professor pointerWelcome to Chickens and YOU Training Seriesdiploma byck

Enabling Local Agriculture — One Family Flock at a Time.

A Project of the Gossamer Foundation
A nonprofit dedicated to global sustainability
and local foods.
We can't have one without the other.


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• Chicken Have-More Plan

• Occupy Backyards Declaration

• Chicken Skill Sets

• Egg Sheds

• 7 Myths of Urban Chickens

• Strategies to Legalize Chickens

• Model City Chicks Law/Code/Ordinance and Useful Flyers

• Chickens as Bio-recyclers & Zero Waste Partners Saving BIG TIME Tax Payer Dollars

Chickens in Community Gardens & Congregational Flocks

• USDA POSTERS "Uncle Same Expects You to Keep Chickens"



Chickens And YOU Primary Training Series

Awarding the
Backyard Chicken Keeper Certification

With a diploma suitable for framing

Internet Courses Begin!!!!
July 8 through August 14, 2014
7:30—8:30 pm EST
Two classes each week on
Tuesday and Thursday for 5 Weeks

Act quickly to register for this Primary Series internet class that begins July 8th! This class is kept small to address individual concens and projects. The class size is limitedm but don't panic! There will be no Chickeneer left behind. Another class will offered later in the Fall.

As a bonus, internet Chickeneers will recieve a free copy of Backyard Market Gardening and Chicken Tractor when you register and purchase the course text book City Chicks as a bundle from the Gossamer Foundation's book store. Supplies are limited.

Learn not only how raise and keep chickens—but even more importantly—how to employ them. Hens-on, real-life information and techniques provide practical cutting-edge techniques about how to integrate family flocks into yards and gardens to benefit the owner, neighborhood and community. Course materials will be available for downloading to participants so if you miss a class you can still keep up with the fast-paced training.

Tuition only $195 for 10 sessions
Chickens under 6 admitted free!
(Many participants work with their chickens throughout the series)

To register for this life-changing, food changing Training Series

register now

We guarantee that after completing the Chickens and YOU Primary Series™
you will understand how to raise, keep and employ chickens
to help feed yourself, and others, for the rest of your life!

"Give a person eggs and they can have an omelette.
Teach them how to raise and employ chickens,meditating proverb chick
and they can eat—and garden—for a lifetime."

— Ancient Poultry Proverb

cc buy now cover100% of the after-tax proceeds go to support the Gossamer Foundation

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This Chickens and You Primary Workshop Series contains unique information not taught elsewhere. These ultra-intensive, entertaining classes are hens-on, simple to understand, and practical. Over 500 slides give visual clarity. This training gives Chickeneers the knowledge and skills to not only keep a family flock, but employ chickens as garden workers, topsoil creators, biomass recyclers and first-class entertainers.

Text book is City Chicks: Keeping Chickens as Garden Helpers, Compost Creators, Biorecyclers and Local Food Suppliers, by course director Patricia Foreman.

The Chickens And YOU Primary Series Class Descriptions

There is a back to the land movement and it’s happing in backyards and on small parcels of land across the planet. By employing chickens’ skill sets, and permaculture design principles in kitchen and production diploma BYCKgardens you can grow and produce much of your own vegetables, eggs and meat. This not only saves on grocery bills, but you are assured that your food is grown in living, clean soils and the food, using and preserving heirloom seeds, is high in vitamins and minerals. With small-scale, labor-saving methods, you will learn how to minimize work and maximize production in your spare time, and have fun doing it. Developing your own chicken have-more plan is the most practical way to stretch income and keep yourself, and your family, in good food and good health. Suggested Reading: City Chicks, Chicken Tractor, Empty Harvest: Understanding the Link Between Our Food, Our Immunity, and Our Planet, by Dr. Benard Jensen and Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond.

This is a comprehensive, participatory course for those who want to keep small family flocks of primarily egg laying hens. Beginning with adult birds this workshop covers the main considerations of caring for your hens including, hen anatomy and physiology, behavior, handling, health, nutrition, egg management, and housing. We will explore which chicken breeds tend to do best in various climates. All questions will be answered. You will leave with the knowledge necessary about successfully keeping chickens in your backyard. Textbook: City Chicks chapters 5, 7 & 12.

Nothing is cuter baby chick in handthan a baby chick. Watching their rapid development from—peep to pullet—is a miracle. During the brooding time, you have the role of keeper and guardian angel. This intensive, interactive, chicks-on course covers chick anatomy & physiology, behavior, health, nutrition. You will understand how brooder blankets replace hight-wattage heat-lamps and how the housing, waters and feeders need to adapt to chick-ability. Learn simple ways to help educate your chicks for easier flock integration. By the end of the course you will know everything you need to know about successfully—and expertly—raise your very own baby chicks from day one to point-of-lay. Reading assignment: City Chicks—Chapters 11.

This intensive, hands-on interactive workshop covers just about everything you need to know about getting, and using, eggs from your family flock. Course topics include such egg-citing topics as:

· Which breeds are best for egg layers
· Buying to hatch
· Fertile vs. infertile eggs
· Artistic eggs
· Egg eating (by chickens as a vice)
· Egg nutrition
· Selling eggs for egg-stra income

Additionally, you will learn what great chefs know about the chemistry of cooking with eggs including how to make fool-proof hard boiled eggs, mayonnaise, meringue, hollandaise sauce and more. After this class you will be an egg-spert - impressing friends and family with your egg-sperience. Reading assignment: City Chicks Chapter 12.

There are ways to handle and communicate with chickens that can result in trust, gentleness andChicken on back even an emotional bond. But first you must learn how a chicken thinks, and prefers to be treated. It’s sometimes not what you think. Some birds can even be trained to serve as therapy chickens and class room assistants. Get close and personal with your biddy buddy. Learn the basics of chicken whispering in this cutting-edge, hands-on, nose-to-beak workshop. Textbook: City Chicks: Chapter 11.

Learn the essentials of preventative disease management that utilizes proactive care to keep your flock healthy. You will learn about considerations for housing, air quality, feed, water and special challenges that you might face with your flock. You will learn how to treat the most common diseases as well as wounds and trauma. Includes hands-on administration of treatments and wound care. Learn how to use or make simple, but effective treatments without prescription drugs. This workshop teaches you what you need to know to avoid most veterinary bills. Text book: City Chicks chapter 16.

This cutting-edge, ever-expanding, interactive workshop gives you practical, and effective ways to employ chickens in your garden or homestead. Learn how chickens create and enrich topsoil. Understand that not all chicken feed has to come from bags. Learn how chickens forage—and which food they prefer. Use your yard as a mini-pasture (including rotational grazing systems) to build soil fertility, provide fresh graze. Control insects, including ticks and fleas. Integrate different types of fencing by understanding what works, and what doesn't. Jump start your gardens with chicken-assisted biomass recycling that transforms trash into black gold. Begin birdscaping, which is planting trees, shrubs. perennials and annuals that your flock will perpetually love. Best of all, we will talk about getting truly wholesome, nutritious, non-GMO homegrown food for both you and your flock. This is truly a “Think Outside the Coop and Inside Local Food Systems“ workshop. Reading Assignment: City Chicks Chapters 2 & 3.

Family flocks have skill sets that can be used to create compost, fertilize and build tilth in top soil. And simultaneously, they help decrease the amount of “trash” that is collected by the solid waste management system. Learn how your feathered bipeds can serve as clucking civic workers to help save BIG TIME tax payer dollars and as Partners Toward Zero Waste for communities and counties. Text book: City Chicks Chapter 4.Way of the Hen cover

Using, managing and understanding broody hens is almost a lost art. And yet, broody hens happen. With the surge of family flocks, many poultry owners are wondering what to do with their broody moody biddies. From our literature searches there is very little practical information about employing hens to incubate eggs, and brood chicks naturally. In many ways, this is a key not only to family flock self-sufficiency, but also to preserving the heritage breeds. Course material for this class is from the forthcoming book: Way of the Hen by Pat Foreman. Until it is published, your reading assignment is from City Chicks Chapter 10, starting page 245.

110. The last class is a wrap-up for questions, student accomplishments and the Primary Series course evaluation.
The last item is the final exam which leads to the Backyard Chicken Keeper Certification and Diploma. This exam is intended as a learning tool to assure Chickeneers have a clear understanding of how to employ chickens and why they are the enabler superstars of local foods. This exam also helps prepare graduate Chickeneers to have answers to common questions so that they can help others to get started with, keep and employ their family flocks.

Be all you can be! Become a Chickeneer!

register now

Pat&Roo black spanish

Course director and developer, Patricia Foreman, is a sustainable agricultural writer and an avid poultry and local foods advocate. She graduated from Purdue University with degrees in Agriculture (Animal Science, genetics and nutrition) and Pharmacy (clinical). She earned a Masters of Public Affairs (MPA) from Indiana University’s Graduate School of Public and Environmental Affairs— with concentrations in Health Systems Administration and International Affairs. She completed the Virginia Master Gardener Training.

Pat has kept poultry for over 25 years, and has experience ranging from backyard homestead flocks to owning and operating a small-scale farm with free range, organic layers, broilers and turkeys. The small-scale commercial operation included keeping breeder flocks, incubating eggs, pasturing poultry, finished processing and formulating feeds.

Pat is the author of City Chicks: Keeping Chickens as Garden Helpers, Compost Creators, Bio-recyclers and Local Food Suppliers, and the co-author of:
Chicken Tractor: The Permaculture Guide to Happy Hens and Healthy Soils
• Day Range Poultry: Every Chicken Owner's Guide to Grazing Gardens and Improving Pastures
• Backyard Market Gardening: The Entreprenure's Guide to Selling What You Grow,
• A Tiny Home to Call Your Own; Living Well in Just Right Houses.

Pat's chickens are her teachers. She keeps an eye-candy flock of heritage chickens to continually give her insights about chicken whispering, gainfully employing poultry, gardening and researching future books. Just as valuable, is the entertainment of the flock's antics, tenderness and drama. Ever discovering more about the usefulness and inner life of chickens, Pat has 4 books in production.
The Way of the Hen: Incubating Eggs and Raising Chicks Naturally is due out later this year.
Garden Chicks: Growing Food With—and For Chickens is scheduled to be released spring of 2015
Chicken Whispering: Discover the Chicken You Never Knew—is scheduled for 2015.
• The Primary Poultry Health Care Handbook and the Poultry's Pharmacy—due out sometime later.

She is a sought-after speaker and has presented workshops and book signings at major national festivals and conferences across the US, including Mother Earth Festivals, Green Festivals, National Heirloom Festival, Monticello Heritage Harvest Festival, Renewable Energy and Sustainable Living Festivals, and many others. For the current schedule of Pat and Oprah Hen-Free's upcoming public workshops click here.


lisa & cupcake Course Organizer, Lisa Dearden, has lived in Goochland County with her husband, James, since 2002.  She grows vegetables, herbs, fruits and berries year-round on her 10 acre mini-farm in Sandy Hook, which she manages organically using biointensive methods.  She also raises chickens, dairy goats, rabbits and alpacas and uses the fresh eggs, milk, fleece and manure they produce. 

Lisa earned an Associate’s in Applied Science in Horticulture Degree from J. Sargeant Reynolds, where she focused her studies on sustainable agriculture. She is the founder of the college’s Sustainable Agriculture Club. Lisa has been a Master Gardener since 2004 and completed her certification as a Permaculture Design Consultant in 2007.

Lisa had a 20+ year career in sales, marketing and training and has been working in the sustainable agriculture industry since 2005.  She now owns her own company, ChiknEGG Productions, LLC. ChikEGG runs a large-scale farmers market in Manakin-Sabot and offers agriculturally-themed educational programs throughout Central Virginia. Lisa serves on the Board of Directors for the Goochland Chamber of Commerce, the Virginia Farmers Market Direct Marketing Association, and the Gossamer Foundation, as well as on the Steering Committee for the Virginia Farmers Market Managers Association.