Poultry Biosecurity: From the Backyard to the 4-H Project

Whether you raise poultry in your backyard, as a hobby, or as a 4-H project, biosecurity should be one of your top priorities.  In light of recent cases of HPAI, or Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza, it is important to have a plan in place should any flock health issues arise.

This webinar will discuss biosecurity and health management practices for backyard flocks and 4-H poultry projects, and how to apply those practices to some of the more common poultry diseases.

DATE: Tuesday, May 31st

TIME: 6:30 p.m.


SPEAKER: Tim McDermott, DVM, Franklin County Extension

To register, visit

SPEAKER: Tim McDermott, DVM
Tim McDermott, Franklin County ANR Educator, will be discussing biosecurity measures for backyard flocks and 4-H poultry, as well as how to identify and apply biosecurity to 8 of the top 10 poultry diseases

Livestock News

Beef News

Six new articles have been posted in this week’s issue number 1294 of the Ohio BEEF Cattle letter:

Poison hemlock needs to be managed before it makes seed . . . this week Christine Gelley talks about killing it now!

Articles this week include:

  • Kill Poison Hemlock Now
  • Forage Harvest Management to Speed Drying and Store High-Quality Forage
  • Crabgrass for Summer Grazing…Have you lost your mind???
  • 10 Tips for Managing High Feed Prices
  • Will China meet its growing beef demand by raising it themselves?
  • Slow Planting Progress Contributing to Increased Corn Price Expectations

Small Ruminant Animals


This information is provided by Tim McDermott, DVM, Extension Educator in Franklin County.

I want to share some updates and provide some information related to some questions I have been getting. In terms of birds affected per the USDA poultry confirmation website, we are at nearly 38 million.  For comparison’s sake, the 2014-2015 outbreak was 50 million birds affected.

  • Regarding keeping up bird feeders: My recommendation is to minimize or eliminate places where birds gather in a group during this outbreak. If you keep poultry, I highly recommend you do not put up bird feeders.  While songbirds have not been discovered as affected when I went through the list of wild birds on the USDA APHIS website, feeding is still considered a biosecurity risk.  Birds defecate where they eat and working with the feeders can spread the virus to other places when tracked on shoes.  Songbirds can also attract raptors as predators and unfortunately, raptors seem to be among the most negatively affected family of birds, similar to poultry.
  • Regarding putting up hummingbird feeders:  I have not seen any reports of hummingbirds being affected by HPAI.  Hummingbird feeders also do not attract the variety of other birds that regular feeders do.  I would still practice good biosecurity when feeding hummingbirds while this epidemic is in place. I would not feed hummingbirds if I kept poultry.

In terms of where we are in migration, May birding in Ohio is noted for being some of the best in the world. Last week was the Biggest Week in American Birding which attracted thousands to the western Lake Erie basin who are now heading home.  Hopefully not take the virus back with them. This generally marks the peak, but not the end, of migration.

We need to keep spreading the word and all doing our parts on Biosecurity.  I did another video with OPA and ODA that I would ask you all to share with your clients, Facebook pals, and 4H clubs.  It is an update on questions we have received, signs of HPAI, and who to call.

An Update on HPAI

Poultry Biosecurity webinar on Tuesday, May 31st @ 6:30. The flyer is hereCLICK HERE for registration.  This is likely one of the last Biosecurity classes I will be teaching this season so feel free to share out with any clients that may need to attend.  If they cannot attend, I have a recorded webinar found HERE on YouTube.

Pike & Scioto Hay School

Geared for new and advanced hay producers! This school will cover the basics of soil sampling, annual and perennial grasses and legume forage crops, equipment considerations, storage options,  forage testing, and hay marketing. Dinner is provided by Pike and Scioto County Farm Bureaus.

COST:  $10/person – pay upon arrival at the event.


Livestock News

Beef Cattle

Six new articles have been posted in this week’s issue number 1293 of the Ohio BEEF Cattle letter:

This week we focus on scouting for spotted knapweed, springtime concerns for grass tetany, and preparing for what we hope becomes an abundant harvest of high-quality hay!

Articles this week include:

  • Scout Like Joe
  • Forage Quality Targets Based on Animal Class
  • Grass Tetany – A Complicated Disorder with An Easy Prevention
  • Measuring Forage Moisture Content Using an Air Fryer
  • This May Be a Year to Think Early About Winter Hay Needs
  • Weekly Livestock Comments for May 6, 2022

Small Ruminant

Ohio Pawpaw Conference

Ohio Pawpaw Conference
May 21, 2022 ● Piketon, Ohio

Interested in learning more about pawpaw production in Ohio? Join The Ohio State University South Centers and the Ohio Pawpaw Growers Association for the 2022 Ohio Pawpaw Conference on May 21, 2022.

Gain invaluable growing and production industry intelligence needed to make informed business and production decisions. This conference will provide access to pawpaw experts and industry leaders who can deliver the most current science-based knowledge on pawpaw industry trends.

LOCATION: The Ohio State University South Centers

1864 Shyville Road

Piketon, Ohio 45661

DATE: Saturday, May 21, 2022

COST: $20 per person (includes breakfast, lunch, and snacks)


Discounted Lodging

To take advantage of discounted lodging, call the Comfort Inn of Piketon at (740) 289-3000 before May 12 and mention the OSU South Centers pawpaw event. Space is limited.

Register soon, space is extremely limited:

Conference Schedule

8:30 a.m. Registration and breakfast

9:00 a.m. Welcome
9:15 a.m. What the Ohio Pawpaw Growers Association Does for You

9:30 a.m. Wondrous Wild Pawpaws: Production and Growth of Native Stands

10:30 a.m. Break

10:45 a.m. Strategic Roadmap for Pawpaws: From Principles to Practical Applications

11:45 a.m. Pawpaw Fruit Quality: Its Components, Determinants, and Importance to Growers, Processors, and Consumers

12:15 p.m. Lunch and networking, view research posters and displays.,
Pawpaw taste testing in the kitchen area

1:00 p.m. Wagon tours/Grafting Demonstrations

3:00 p.m. Dismissal.

The Itsy Bitsy…TOTALLY INCREDIBLE Spiders of our Forests

Join us for the next Friday’s Escape to the Forest Webinar Series – The Itsy Bitsy…TOTALLY INCREDIBLE Spiders of our Forests

Friday, May 20th at 10 am – 12:00 pm

Curious about the 8-legged friends in your woods?? Join OSU Extension Educator Ashley Kulhanek, as she dismisses the myths and dives into the incredible world of spiders dwelling in a forest near you.

Registration is available here.


A DAY in the WOODS, “Understory Plants in Your Woodland”

 Our May 13, 2022, A DAY in the WOODS program, “Understory Plants in Your Woodland” will be offered in person at the Vinton Furnace State Forest.

Registration information and details can be found at:

Also, our 2022 Brochure which contains details and registration information for the remainder of our A DAY in the WOODS programs for 2022 can be found at:

Tap into something new: 8 things you can learn at Ohio’s upcoming Maple Bootcamp

An Ohio State researcher installs a tap in a maple tree in a woods.Ohio State researcher Gabe Karns installs a tap in a maple tree at the university’s Mansfield campus. (Photo by Ken Chamberlain, CFAES.)

MANSFIELD, Ohio—If you’re new or new-ish to making maple syrup, there’s a lot you can learn at Maple Bootcamp: Ohio.

Set for June 22–24 at The Ohio State University at Mansfield, the event, its website says, will provide “intensive hands-on training for beginner and intermediate maple producers.”

Participants will get details on how to assess a sugarbush and all the steps that follow, from collecting sap to boiling, bottling, and selling. Classroom sessions will take place on the Ohio State Mansfield campus. Field trips and tours will visit local maple operations, including one located right on the campus.

By the end of the program, participants “will gain the skills necessary for the safe, efficient, and profitable production of maple products,” says event co-organizer Kathy Smith of Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

Smith, who is forestry program director for the CFAES School of Environment and Natural Resources (SENR), looks at some of the bootcamp topics:

1. What trees to tap

“While sugar maple is considered ‘the’ tree to tap for syrup, there are also other maples you can tap,” Smith says. These include black maple, red maple, silver maple, and a hybrid found in Ohio, a red maple-silver maple cross.

“Sugar and black maples produce sap with a high sugar content, which means less sap boiling,” Smith says. “But today’s technology can make some of the other species pretty competitive.”

The bootcamp will teach how to identify the different maple species, and will cover the differences between them when it comes to making syrup.

2. How to install a tap

“Proper tapping procedure minimizes the impact on the health of the tree,” Smith says. Most producers today use 20-volt cordless drills to drill their taps, she says, and the size of the bit and the depth of the hole both are critical. The bootcamp will cover them both, with the goal being that “you’re trying to tap without jeopardizing the health of the tree.”

3. How many taps to have

Producers have a rule of thumb for how many taps a tree should have. It’s based on the tree’s diameter when measured 4.5 feet off the ground. A bootcamp session will explain the rule and how and why to use it.

“You never want to overtap your trees, as the point is to not shorten their productive lifespan,” Smith says. “The more holes, broken branches, etc., a tree has, the more difficult it may be for the tree to produce the pressure needed to get the sap flowing.”

4. How and when sap flows

Temperatures dictate sap flow, Smith says. Nights in the 20s and days in the 40s are key. When the thermometer goes above 32 degrees Fahrenheit, pressure in the tree makes the sap flow. But if temps stay below 32, the likelihood of having the right pressure—enough to make the sap flow—is “slim,” Smith says.

Understanding sap flow and the role of temperature, set to be covered at the bootcamp, “will lead to a more successful season,” Smith says. She notes that “maple producers become weather fanatics when January rolls around.”

5. How to collect sap

Buckets, bags, and tubing are options when it comes to collecting sap. Having the sap go into a storage tank, or directly into the evaporator, also are choices to make. The bootcamp will help participants determine which methods are best for their own operation. Regardless, “Make sure that whatever collection container you use is food grade,” Smith says.

6. How to store and filter sap

Are you selling your syrup? Or is it only for home consumption? “That may make the difference in deciding whether to filter or not,” Smith says, adding also that “storage for raw sap is different than storage for processed syrup.” The bootcamp will look at the pros, cons, and differences among the options.

7. How to make value-added products

Maple syrup can be used for making a range of value-added products. A bootcamp session will explore the possibilities—from maple cream to maple candy to granulated maple sugar—and what it takes to produce them.

8. How to market what you make

“Knowing how you want to distribute what you make is key to a successful operation,” Smith says. Just for friends and family? Sold from the farm or at a farmers market or by arrangement in a local store? A bootcamp session will look at the options and what’s needed to carry them out.

Details and registration

The complete list of sessions and other details can be found in the event flier at

Registration for Maple Bootcamp: Ohio is $150. Participants can register using the form in the flier, or online at Registering ahead of time is required. The deadline to register is June 14.

Ohio State Mansfield is located about 80 miles south of Cleveland and 65 miles north of Columbus.

3-state effort

Along with Ohio State, CFAES, and SENR, the event co-hosts also include Penn State Extension and West Virginia’s Future Generations University (FGU).

The event is being funded by a grant to SENR, Penn State, and FGU from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Acer Access and Development Program. The grant aims to promote maple syrup production in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia through education and research.

Kurt Knebusch
For more information, contact:
Kathy Smith