City of Satellite Beach Supports Backyard Chickens: Brevard County Florida 

Thursday, July 7, 2016 10:54:00 AM

See the article here:  http://www.floridatoday.com/story/news/local/2016/07/06/beachside-chickens-satellite-beach-say-yes/86787366/

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Market Poultry Auction Photo Essay: 2014 Brevard Co Fair 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015 9:54:00 AM

PHOTO ESSAY of the Brevard County 2014 Market Poultry Auction
 

The market poultry gala, silent auction and poultry auction was the successful culmination of the week long Brevard County Fair last year.  Forty children participated in the poultry club program and  trios of birds were auctioned on Saturday, November 1st.  Here are some highlights from the event!

 

    

Auction in action!!!



Lydia Napier talking to the auctioneer, Mr.Lowell Loadholtz.

  

Proud chicken auction participants & buyer, Dana DeSantis.        Abbey and Ernie Brown

Local sponsor of the fair, Brian from Brevard Farm and Ranch in Cocoa, Florida.

 

 


 

Florida Cracker Sheep Association display.  History and breed information as well as updates on conservation efforts for this critically endangered Florida breed.  The sheep were an educational project display for the entire week of the fair and were very popular!

 

  

Jennifer and Joe Walters                                               Good friends!  Bronwyn Rees

Ernie Brown kissing a lovely heifer after county staff met fundraising goals for United Way.



School and 4-H Cloverbud ribbons and certificates - Carys participated in the Golfview 4-H Chefs Gardening and Cooking program, 4-H Lamb project, Chicken showmanship and skill-a-thon and her New Zealand rabbit won BEST OF BREED in 2014.  Months of hard work and hands on experience really pays off for the children who participate in 4-H programs.

 

2015 Brevard County MARKET POULTRY AUCTION INVITATION 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015 1:05:00 PM







SECOND ANNUAL 4-H SOCIAL and MARKET POULTRY CHICKEN AUCTION EXTRAVAGANZA!!

An open invitation for the public to attend the second annual market poultry auction on Saturday, October 24th, 2015.  4-H youth members have been working very hard for the last five months raising day old chicks into adult egg laying hens for this project.  All the growth and hard work is done!  These birds are just at the age where they are getting ready to produce eggs - put them in your coop and you are set!  Children as young as five will be selecting their best birds and presenting the best trio for auction this year.  Over 40 trios of hens will be available for sale.

At 4:00 p.m. you may enjoy an hour long meet and greet with appetizers and silent auction items available.  This will also be a great opportunity to meet all the 4-H kids and view the birds.  This year's auction breed is the Buff Orpington, an excellent egg laying hen with a calm and friendly disposition.  Auction begins immediately after the social.

HOW THE AUCTION WORKS

After a brief introduction, the auctioneer will ask that the base price for the auction be set.  This is called the "packer price".  This price may be up to $25.00 per hen (or lower). Brevard County hen packer price has usually been around $20.00.  Next, the Orpington trios will be lined up for sale beginning with the prize winning birds first.  At the 2014 auction, one bird from the grand champion trio sold for $200.00!!  The second group sold for $170.00 per hen!  You can imagine that these kids were SUPER happy!

If you decide to bid on a hen, there are two things to consider.  All purchases at this auction benefit the children who participate in 4-H and the money you spend is tax deductible.  Also, if you don't want to take a chicken home, you can still "buy" one.  If you purchase a hen for $75.00 and the packer price is set at $25.00, then you merely pay the difference of $50.00 and the hen goes home with the packer.  The children who are participating in this auction are also looking for hen sponsors - people who are willing to make a small contribution towards purchasing a bird - this can be $5.00, $10.00 or $20.00.  Sponsors may make their contributions directly to their child of choice - a neighborhood child, a grandchild or student.

The market poultry project is a wonderful way for children to learn about the growth and development of chickens.  Each child has the option of keeping a RECORD BOOK that helps them keep track of expenses, food consumption and overall health of their project birds.  This is an easy way to help them learn the business of chicken production.  The auction is an excellent way for them to see all those months of hard work pay off!  Avid Homestead supports this project through participation and purchases - we look forward to seeing you there!!!

WHAT:  Market Poultry Buff Orpington hen auction
WHEN: Saturday, October 24, 2015 beginning at 4:00 p.m.
WHERE: UF/IFAS Extension Service Office
Brevard County Office at 3695 Lake Drive Cocoa, FL

We appreciate your support and we hope to see you there!!

 

2015 Brevard County Sheep Exhibition & Showmanship Clinic 

Monday, October 5, 2015 8:41:00 AM

SHEEP CLINIC PHOTO ESSAY

Brevard County's very own Avid Homestead hosted the first youth sheep showmanship clinic at the Cocoa Tractor Supply on October 4, 2015.  Featured at the event was a small herd of native sheep, the Florida Cracker sponsored by the Florida Cracker Sheep Association of Central Florida.  The hands on classes were conducted by Volusia County 4-H leader Diana Carey, husband Chad Carey and son Austin Carey of Rocking C Ranch.  Youth and adult participants learned how to handle sheep, train pasture sheep, proper stance and movement before show ring judges and general care and grooming guidelines for sheep.  Two 3-hour classes were held with a shearing demonstration during the lunch break.  Tractor Supply in Cocoa graciously set up the show ring and demonstration area, provided electrical power for the shearing and helped promote the event! 


The weather was beautiful and both classes had enthusiastic participants!  Each individual got practical hands on time with trained and pasture sheep and a 30 page showmanship booklet to use for follow up with their animals at home. 

Thanks a million to our event sponsors and participants!  We appreciate you and all you do to help educate the youth and citizens of Brevard County!!  We look forward to seeing you at our next event!

If you are interested in Avid Homestead sponsoring an event at your business or in your area, please contact us to set up a date.  If you are interested in sponsoring sheep events or a sheep / goat show for Brevard County, please contact us with more information and how you may be available to help.  Additional copies of the clinic workbook are available for $15.00 each. 

 


        

 

     

 

  

 

 

 

Chickens as Inspiration for Artwork 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015 12:54:00 PM

One of our favorite things here at The Farmhouse are our diverse selection of chickens.  We enjoy quite a few different varieties, which makes for a unique opportunity for the public when we make presentations in the local community.  Many people have never seen such a friendly flock and did not realize the diversity that is represented in Gallus domesticus!

We have practical chicken types who lay eggs - Barred Rocks and Orpingtons.  We have chickens that lay colored eggs - Americaunas and French Copper Marans.   We have small bantam cochins and we have Polish chickens, which are predominently  ornamental breeds.  By far the most popular of all our chickens are the small, fuzzy Silkies which are ideal as pets.

All these different personalities, colors and shapes have become quite the inspiration to my children in photography and painting.  Here is an award winning piece of art work from my oldest daughter Lydia.  A seven year old's colorful appreciation of our backyard birds!

CHICKEN EXTRAVAGANZA!! 4-H Market Poultry Sale & Silent Auction 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014 12:38:00 PM

AVID HOMESTEAD invites you to the first Brevard County Fair Chicken EXTRAVAGANZA!!!   Saturday, November 1st in conjunction with the Brevard County Fair beginning at 2 p.m.  Market Poultry project auction and silent auction benefiting the 4-H youth in Brevard County.  All purchases of poultry are tax deductible.  Come out and support agricultural education!!

ARTWORK copyright Carys Napier (age 6)

AVID HOMESTEAD: One Stop Site for Chicken Code 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014 3:51:00 PM

We invite and encourage our readers to explore our site for the many informative articles that are posted here online and use our site as a quick reference for Brevard County chicken codes.  February 2014 marked the ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY of ordinance changes that allowed backyard chickens in un-incorporated Brevard County.  This spring was the first opportunity for MANY people to be able to purchase chicks from local businesses in order to start their own backyard flocks.  Learning how to raise chickens is always a very exciting experience for the novice and Avid Homestead hopes to make it even easier.  We have compiled a reference guide for local ordinances in order to keep our growing chicken community code compliant.  This is just another way that we seek to be of service to our local citizens.  We provide a clear set of guidelines here for Brevard County residents to help fulfill our mission for responsible animal husbandry.

Please scroll through our site to find municipal and county codes for backyard chickens in Brevard County.  Cities that allow backyard chickens: Melbourne, Palm Bay, and Rockledge. All single family residential areas of un-incorporated Brevard (on lots of over .5 acres) allow backyard chickens.  Please contact us if you have any questions about ordinances or code change to allow other useful homesteading animals in your communities!!!   Thanks, as always, for your continued support.

  Lydia March 2013 Brevard County Fair with her award winning Jersey Giant chicken Amethyst.  Blue ribbon for class and blue ribbon for showmanship.

CHICKENS 101 with AVID HOMESTEAD 

Thursday, April 24, 2014 12:46:00 PM



The Green Marketplace in Cocoa is hosting CHICKENS 101 with AVID HOMESTEAD on Saturday, May 3, 2014 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  General information and advice about changing city ordinances to allow backyard chickens and urban homesteading will be presented.  Hand outs about chickens will be available: benefits, coop construction basics, chicken care and maintenance.  Q&A session at the end.

Margaret Goudelock was a journalism major at the University of Mississippi before she transferred to the University of North Texas to pursue a more lucrative degree in Art History, Painting and French.   Ms. Goudelock ran a successful painting and design business for fifteen years before moving to Brevard County Florida where she continued to work for small local companies doing commissioned design work and commercial and residential construction.  Experience with local government agencies, code enforcement and business agencies brought about a strong desire for much more straightforward, transparent and accountable interaction between elected government officials and the general public.  In 2012, AVID HOMESTEAD garnered over 1,500 signatures and were successful in changing local ordinances to allow backyard chickens in un-incorporated areas of Brevard.  The work continues with opening up properties in residential zoning classifications to support more ecologically friendly urban homesteading including responsible small animal husbandry, urban farming and gardening and cottage industries.  A big part of this effort is through educational programs and platforms that support these ends.  In working with government, our motto is surely an open and friendly one - Let's just KISS!!!  Keep It SIMPLE Stupid.

Ms. Goudelock is married to Toby Napier – the long-wearing sound board and brilliant webmaster for AVID HOMESTEAD.com.  Ms. Goudelock is the mother of two beautiful girls who are both enthusiastic,creative and love animals.  It is for their continued growth and the preservation of a more natural way of life that we strive.

This event is open to the general public and admission is free.


To register for this event through the Ag Extension service, see details here: 

http://www.eventbrite.com/e/chickens-101-tickets-11236108503?aff=rss

SPONSORED BY:  The Green Marketplace Naturewise & Hise Farms

Naturewise, a native and edible plant nursery and natural garden center, is part of The Green Marketplace in Cocoa, FL. The Green Marketplace is a local farm and nursery which sells locally grown produce, farm goods, plants, seeds, and much more. We promote natural landscapes, local growing, sustainable living, nutritional health and green living. We offer various classes and workshops on topics related to natural, sustainable and healthy living.  The Green Marketplace is located at 3910 North Cocoa Boulevard   Cocoa, FL 32926

For more information, see:

PHOTO ESSAY of the Florida Cracker Sheep 

Monday, April 14, 2014 4:23:00 PM

Here at The Farmhouse, we have chosen a unique breed of sheep that is a true Florida original - the Florida Cracker sheep.  We use sheep on our two acre property for mowing, general maintenance and upkeep.  Formerly called the Florida Native Sheep, genetic testing has confirmed that the once feral sheep in Florida are descended from the original settler’s Spanish Churro sheep, and have been renamed Florida Cracker Sheep.   These sheep were brought over from Spain to the Saint Augustine settlement in about 1565.  While surviving and adapting well to the harsh scrub landscape conditions for the last 450 or so years, the Florida Cracker Sheep is now considered CRITICALLY endangered, with possibly less than 2,000 viable animals remaining.

Florida Cracker sheep are extremely hardy.  They have evolved to be naturally disease resistant and are protective mothers to their young.  Their coloration with rusty reds, tans or browns, freckled faces and small stature allow them to blend in with their environment. Florida Crackers have a calm, friendly disposition and are easy to work with when they are handled on a regular basis.  These sheep have adapted over time towards the shedding their wool in the late spring, especially on the belly where they are more able to keep cool when lying on the ground during the hot mid-day in summer.  Often, a protective mat of wool remains on the back to shield the skin while grazing.

Florida Cracker sheep are remarkably intelligent and are easy to train.  Most importantly, they respect the fencing on the property and tend to stay in pairs or small groups while grazing.  These sheep have a natural flocking tendency making it hard to have just one animal on the property.  A minimum of two sheep are recommended with enough land to maintain them for successful small urban homesteads.

Here are a few photos of some of the sheep we have enjoyed raising here at The Farmhouse.



Florida Cracker ewe named Freckles



Sheep work 24 / 7.  They don't use fossil fuels, cause air pollution or require expensive repairs.  They are a compact, all-in-one mowing, weed-eating and fertilizing animal that helps maintain our environment.



Pensive pause.



MADE IN THE SHADE on a hot Florida day!!  Lena and Balto, Great Pyrenees protective herding dogs with their friend Daisy.



Sheep easily maintain rugged or environmentally sensitive areas.  Here, they are seen "mowing" a swale between properties that is generally too damp for a lawn mower to transverse.  Narrow gaps between neighbor fencing that will not accomodate the turn radius of a mower are also ideal areas for sheep who crop weeds and grasses to an even level.



Peaceful, pastoral scene of sheep grazing under the Florida scrub pines.



Everyone's favorite part of spring here at The Farmhouse - new baby lambs!



The black sheep are usually my favorites.



Mr. Darcie




All photos taken by Margaret Goudelock.  All right reserved by The Farmhouse  Cocoa, Florida.


Margaret Goudelock was a journalism major at the University of Mississippi before she transferred to the University of North Texas to pursue a more lucrative degree in Art History, Painting and French.  After working for small businesses for the last twenty five years, Ms. Goudelock has found an avocation in urban farming, gardening and homesteading.

The work of AVID HOMESTEAD continues with efforts to open up properties in residential zoning classifications to support more ecologically friendly urban homesteading including responsible small animal husbandry, urban farming and gardening and cottage industries.  A big part of this effort is through educational programs and platforms that support these ends.  In working with government, our motto is surely an open and friendly one - Let's just KISS!!!  Keep It SIMPLE Stupid.

Ms. Goudelock is married to Toby Napier – the long-wearing sound board and brilliant webmaster for AVID HOMESTEAD.com.  Ms. Goudelock is the mother of two beautiful girls who are both enthusiastic,creative and love animals.  It is for their continued growth and the preservation of a more natural way of life that we strive.

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