County to Offer Backyard Farmer Workshop

The Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County is holding a new program for those interested in implementing farming techniques on their residential property.

Raising Chickens in Your Backyard will take place on Wednesday, June 10 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the EARTH Center in Davidsons Mill Pond Park, 42 Riva Ave., South Brunswick NJ.

This free workshop will be hosted by Dr. Joseph Heckman, who has been raising chickens on pasture since 2005. Dr. Heckman will discuss many details on raising backyard poultry starting with baby chicks, coops, feeder systems, sourcing feed, protection from predators, and the collection and care of eggs. On display will be a small flock of chickens in a movable coop.

Not all municipalities allow chicken rearing on residential lots. Please check your municipal ordinances or with your municipality before attending this workshop.

“Keeping a flock of chickens in the backyard is a popular hobby with many rewards,” said Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios. “Besides enjoying fresh tasty eggs for breakfast, raising a backyard flock is a great family activity.”

A recent study showed that pasture raised eggs, in contrast to typical grocery store eggs from confinement operations, have more vitamin E (+200%) and more vitamin A (+38%).

“The Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County has created another fun and informative workshop,” said Freeholder Kenneth Armwood, Chair of the Business Development and Education Committee. “I encourage those residents with an interest in farming to sign up soon.”

Though this is a free workshop, pre-registration is required by calling 732-398-5262. No “walk-ins” are permitted. Class size is limited.

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