Don’t be a chicken: Take ‘Poultry 101’

Published 4:14 pm Monday, June 18, 2012

Modern food production is narrowing the number of fruits, vegetables and livestock species, genetically-modifying and then “owning” these species, and favoring only those offering maximum output in a controlled environment. Because of this the health, tastes and viability of much of our food is in danger with many traditional breeds and varieties nearing extinction.
The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy ( founded in 1977 and based in Pittsboro, N.C. works to conserve rare breeds and genetic diversity. These traditional breeds are not only essential parts of the history of American agriculture, the flavors from their meat, from Tamworth pigs to Delaware chickens and Bourbon Red turkeys, are richer and tastier when pasture-raised.
Dawn Jordan of Restoration Farm in Green Creek is just one of many local pastured meat-raisers and organic growers in the area who favors the more traditional way of farming with breeds including the Bourbon Red Turkey and a wide-variety of chickens for both meat and eggs. She teaches “the sustainable life” to anyone who wants to learn it in weekend retreats on her farm and in classrooms around the county.  Follow along in this “Poultry 101” Q and A session with Dawn and scratch up your curiosity to learn more.

Q: How do you house chickens?
A: There is no right or wrong way, though there are some basic design rules. They can range freely in your yard, they can be moved around in portable pens or they can have a permanent coop. One of the easiest coops is a converted dog lot. They are readily available, used or free for removal and have doors which keeps out most predators. Install some type of roof, roost poles and a nesting area.

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