January 21 – April 29, 2020

Instructor: Deborah Niemann

Contact: deborahwrites@gmail.com

Webpage: http://www.thriftyhomesteader.com/

This course explores sustainable methods of raising poultry for meat and egg production, whether for home or commercial use. It will cover planning and managing a pastured poultry operation, including chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, and exotic fowl, such as guineas, quail, and partridge. It will integrate current research on poultry health issues with management practices. Hatching and brooding chicks will be discussed in detail, including information on broody hens and incubator use. Legal requirements, licensing, and marketing of eggs and meat to consumers, restaurants, and stores will be covered.

Learning Objectives – Students will be able to:

  • Explain the difference between poultry management systems that employ conventional, organic, and sustainable methods.
  • Plan housing, fencing, and other infrastructure required for egg and meat operations.
  • Evaluate poultry to purchase.
  • Learn about nutrition and explore local feed options.
  • Develop a manure management plan.
  • Explain how management practices can impact the use of antibiotics, anthelmintics, and coccidiostats.
  • Recognize behavioral and physical changes of sick poultry.
  • Develop a plan for dealing with predators.
  • Learn how to select breeding stock and incubate eggs.
  • Explore meat processing options.
  • Develop a plan for selling eggs and meat.

Course Components:

The course is presented in an online learning environment through PowerPoint presentations, audio lectures, videos, and weekly online discussions.

Grading:

  1. Fourteen weekly online discussions (5 to 10 points each)
  2. Fourteen weekly quizzes (5 to 10 points each)
  3. Final exam (50 points)

Calendar:

  Topic Reading Assignment
Week 1 Introduction: Why are we all here? Salatin, pp. 2-18Ussery, Ch. 1-2
Week 2 Poultry species and breeds; buying poultry Salatin, pp. 25-34Ussery, Ch. 3-4
Week 3 Housing Salatin, pp. 63-72, 256-269Ussery, Ch. 6, 9, 11
Week 4 Fencing Ussery, Ch. 10
Week 5 Poultry nutrition Salatin, pp. 51-62Ussery, Ch. 15-19
Week 6 Brooding poultry Salatin, pp. 35-43Ussery, Ch. 5

 

Damerow, Ch. 1-5

Week 7 Day-to-day life with poultry Salatin, pp. 73-98Ussery, Ch. 7-8
Week 8 Parasites, illnesses, disease, predators, & other challenges Salatin, pp. 144-211Ussery, Ch. 20-22
Week 9 Breeding and broody hens Ussery, Ch. 25-27Damerow, Ch. 6
Week 10 Incubating eggs Damerow, Ch. 7-11
Week 11 Processing and selling poultry meat and eggs Salatin, Ch. 14-17Ussery, Ch. 28
Week 12 Beyond meat and eggs Ussery, Ch. 12-14
Week 13 Turkeys ALBC bookSalatin, pp. 347-355, 379-383
Week 14 Marketing Salatin, Ch. 27-31Ussery, Ch. 30
Week 15 Your future poultry farm  

Required texts:

Damerow, Gail. (2013). Hatching and Brooding Your Own Chicks. Storey Publishing, North Adams, MA.

Salatin, Joel. (2010). Pastured Poultry Profits: Net $25,000 in 6 Months on 20 Acres. Polyface, Inc., Swoope,VA.

Ussery, Harvey. (2011). The Small-Scale Poultry Flock: An All-Natural Approach to Growing Chickens and Other Fowl For Home and Market Growers. Chelsea Green Publishing Company, White River Junction, VT.

Bibliography:

Damerow, Gail. (2013). Hatching and Brooding Your Own Chicks. Storey Publishing, North Adams, MA.

Scanes, Colin G.; George Brant, M.E. Ensminger. (2004). Poultry Science, Fourth Edition. Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River, NJ.

Salatin, Joel. (2010). Pastured Poultry Profits: Net $25,000 in 6 Months on 20 Acres. Polyface, Inc., Swoope,VA.

Ussery, Harvey. (2011). The Small-Scale Poultry Flock: An All-Natural Approach to Growing Chickens and Other Fowl For Home and Market Growers. Chelsea Green Publishing Company, White River Junction, VT.

Academic Honesty

No form of cheating, plagiarism, fabrication, or facilitating of dishonesty will be condoned in the University community. Academic dishonesty includes but is not limited to:

  • Cheating – intentional use or attempted use of trickery, artifice, deception, breach of confidence, fraud and/or misrepresentation of one’s academic work
  • Fabrication – intentional and unauthorized falsification and/or invention of any information or citation in any academic exercise
  • Plagiarism – knowingly representing the words or ideas of another as one’s own work in any academic exercise. This includes submitting without citation, in whole or in part, prewritten term papers of another or the research of another, including but not limited to commercial vendors who sell or distribute such materials
  • Facilitating dishonesty – knowingly helping or attempting to help another commit an act of academic dishonesty, including substituting for another in an examination, or allowing others to represent as their own one’s papers, reports, or academic works

Sanctions may be imposed on any student who has committed an act of academic dishonesty. Any person who has reason to believe that a student has committed academic dishonesty should bring such information to the attention of the course instructor as soon as possible. Formal definitions of academic dishonesty, examples of various forms of dishonesty, and the procedures which faculty must follow to penalize dishonesty are contained in the Academic Honesty Policy.

Credits

This class fulfills requirements for all three of the online programs offered by the University of Massachusetts Stockbridge School of Agriculture in Sustainable Food and Farming: