Animal Care


Backyard Farming

Do you dream of having your own garden, or a few chickens to provide you with fresh, nutritious eggs every day? What’s stopping you?

It is possible to have your own little backyard farm, even if your space is limited.

This session will give you a brief overview of four common “farming” practices that can be successful on the small-scale, whether you have a partial lot, or a few acres to work with. Topics discussed will include beekeeping, gardening, raising chickens, and raising goats.


This section will give you an overview of the “buzz” about beekeeping. You will learn the basics of care, space requirements, and financial commitment for successful beekeeping. You’ll also learn about the benefits of bees – from their work as pollinators, to the production of their delicious honey. Use this class to decide if enrolling in Basic Beekeeping is the right choice for you.


Are you interested in having fresh eggs each day? How about having chickens as pets? This short overview of what is required to care for and raise healthy chickens, including shelter, feeding, predator protection, and considerations if you’re located within a municipality. This should help you decide if raising chickens is right for you and your family. Complimentary to OSU’s Online Backyard Chicken Class.


Green thumbs, black fists, or anything in between, you’re sure to learn something during this portion of the seminar. This section will cover different garden types (floral vs veggies), mediums (in the soil vs containers or raised beds), site selection, and seasonal considerations. A brief discussion of companion planting and off-season management will also be included.


Goats can be raised for meat, for milk production, or to be great pets. Learn the basics of common breeds of goats, specific characteristics of the breeds, shelter and fence requirements, basic nutrition needs, versatility and uses, and more. Goats can be a versatile animal depending on your needs, this information will help you decide if you want to know more about goats and have some to call your own.

Basic Beekeeping

The basic beekeeping course walks you through the fundamentals of beekeeping. You’ll learn:


  • Terminology
  • Legal issues
  • Equipment and resources
  • Anatomy of a hive
  • How to acquire bees


  • Biology and types of bees
  • Honeybee diseases and pests
  • How to medicate
  • Selection and preparation of an apiary site
  • Proper hive procedures


  • Handling season changes
  • Gathering swarms
  • Record keeping practices
  • Equipment assembly


  • Bring your tools and your safety glasses
  • Assemble and construct the hive

Rangeland Management for Livestock & Wildlife

Do you know what the difference is between rangeland and pastureland?

Rangelands are those lands on which the native vegetation is predominately grasses, grass-like plants, forbs, or shrubs suitable for razing or browsing use.

Pastures are lands that are primarily used to produce adapted, domesticated forage plants for livestock.

Both types are important to Oklahoma agriculture and wildlife, though management of each is unique to its purpose.

In this workshop, we’ll focus on Oklahoma Rangelands, which are characterized by native plant communities, thrive under traditional management practices, and support an abundant wildlife population, while also providing productive forage to cattle herds across the state.

Whether your priority is wildlife, or livestock production, the more you know about your rangeland and the plant community located within, will allow you to make informed decisions regarding management needs, stocking rates, etc. Bottom line – intentional management of your rangelands is beneficial.

Some questions this workshop will address include:

  • What constitutes a healthy rangeland?
  • Which plants are desirable for livestock vs wildlife?
  • Which plants are undesirable for livestock vs wildlife?
  • How do I get rid of undesirable plants?
  • What are the most effective and efficient forms of management?
  • Do I need to spray my rangelands?
  • Does my rangeland need to be fertilized?
  • Should I burn my rangelands?
  • What is my rangeland’s carrying capacity?
  • Can I raise cattle, and have productive hunting seasons?
  • Why is my rangeland covered in Cedar Trees, and how do I get rid of them?

In addition to answering these questions, this workshop will also provide you with information and resources you’ll need to implement necessary management practices once you return home. We want you to walk away from this workshop feeling knowledgeable and empowered to implement what you have learned.

Wildlife Food Plots

Oklahoma has an abundance of wildlife. Many Oklahomans enjoy the wildlife via nature-watching or hunting. Whether your goal is to attract more animals to your property to watch and enjoy, or bagging a prize to fill your freezer, food plots can be an effective tool in helping you achieve these goals.

It is important to remember that food plots are just that – tools – not an overarching solution. Food plots have been shown to have positive impacts on some species, under some conditions, but they often have no impact.

Landowners should not rely solely on food plots for maximizing the wildlife potential of their property.

As such, it is important to set realistic goals and expectations for your food plots, whether they be for White-Tailed Deer, Mourning Dove, Wild Turkey, or any combination of species.

Some questions to ask yourself before you get started:

  • What is my goal?
  • Viewing/hunting
  • Boost nutrition
  • Foster growth (ie: Antlers)

What are the limiting factors for wildlife in the area?

  • Food
  • Water
  • Cover

Which species do I want to attract?

  • Turkey
  • Dove
  • Deer
  • Waterfowl
  • Combination

Do I want to attract animals all year, or during a specific time period?

Do I have the financial and time resources to achieve these goals?

If after answering these questions, you decide to proceed, this seminar will also prepare you for choosing the right location for your food plot, given various factors, such as:

  • Topography
  • Animal travel habits
  • Water sources
  • Cover

Once you have your species identified, and location selected, you’ll work to prepare the site for maximum return. This includes:

  • Soil testing
  • Tilling
  • Planting
  • Fertilizing
  • Fencing, if necessary

As you can see, there is a lot that goes into having an effective food plot, and making it a worthy investment of your time and money. We look forward to seeing you there!

Location: This workshop, in conjunction with Creek County Extension, will be held via Zoom.

Presenter: Dr. Dwayne Elmore, Natural Resource Ecology & Management Professor, and Extension Wildlife Specialist with Oklahoma State University

Winter Cattle Health Considerations

If you have cattle, do you manage them the way it’s always been done, or do you have a management plan in place, backed by scientific research and data?

Costs associated with winter nutrition have been shown to contribute 40 to 60 percent of the annual budget of a typical cow-calf operation, according to OSU. With this level of expense tied with one season, it is in the producer’s best interest to ensure they have planned ahead, and are delivering the most value for their dollar to their cattle.

During the winter months, grasses go dormant, and forage that is available is often lacking in the nutrients necessary to sustain cattle throughout the winter months – especially if heavy precipitation restricts access. Producers who supplement with hay are encouraged to get their hay tested in order to get a clear picture of the nutrients available to their cattle, and make adjustments if necessary to meet their needs.

Whether you have cows who are lactating and raising calves, cows who are in the final stages of gestation, or have just weaned her calf, each animals’ nutrient needs varies.

Additionally, extreme cold and/or wet weather changes the cow’s nutrient needs. For every 10 degree drop in temperature, cattle need 10 percent more energy. If a cow is deprived of the necessary nutrients, this can lead to loss of body condition, and potentially calving difficulties or problems rebreeding.

This seminar will help you determine what individual factors you need to consider before taking your herd into the winter months, including forage quality, protein sources and overall intake.

Topics also included:

  • Feeding hay
    • Efficiency of different feeders
    • Hay tests – how to sample and where to take them
  • Protein supplementation
    • Cake or tubs?
  • Water intake requirements

Walk away from this class confident you can keep your herd healthy this winter.

Earl Ward, Area Livestock Specialist with Oklahoma State University Extension is the presenter for this workshop.

This class is offered for free via zoom. If you do not have the capability of watching zoom from the comfort of your home, you may watch the zoom class at Central Tech’s Industrial & Safety Training facility in Sapulpa or Small Business & Safety Training facility in Drumright.

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