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Backyard poultry courses offered soon
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UGA Extension will be offering a free backyard poultry management course from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Sept. 27 at the Lumpkin County Park & Rec building in Dahlonega, at 365 Ridley Rd., Dahlonega, GA 30533.

Dr. Casey Ritz, UGA Professor and Extension Poultry Scientist, will be presenting on several backyard poultry management topics, including flock management, breed selection, housing options, biosecurity and flock nutrition.

The course is free to attend, but it is asked that you RSVP by Sept. 23 to the Lumpkin County Extension Office at (706) 864-2275, or email

Have you considered raising your own hens? You might already.

Backyard poultry flocks are quickly becoming very popular in Georgia. Many people love having farm-fresh eggs available without a trip to the grocery store. Others enjoy raising chickens for their meat.

Whether you are considering starting your own flock or have raised chickens your entire life, this poultry management class will be highly beneficial.

One of the most important topics offered with this course is biosecurity. Our portion of the state is home to several hundred poultry houses, so it is important that we who have backyard poultry flocks prevent our chickens from harboring disease that could transmit to local commercial houses.

To tie into the poultry management class, the Georgia Department of Agriculture will be hosting an egg candling certification class on Oct. 20 at the GDOA building, at 1195 Jesse Jewell Parkway SW, Gainesville, GA 30501. Classes will be offered at 8 a.m., 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m., with 16 people available slots per class.

To sign up, call the Georgia Department of Agriculture at (770) 535-5955 and ask for Bradley or Tina.

The class is necessary if you would like to sell eggs to the public.

In accordance with the Georgia Egg Law and the Georgia Food Act, all chicken eggs sold must be evaluated by a certified grader. Eggs must also be appropriately labeled and packaged according to the law.

This egg candling certification is free and will include a lifetime certificate upon completion of a written and hands-on test. Even if you don't plan to sell your eggs, knowing how to properly candle your eggs will help determine which of your own eggs are safe for consumption.