pasture poultry

Raising chickens on the homstead or small farm has become very popular, but training opportunities are somewhat limited.  The Cooptastic Conference was designed to provide training for beginner or advanced poultry keepers.  Credit:  Tom Wright, UF/IFAS.


Riding on the wings of a successful first year, the Cooptastic Conference is back for year two. The conference — designed for backyard poultry owners — will take place March 15 and 16 at the Alabama 4-H Center in Columbiana, Alabama.

Brigid McCrea, Alabama Cooperative Extension Poultry Specialist, said this year’s conference is two full days of presentations on a variety of backyard-poultry topics.  “Cooptastic is the nation’s premier backyard poultry conference,” McCrea said. “There are so few of these opportunities designed just for backyard poultry growers, so I am proud to have this type of outlet here in Alabama.”

Registration and Lodging

For the first 75 registrants, there is no cost to attend the Cooptastic Conference. After the first 75 people register, the cost to attend is $35 for both days, or $20 for one day. People must preregister online to receive lunch. To register, visit the Cooptastic web page at There will be an at-the-door registration option but it does not include lunch.

For those wishing to stay at the Alabama 4-H Center overnight, contact the center directly to check availability.

Conference Sessions

Cooptastic LogoCooptastic will cover a wide range of topics for both beginners and veterans. Some of the topics include food preservation, writing a business plan, coop care and maintenance, show chickens, chicken nutrition and much more.

This year’s conference is chocked full of the science-based information that small-flock owners need addressed,” McCrea said. “This is a wonderful opportunity for people to speak one-on-one with some of the foremost individuals in the world of poultry science.”

Each day, the conference will have two learning tracks for participants to choose from. March 15 the tracks are Hobby to Business and Homesteading. March 16 the learning tracks are Beginning Poultry and Advanced Poultry Keeper.

A new component of the conference is the addition of industry vendors of products for both homesteaders and backyard producers. McCrea said attendees will have the chance to interact with companies such as Roots & Harvest, Tucker Milling, Stromberg’s and Nutrena.

More Information

You can find a full agenda and list of topics on the conference web page. For more information, contact Brigid McCrea:

Brigid McCrea
233 Duncan Hall, Auburn University, AL 36849
(334) 750-5213