the San Antonio and Austin area.”
The cost for the workshop is $75 through July 22 and $100 afterward. To register, go to the Extension Conference Services website at http://agriliferegister.tamu.edu.
For more information on the workshop, contact Coufal at 979-845-4318 or firstname.lastname@example.org.