CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Want to start raising backyard chickens but don't know where to begin?
West Virginia University's Kanawha County Extension Service has a workshop for you.
In light of the approval of an urban agriculture ordinance in Charleston, coupled with a general interest in locally-grown foods, the Extension Service decided to have a free "backyard poultry workshop" on Wednesday to focus on raising chickens both for egg production and meat.
Many people have expressed interest, said Extension Agent John Porter. "People who you wouldn't think would be excited are all of a sudden excited."
The workshop will help residents navigate laws and best practices in regards to getting started with chickens. Topics ranging from daily care to food safety issues are on the agenda.
Porter said two of the most common issues he has heard are the construction of housing for the birds and nutrition -- what to feed the animals and how diet affects the type of meat or eggs produced.
"One thing is to make sure (residents) are doing it safely," Porter said.
Dealing with waste is another issue, too, and the workshop will show backyard farmers how to properly compost and dispose of chicken waste in an urban environment.