Extension Service offering series of workshops to help backyard poultry owners fend off avian flu
By Mary Hightower
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture
- Extension offering free workshops to help fend off avian flu in backyard poultry flocks
- Migratory fowl may spread avian flu
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- With the return of migratory birds to Arkansas, comes the threat of a resurgence in avian influenza among the state’s poultry flocks. Learn to fend off the flu through workshops being offered in November by the Cooperative Extension Service.
“If you own backyard chickens or other poultry, avian flu is nothing to ignore,” said Dustan Clark, extension veterinarian for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. “Now is the time to learn or brush up on your biosecurity skills.”
Some areas of Arkansas have seen tremendous growth in the number of backyard chicken keepers in the past few years. Steven Stone, agriculture chair at the Lincoln County Cooperative Extension Service office in Star City, said the number of exhibition entrants in the Arkansas State Fair poultry competition increased from about 50 in 2014 to about 120 in 2015.
“We’ve got people here in town that are just keeping a few hens for fresh eggs, but also a number of people newly dealing with exhibition birds,” Stone said. “We haven’t had any problems with avian flu here — we’re just trying to get some information out there, and trying to educate folks a little bit so they’ll know what to look for.”
As part of his outreach, Clark has a new page filled with information about biosecurity and avian influenza. It can be found here: http://www.uaex.edu/farm-ranch/biosecurity/default.aspx
Four workshops were planned for November. They are:
- Nov. 2, 6 p.m. – Lincoln County Extension Office, located at 113 W. Wiley Ave. in Star City.. For more information, contact the county office at calling 479-394-6018.
- Nov. 3, 6 p.m. – Berryville- Cornerstone Bank. Biosecurity workshop for Backyard Poultry Producers. For info, contact the Carroll County Extension Office at 870-423-2958.
- Nov. 5, 6 p.m. – Summit – Marion County Fairgrounds. Backyard poultry and egg production. No cost to attend and no prior registration needed. For more information, call the Marion County Extension office at 870-449-6349.
- Nov. 10, 6-8 p.m. – Mena – 4-H Educational Building, 211 De Queen Street. Backyard poultry production. No cost to attend. Please RSVP to 479-394-6018 by Nov. 6.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
# # #
Media Contact: Mary Hightower
Dir. of Communication Services
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service