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Troup County Extension agent: Calling all chicken enthusiasts

Brian Maddy

Contributing columnist

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Without a doubt many parts of Troup County are awakened each morning by the sound of a rooster crowing.

I’ve visited many farms in Troup County and one common scene is a small flock of chickens roaming the premises. There are many backyards in LaGrange, Hogansville and West Point that provide fresh eggs each morning for breakfast.

Back in the 1920s a common campaign slogan was “a chicken in every pot.” At that time, chicken was considered a delicacy and only served on special occasions.

Today, through modern breeding methods, chicken is now America’s favorite food. In 1925 it took 16 weeks to grow a 2.5 pound chicken. Today it takes about seven weeks to grow a 6.5 pound broiler. That’s a big difference.

Every American eats over 80 pounds of chicken per year. It’s America’s favorite meat.

Georgia leads both Arkansas and Alabama in broiler production with just under 1.4 billion birds. There are 102 counties in Georgia that produce over $1 million in poultry products.

On an average day, Georgia produces 29.3 million pounds of chicken, 6.9 million table eggs and 5.5 million hatching eggs. That’s why Georgia leads the nation in poultry production.

There is a lot of interest in raising chickens. Some folks enjoy fresh eggs and meat. Some use them for 4-H or FFA projects. Some folks just enjoy their company.

The Troup County Extension Office is presenting a one-day workshop on small flock management at the Jefferson Street Market off of Dallis Street in LaGrange. Topics will include:

• How to how do you select a breed and how are chickens bred?

• How do you maintain a small flock?

• What are the best pest management strategies?

• How are diseases prevented?

• How do you manage a laying operation?

• How does chicken behavior affect management?

• What is biosecurity and how does it affect the avian flu?

• What are the rules and regulations regarding selling eggs and meat in Georgia?

Guest speakers will be from the University of Georgia Extension, the Georgia Poultry Laboratory, the Georgia Department of Agriculture and a local grower.

The class will begin on Thursday, Oct. 29, at 8:30 a.m. and will conclude at approximately 3:30 p.m. The cost of the class is $15 and it includes lunch. Call the office, 706-883-1675 or email uge2285@uga.edu for registration information.

What’s going on in Extension?

Jefferson Street Market begins Saturday mornings from 9:30 a.m. to noon at 625 Jefferson St. just off of Dallis Street.

Oct. 19: Troup County Association of Beekeepers, 7 p.m., Ag Center, Topic: “Decline and Buildup of the Colony.”

Oct. 20: Troup County Cattleman, Ag Center; dinner starts at 7 p.m. ($6.00). Program at 7:30 p.m. Guest speaker, Philip Brown of the NRCS on soil conservation.

Oct. 20: Pesticide Certification Safety Class, Harris County Extension. Call Steve Morgan, 706-628-4824 for more information.

Oct. 29: Small Flock Management Class. Cost, $15; lunch provided. Call the extension office to sign up.

Tree seedlings can be ordered from the Georgia Forestry Commission, 706-845-4122.

Brian Maddy is the ANR Agent for Troup County Extension. The Troup County Extension office is located at 114 Church St. in LaGrange and may be reached at 706-883-1675, Monday–Friday 8 a.m.–noon and 15 p.m.