Des Moines, Iowa – As more people look to have control over how their food is grown, many are planting gardens for the first time. Some are even turning their backyards into chicken coops. On a recent Thursday night at a Cedar Falls farm store, Cargill animal nutrition specialist Jodi Holmes was answering questions about raising the birds.
Paul Keller and his family raise organic vegetables near Janesville. He says they spent a good deal of time doing research before deciding to add poultry to the mix.
Animal specialist Holmes admits sometimes finding out what it takes to be a backyard farmer is enough to curb the enthusiasm.
Iowa had a costly brush with avian flu last spring which killed millions of the state’s chickens. Holmes says now there’s extra attention being placed on bio security
Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey says while most of the bird flu was confined to large commercial flocks it would be foolish not to be vigilant about what’s going on in our backyard.