A flock of chicken lovers
Linda Charlton / Daily Commercial
Good idea just not in Florida.
There are so many things wrong with this, a great idea, that they must be challenged now before you buy.
Remember the rabbits?
Now, show me any wild animal in Florida that cannot and/or will not go under this caged house or through it?
Raccoons and bears will simple wheel it home to their family for dinner.
I have been planning on building a henhouse if or when I have the time however, the wire fencing must be much stronger and also as a flooring for the out of coop area and with 4 stronger wheels.
Even with these changes there must be a night-time door to keep out the most tenacious chicken lover!
A flock of chicken lovers
Presenter Jonael Bosques brought his own chicken tractor — a tiny, movable coop, sized just right to fit in the back of his truck, but big enough to provide all the shelter and protection needed for the three laying hens that Bosques figures will live there.
Chickens ruled the roost Tuesday as the Lake County Extension Office hosted what was billed as the 1st Annual CFLAG Small Flock Poultry Production Conference.
There were 45 people at the conference, which was held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Agricultural Center in Tavares. CFLAG stand for Central Florida Livestock Agents Group.
As Lake County livestock extension agent Megan Brew said, “We’ve been offering a more condensed version of beginning poultry and it’s been very popular.
This is the next step.
It’s kind of an extension on that, providing a deeper level of education on back yard poultry.”
Citing the recently relaxed chicken rules in Leesburg as one factor, Brew says that the interest in chickens is increasing each year.
“I’m getting more and more calls,” she said.
Karen Creasy of Clermont was one attendee.
“I had backyard chickens until I got cancer and had to have a stem cell transplant,” Creasy says.
“I want to do it again and I want to go it the right way.”
Speaking of her attraction to the birds, Creasy added, “They’re super social. I happened to be raising some when I had puppies. They thought they were puppies and when the puppies came in the house, they did, too.”
Gina Henson of Summerfield was another attendee, but one with more commercial goals.
“I have a small, 8-acre farm,” Henson says, “and I have a little store where I sell cottage products, and I’m looking forward to being able to sell eggs. I want to comply with the rules.”
The rules Henson was referring to are the Limited Poultry and Egg Farm Operations rules that went into effect in the State of Florida on July 1, of last year.
The birds covered under the Limited Poultry and Egg Farm Operations rules are chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, guinea fowl and quail.
One of the sessions in the conference dealt specifically with LPE compliance, for while the new regulations make it easier for small producers to sell their eggs and dressed poultry (whole birds ready to cook), there are still rules to follow — — rules such as wash your eggs before selling, keep them at 45 degrees or cooler, sell no more than 30 dozen a week, and don’t even think about selling across state lines.
As presenter Sharon Gamble said to potential violators of that last rule, “You will get a knock on your door.”
The day’s agenda included presentations on health and nutrition, as well as on the basics of starting your own flock and building your own coop or “chicken tractor.”
Presenter Jonael Bosques brought his own chicken tractor — a tiny, movable coop, sized just right to fit in the back of his truck, but big enough to provide all the shelter and protection needed for the three laying hens that Bosques figures will live there, all while providing the ease of access the chicken farmer needs in order to provision his birds and collect their eggs.
He also gave some good, basic advice to chicken-raisers whose local zoning may not allow poultry.
“Be nice to your neighbors,” he says. “Give them some eggs, invite them to dinner. Make friends of them.”
In an implied reference to zoning restrictions and other rules, Bosques said, “We’re in Florida and our laws are (stupid).
We have a state system that’s not agriculture friendly and we need to let state officials know that. Gas prices are not going to stay low forever.
We want to produce our own food