Feathered Homestead: A Comprehensive Guide to Raising Backyard Chickens in Maine

Magnacca poultry coopAre you new to keeping chickens, or have you been keeping chickens for awhile now and want to learn more? Join Dr. Colt W. Knight, University of Maine Cooperative Extension Livestock Specialist and Ashley Wright, University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, for a 2-hour “egg-citing” educational program on brooding chicks at home and raising laying hens in Maine. We will cover in detail how to raise chicks from egg to feather, and then how to care for them once they are older including housing, nutrition, winter care, and common diseases.

Cost: $12 – Lunch Provided
(option for free/reduced rate)

Session Dates

Friday, April 19, 2024, 10:00 a.m.-Noon
Penobscot County Extension Office
307 Maine Avenue, Bangor, ME 04401 (Google Map)

Register Online

Friday, April 19, 2024, 2:00-4:00 PM
Ellsworth Extension Office
63 Boggy Brook Road, Ellsworth, ME 04605 (Google Map)

Register Online

Monday, April 22, 2024, 10:00 a.m.-Noon
Cumberland County Extension Office
75 Clearwater Drive, Suite 104, Falmouth, ME 04105 (Google Map)

Register Online

Tuesday, April 23, 2024, 10:00 a.m.-Noon
Oxford County Extension Office
9 Olson Road, South Paris, ME 04281 (Google Map)

Register Online


Ashley Wright, M.S.
Area Associate Livestock Agent
University of Arizona Cooperative Extension

Photo of Ashley WrightAshley is a Livestock Area Agent with the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, and provides leadership in extension programs focusing on livestock production and management across both large and small-scale operations in Cochise, Pima, and Santa Cruz Counties. Her programs cover a diverse array of topics crucial to the livestock industry, including herd health and management, nutrition, reproduction, genetics, and marketing. While much of her program focuses on cow-calf operations, she also works extensively with Arizona’s growing population of backyard chicken enthusiasts, especially those in areas who have recently relaxed zoning regulations to allow for urban chicken keeping. The educational content she produces covers an array of topics such as raising health chicks, poultry diseases, coop design, heat stress, nutrition, egg production, and egg safety. She lives in Vail, Arizona, just outside of Tucson and maintains a small backyard flock of laying hens.

Dr. Colt W. Knight, Ph.D.
Associate Extension Professor and State Livestock Specialist
University of Maine Cooperative Extension

Photo of Colt KnightColt grew up in a coal mining family in West Virginia where they also operated a small family farm and show horse stable. During academic breaks and between schools, he worked in strip mines across the country. Colt earned his B.S. in Animal Science at the University of Kentucky, M.S. in Animal Science at Angelo State University, and his Ph.D. in Animal Science at the University of Arizona in 2006, 2012, and 2016, respectively. In the fall of 2016, he worked on a postdoc with Dr. Derek Bailey at New Mexico State University. Since 2017, he has worked as an Assistant Professor of Extension for the University of Maine where he serves as the State Livestock Specialist. He teaches Introduction to Animal Science (AVS 145) and runs the Maine Grazing Behavior Lab. The core focus of the Grazing Behavior lab revolves around designing and manufacturing livestock tracking collars, engaging in applied grazing behavior research, and assisting other researchers with technology to interpret animal behavior. Dr. Knight’s research is broadly focused on selecting animals uniquely adapted to landscapes and promoting sustainable agriculture. Colt is a past chair for the Society of Range Management Livestock Foraging Behavior Committee, as well as, the North East Region Chair for the National Association of County Agricultural Agent’s Teaching and Educational Technology Committee. He also serves as an Associate Editor for the journal Ecological Processes. Colt is actively engaged in outreach and has delivered over 150 seminars on livestock production since starting his career at the University of Maine.

Special thanks to Maine New Farmers Project for providing funding to host visiting speakers.

For more information or a reasonable accommodation, please contact Melissa Libby Babcock, melissa.libby1@maine.edu.

In complying with the letter and spirit of applicable laws and pursuing its own goals of diversity, the University of Maine System does not discriminate on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, transgender status, gender, gender identity or expression, ethnicity, national origin, citizenship status, familial status, ancestry, age, disability physical or mental, genetic information, or veterans or military status in employment, education, and all other programs and activities. The University provides reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities upon request. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies: Director of Equal Opportunity, 5713 Chadbourne Hall, Room 412, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469-5713, 207.581.1226, TTY 711 (Maine Relay System).