Top of the Morning, March 9, 2014

Top of the Morning, March 9, 2014

One of the snacks served during Champaign's last Chicken Workshop was, of course, deviled eggs. That was in 2011.

Not sure what's on the menu for the next backyard chicken Q&A — April 2 at the Champaign Extension Auditorium — but all my other questions were answered by Ken Koelkebeck. He's a poultry specialist at the UI and a presenter at the free workshop. "I hope that I can provide valuable information to anyone who wants to raise chickens in Champaign township," he said.

That might include me, pending my wife's approval. So here goes:

Best advice for a first-time chicken owner?

I would provide them with what we call in the poultry world FLAWS. This stands for providing adequate and proper feed, light, water and security or safety.

Best part of having chickens in the backyard?

Chickens can make good pets and many people can get a sense of pride and satisfaction from raising healthy birds. It is a great way for parents to teach their children how to take care of chickens.

Worst part?

Some noise and odor. However, with no roosters allowed, hens do not make much noise.

Are my neighbors going to hate me?

If you keep the pen and area around it clean and properly dispose of fecal droppings, that should be fine.

What should I name my first chicken?

If you have children — and a daughter or daughters — you might name it after them since they are going to be hens.

To register for the Chicken Workshop on April 2, call 217-333-7672 or visit the UI Extension website.

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