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Photo Credit: Edwin Remsburg


Jump Start Your Fall Marketing Season Now By: Ginger S. Myers, University of Maryland Extension Summertime and the season is busy. Planting, harvesting, marketing, coordinating employees, and dealing with customers leave little time in the day to prepare for the busy fall agritourism and direct marketing season. But, now is just the right time to plan ahead for the Fall “crunch” time. Here’s a quick checklist of planning activities to tackle now for a more successful and less stressful Fall season:

1. Get a large desk calendar and circle your important Fall event



4. 5. 6.

dates and harvest dates. Count back from those dates and circle the date when planning, advertising, hiring, or product ordering needs to start. Develop your advertising and social media marketing calendar and market those dates on the large desk calendar. Check what other activities and events are happening in your area in the same Fall period that you could piggy back on for cross-promotion. These type of links can be very helpful for social media promotions. Review what management protocols and marketing activities worked well for you during the last Fall season, and even more importantly, which one didn’t. Make management adjustments to address those problems. Check that your displays, checkout areas, and equipment is in good working order. Line up enough help for the entire season. Plan and execute at least one new activity or offering to help keep your product mix fresh.

In This Issue: Jump Start Your Fall Marketing Season Now Pg 1 Tips for your Backyard Flock Pg 2-3 Upcoming Events Pg 3 Events of Interest

Pg 4


Tips for Backyard Flock Owners Fall is a time for many poultry events such as swap meets, exhibitions, backyard poultry swaps, and backyard poultry tours. Risk for poultry disease increases when a large number of poultry from different flocks come to one place. Backyard flock owners who participate in these events should take precautions to protect their flocks and reduce the risk of exposure to disease. While birds are susceptible to a number of diseases, the most commonly passed among backyard flocks are: Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG), Mycoplasma synoviae (MS), Infectious Bronchitis Virus (IBV), and Infectious Laryngotracheitis (ILT). “Poultry is one of Maryland’s most important agricultural commodities, and we want to keep them all healthy, whether they are commercial, or fair and show, or backyard flocks,” said State Veterinarian Guy Hohenhaus, DVM. “Take precautions to ensure a positive and successful experience raising poultry. Most importantly, if you take birds to a place where poultry gather, or purchase new birds, be sure to quarantine the birds for 30 days before joining with an existing flock. Too often, flock owners will infect their entire flock by introducing a few new birds right after buying them, and unfortunately many of the birds in the flock, new and old, may die.” What if Your Chicken Gets Sick or Dies? Despite the best efforts of some flock owners, chickens sometimes do get sick and die unexpectedly. Veterinarians who treat pets may not treat poultry or livestock, but your local veterinarian can refer you to someone who treats birds, or you can contact a board certified avian veterinarian. To find a board certified avian veterinarian in Maryland, go to the Association of Avian Veterinarians website at is external). If many birds in your flock suddenly die, or if birds have signs of an unusual or severe disease, call MDA Animal Health Program at 410-841-5810 to report the problem and for further assistance.

Unusual signs that may indicate your chicken is sick and should be reported include: • Sneezing, gasping for air, coughing and nasal discharge • Watery and green discharge • Lack of energy and poor appetite • Drop in egg production, soft or thin shells, misshapen eggs • Swelling around the eyes, neck and head • Purple discoloration of wattles, combs and legs • Tremors, drooping wings, circling, twisting of the head and neck or lack of movement. Quarantine any new or sick birds. Healthy flocks can be diseased, even lost entirely, by one sick chick. Keep new chicks quarantined for at least 30 days until you’re sure they are healthy. If you see signs of illness in new or old birds, contact a veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment. Many birds may be carriers of disease, so just because a bird gets better does not mean that the bird won’t infect other birds with the same disease. For instance, Infectious Laryngotracheitis is a Herpes virus that remains in the bird after it recovers from initial illness, and may reappear or shed anytime, but particularly when the bird is stressed (as happens when transported to exhibitions).


Tips for Backyard Flock Owners

Upcoming Events Test poultry before exhibition. All animals, not just poultry, shown at exhibitions must meet animal health requirements. Some requirements are different for in-state and out-of-state animals. For more information on exhibition requirements, visit: is external). Remember the following tips when purchasing birds at a backyard poultry event: • Ask if the flock is tested. At a minimum a poultry flock must be tested for Salmonella Pullorum- Typhoid (PT) to be at a poultry swap or exhibition. Out–of–state flocks must also be tested for Avian Influenza (AI). • Look for obvious signs of disease – sneezing, swollen eyes or faces, nasal or ocular discharge, abnormal breathing like wheezing or gasping, mites or lice. • Take notice of the conditions of the birds for sale. Are the cages clean? Is there food and water available for the birds? If they aren’t taken care of properly while they are for sale there is a good chance they aren't taken care of in general.

October 21– Apple Butter Workshop, Baltimore City October 22– Home Food Preservation: Pumpkins, Harford Co. Extension October 23– Home Food Preservation: Pumpkins, Baltimore Co. Extension October 27– Home Food Preservation: Apple Rings, Harford Co. (AM), Baltimore Co. (PM) October 27– Estate Planning Workshop, Baltimore Co. Center for MD Agriculture October 28- “Snap it, Then App it” Webinar November 6– Home Food Preservation: Apple Butter, Harford Co. Extension

• Keep good records – know who you bought birds from – this information will help trace and stop spread of disease

November 6 & 7– Small Farm Conference, UMES

• Quarantine new additions for 30 days – even from sources you trust. Many diseases take weeks to show. Keep quarantined birds away from your flock.

November 11– CSA Operators Webinar

• Practice good biosecurity. CLEAN hands, boots, clothes, equipment, and housing before and between handling flocks to prevent disease spread.

December 1– Western MD Estate Planning Workshop December 3– Central MD Estate Planning Workshop

Register your flock. There are currently more than 4,300 flocks registered in Maryland, including more than 200 in Baltimore City. The registry is confidential, free and easy. To register, visit:

December 8– Farm Diversification: Profitability with Specialty Fruits and Vegetables, Wye Research and Education Center is external)

December 9– Market Research Webinar

Additional information: small-flock-production-0

December 10– Upper & Mid Shore Estate Planning Workshop

More events can be found on our website under “events” 3

Events of Interest Farm Diversification: Profitability with

Small Farm Conference

Specialty Fruits and Vegetables

On behalf of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore - Small Farm Program, we cordially invite you to our 12th annual Small Farm Conference set for November 6-7, 2015. The overall objective of the conference is to provide a venue where participants can come together to network and learn about new opportunities and strategies that promote farm profitability and sustainability.

Tuesday December 8th 2015 9:00 to 4:00 PM—Wye Research and Education Center, Queenstown, MD Farm diversification opens opportunity and increases potential profitability! Adding specialty fruit and vegetable crops to your farm can increase profit margins several ways. Like diversifying in the stock market, engaging in more than one enterprise and adding value to what you already grow will spread profit risk, not to mention the “growing” interests in locally produced foods. Lunch will be served and will feature some specialty crop foods. There will be a $20 per person fee to cover expenses. Call Debby Dant to register by November 24th, 2015 at 410‐827‐8056 X115 Please contact Andrew Ristvey for program details at 410‐827‐8056 X113, 124 Wye Narrows Drive Queenstown, MD, 21658

For more information about the conference or to register, please visit our website at Save the date! Our 17th annual Cultivate the Chesapeake Foodshed conference takes place January 14-16, 2016 at the College Park Marriott Hotel & Conference Center. Join us! conference/2016-conference

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Click here to receive this newsletter every month “This material is based upon work that is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under award number #2012-49400-19552. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The University of Maryland, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources programs are open to all and will not discriminate against anyone because of race, age, sex, color, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, religion, ancestry, or national origin, marital status, genetic information, or political affiliation, or gender identity and expression. 4

Fall 2015 bf newsletter  

In This Issue: Jump Start Your Fall Marketing Season Now - Pg 1 Tips for your Backyard Flock - Pg 2-3 Upcoming Events - Pg 3 Events of Inter...

Fall 2015 bf newsletter  

In This Issue: Jump Start Your Fall Marketing Season Now - Pg 1 Tips for your Backyard Flock - Pg 2-3 Upcoming Events - Pg 3 Events of Inter...