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No need to fly the coop to attend ‘Chicken University,’ it’s on Zoom this year

Published: Feb. 22, 2021 at 10:32 AM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - We’ve all felt a little cooped up throughout this pandemic but if you’re looking for a reason to get “egg-cited” this week then you may want to log onto a Zoom class known as “Chicken University.”

“Well, Chicken University started about 14 years ago when I first arrived in Alaska,” says Stephen Brown, Professor of Agricultural Extension for the University of Alaska Fairbanks. “I was making visits to 4H clubs and to farms and I was astounded at how many chickens were missing toes because of frostbite.”

Brown has worked with the fair fowl for most of his life. Poultry was his first 4H program when he was just 8-years-old. His father even smuggled one of his chickens to the top of Pikes Peak in Colorado but you’ll have to tune into the Zoom meeting to get the punch line on that story. And stories are what you’ll get if you join “Chicken University,” Brown shares his experiences and knowledge all in an effort to educate those who have or want to raise chickens.

“One of the things I am most proud of Chicken University is that we taught enough people in Anchorage how to properly raise chickens, how to be a good neighbor when you have chickens, they approved up to five chickens in town. Which they were one of the first cities to do that,” says Brown.

In a normal year “Chicken University” would be held in person and usually lasts about two hours. This year, due to the ongoing pandemic, the class will be held Friday, Feb. 25 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. on Zoom. By being accessible online chicken enthusiasts can connect not only from all over the state but also the world. The shorter time, Brown says is because Zoom meetings over an hour are just laborious for everyone involved.

If you’d like to attend “Chicken University” you must register online. It is free of charge.

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