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Agriculture Today

Local free-range eggs, poultry market growing

Local free-range eggs, poultry market growing
Many chicken breeds are suitable for small-scale poultry operations, such as these Barred Plymouth Rocks.

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August 3, 2011
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BRYAN -- Want a few fresh-from-the-chicken eggs for your daily breakfast? Or maybe you like the idea of raising a couple of thousand chickens as a profitable business for local niche markets?

For those interested in these scenarios and anything in between, the Texas AgriLife Extension Service will be holding a small-scale poultry production workshop Saturday, Aug. 13, from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. in the Brazos Center located at 3232 Briarcrest Drive in Bryan.

“There are small niche markets out there, particularly in urban areas,” said Dr. Craig Coufal, AgriLife Extension poultry specialist in College Station. “They don’t want to buy chicken from the grocery store. They want to buy chicken from a small farmer who’s growing them on his own land. They want to know the person whom they’re buying from. That’s the market these small producers are targeting, and it’s a growing market. It’s growing all the time.”

The workshop will provide small-scale poultry producers and enthusiasts with the latest information on the production of poultry for meat and eggs, he said.

It’s also possible, and in most cases legal, to raise a few chickens in a back-yard urban setting, he said.

Workshop topics will include basic husbandry and management, production systems, nutrition, disease prevention and treatment, biosecurity, and marketing rules and regulations.

Topic presenters will include AgriLife Extension specialists and experts from the Texas A&M University departments of poultry science and entomology, and the Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory.

Registration for the workshop is $75 before Friday, Aug. 5, and $100 thereafter. The fee covers educational materials, break refreshments, and a catered lunch. Registration will be limited to 100 people.

To register online, visit AgriLife Extension Conference Services at and enter “poultry” in the keyword search field. Participants may also register by calling 979-845-2604.

For more information, call Coufal at 979-845-4319 or e-mail

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