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MARYLAND SMALL FLOCK POULTRY EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM RESEARCH SURVEY Rhodes, *J.L.1, Timmons, J.R.2, and Nottingham, J.R.3 1· Extension Educator, University of Maryland Extension, Queen Anne’s County, Centreville, Maryland 21617 2· Extension Specialist, University of Maryland Extension, Salisbury, Maryland 21801 3. Extension Educator, University of Maryland Extension, Somerset County, Princess Anne, Maryland 21853 Abstract Workshops University of Maryland Extension’s Small Flock Poultry Educational Program (SFEP) provides farm families with Impacts educational resources to assist with management decisions as they continue to develop, maintain, and operate economically viable and environmentally responsible poultry operations. In 2011, a statewide survey was conducted to evaluate the economic and bird health and performance impacts of the SFEP. Small flock owners used the following extensionresources or services to obtain information: small flock workshop (42.2%), extension publications (34.9%), direct contact with Extension employee (27.7%) and small flock website (15.7%). Forty one percent of survey participants indicated that their flock health and performance improved as a result of what they learned from the SFEP. Participants indicated an average increase of 20% in flock income for a two year period (2009-2011). Participants were asked to report if they have implemented any biosecurity practices on their premises as a result of the information they received from the SFEP: 41% isolation of new birds, 19.3% isolation of birds after showing, 19.3% controlling traffic, 42.2% sanitation, 26.5% dedicated footwear, 15.7% species separation, 27.7 % composting of mortality, 30.1% purchase new birds from National Poultry Improvement Plan approved hatcheries, and 8.4% provided appropriate clothing/equipment for visitors. Locations Program Description A series of twelve Small Flock Short Course workshops were held throughout the state. (2008-2012) This state Extension program was developed by J. R. Timmons, J. L. Rhodes, N. Zimmerman, N. Tablante and J. R. Nottingham. This program was initially funded by a USDA- CSREES, Special Needs Fund ($52,150). Additional funds ($16,800) to support this program were awarded in 2011 by the UME Agriculture and Natural Resources Profitability Impact Team Fund. A website, several workshops, publications and mailings were developed to promote flock health among small flock owners in Maryland. Publications include three brochures titled “Protect Your Small Flock”, “Preventing the Spread of Avian Diseases”, and “Know the Most Common Avian Diseases” and Raising Your Home Chicken Flock (MEP 300) publication was revised and updated in 2010. Since 2008, twelve 2-3 hour workshops have been held throughout the state for over 250 small flock growers. Topics included biosecurity, common poultry diseases, small flock management, poultry processing and table egg guidelines... In addition, a biosecurity tips sheet in the shape of an egg was developed containing the names and phone numbers of Maryland Diagnostic Laboratories. The goal of this program was to promote small flock education throughout Maryland. www.healthybirds.umd.edu