A workshop Tuesday will have advice on raising backyard chickens in Tuolumne County, which just enacted new rules on the subject.
The free event will cover housing, feed, predators, diseases, egg handling and other details. The University of California Cooperative Extension is putting it on with the Tuolumne County Department of Agriculture.
The workshop follows a December vote by the county Board of Supervisors to allow certain poultry on residential parcels of 1 acre or larger in unincorporated areas.
“A simple coop and a little feed are all people need to try their hand at keeping chickens in their yards, if local policies allow it,” said Scott Oneto, a farm adviser with the extension, in a news release. “Chickens can easily earn their keep by providing fresh eggs, reducing insects and providing a fun, educational connection to nature.”
The ordinance permits female chickens and turkeys, but not the more disruptive roosters and tom turkeys. Pheasants, quail and doves also can be kept, but not ducks, pigeons, guinea fowl, geese, peacocks, peahens, chukars, grouse, ostriches or emus.
Up to six birds can live on a residential parcel. They must be kept in enclosures and not cause excessive smells or other problems. Owners cannot sell the eggs or meat.
Sonora, the county’s only incorporated city, started allowing certain poultry on residential lots two years ago.
A county staff report said the latest ordinance would help prevent diseases that could affect commercial flocks. Diestel Turkey Ranch is the county’s only one, but neighboring Stanislaus County is among the state’s leading poultry producers.
Bee staff writer John Holland can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 578-2385.
AT A GLANCE
What: Workshop on backyard chickens in Tuolumne County
When: 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesday
Where: County library, 480 Greenley Road, Sonora
Cost: None, but people planning to attend should register in advance at (209) 533-5696 or www.ucanr.edu/freepoultryworkshop.