The chicken has been providing humans with eggs, meat, and entertainment for the past 10,000 years. Cultures and civilizations all over the world have developed breeds of chickens for specific uses, resulting in over 1,600 breeds present today. The purpose of this course is to provide participants with a basic understanding of what it takes to breed heritage standard chickens, along with developing and maintaining new breeds and hybrids with personally selected traits. Participants will be able to interact with the Oak Spring Garden Foundation’s heritage and locally bred chicken flock to gain knowledge on the systems and processes involved with selecting, breeding, incubating, hatching, and raising chicken breeds. Topics of conversation will include breeding for productivity, historical preservation, cultural heritage, ecological adaptation, culinary properties, and aesthetics. Finally participants will be able to propose and work through their own hypothetical or real chicken breeding program design involving anything from hatching procedures to disease control.
Dates: Saturday, March 18, 2023 and Sunday, March, 19, 2023 (9am-4pm each day)
Location: Oak Spring Garden Foundation in Upperville, VA – about 1 hour west of Washington DC
Complimentary Items: A boxed lunch will be provided on Saturday and the group will have a catered lunch on Sunday. Please note that unfortunately, we can not accommodate specific dietary needs. If you have dietary restrictions and are unable to eat the provided lunch, please plan to pack a sack lunch.
What To Expect: Please expect several hours of moderate walking across hilly fields and similar uneven terrain. Participants should arrive with proper footwear, sufficient water, and dress appropriately for the weather, rain or shine. Binoculars and digital cameras encouraged.
Eligibility: It is recommended that participants are individuals seriously interested in learning about the topic of chicken breeding. There will be minimal instruction on chicken care and only as it pertains to the breeding process.
About The Instructor: Jason Myers-Benner is a farmer, plant breeder, and chicken breeder at his family’s Tangly Woods Farm in Keezletown, Virginia. Jason has been interested in chicken care and breeding since his parents started their own home flock when he was just eight years old. Since that time Jason’s life has nearly always had a chicken component, caring for his own flock in his high school years, initiating independent research in undergrad, and, with the family’s home flocks in adulthood, experimenting with cross breeding out of fascination and as a way to contribute to the sustainability of agriculture. Currently Jason has developed 4 separate breeds of chicken specific to the Shenandoah Valley region and all serving their own separate purpose, from the backyard chicken keeper’s Blacks Run Browns, to the productive and well adapted pasture chicken, the Shenandoah, Jason and his family have developed chickens for several distinct purposes. With Jason’s experiences breeding heritage-type varieties of chickens to better support ecologically-minded farmers in our region of the country, he is a unique resource for all things chicken breeding.
For more information + to register for this course please visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-basics-of-chicken-breeding-tickets-457242353187
If you are interested in this workshop and may need financial assistance to cover the fee, please reach out to email@example.com.
Internships & Opportunities
1776 Loughborough Lane
Upperville, Virginia 20184