Animals

Thurston County currently shares an Animal Agricultural Agent with Cowlitz County.  Any animal or livestock related question should be referred to Gary Fredericks. To contact him by phone call (360) 577-3014 x 3, or (360) 397-6060 x 7714.

The WSU Small Farms Team maintains an extensive list of resources to assist animal producers in profitability, sustainable practices, and processing challenges, including on: Beef, Dairy Cows, Swine, Goats, Sheep, Poultry, Horses, Exotics, Working Dogs, Processing, and General Nutrition and Care. Additional information is available through State and Federal resources. Please see the Topics section to the right.

Local Regulations

Select Extension Publications

Pasture and Hayland Renovation for Western Washington and OregonPasture and Hayland Renovation for Western Washington and Oregon
Farming West of the Cascades Series EB1870

This publication is designed to help you achieve a successful forage seeding whether you’re a beginning or experienced forage producer. It’s divided into sections so you can focus on the information you need. It contains recommendations for seed mixes and seeding techniques on pasture and hayland based on soils, climate, and intended use of the area.

Haymaking on the WestsideHaymaking on the Westside
Farming West of the Cascades Series EB1897

Reality indicates good quality hay can be produced on the west side of Washington State with proper knowledge, skills, equipment, storage, and perhaps a bit of luck. Aside from luck, this publication provides insights on the other issues of westside Washington hay production.

Why did my chickens stop layingWhy did my Chickens Stop Laying?
PNW Extension Manual PNW565

Hens stop laying eggs for a variety of reasons. External or internal stimuli affect hormone levels, which change the condition of the ovary and oviduct, the organs responsible for egg productions. The result of these changes is the reduction or cessation of egg production.

urban chickensRaising Chickens in Urban Environments
OSU Extension Manual EM 9089

Raising small flocks of chickens within city limits is becoming a popular pastime for many families. Urban residents keep chickens in their backyards for many of the same reasons as rural residents. Some  urban residents want to produce eggs or meat for their families to save money, live more sustainably, or simply know where their food comes from; others keep “fancy” or ornamental chickens (standard-bred birds of specific breeds or colors or both) to exhibit. Some urban residents have chickens to eat insects in the lawn and garden; others simply appreciate watching the birds in their yard, which can be a relaxing and sometimes comical sight.

Beef small farmsBeef Production for Small Farms
OSU Extension Manual EC1514

Covers three general types of small-scale cattle enterprises: 1) breeding herds, 2) growing and feeding operations, and 3) combinations of growing, feeding, and breeding herds. For growing and feeding enterprises, discusses steer/heifer operations and stocker (backgrounding) operations. For breeding herds, explains how to develop a registered herd or a commercial herd, how to purchase cattle, and how to manage a cow-calf herd. Describes how to design facilities, maintain equipment, feed beef cattle, prevent common cattle diseases (such as respiratory diseases, white muscle disease, brucellosis, external parasites, and internal parasites), market animals, understand beef grades, and keep records. Includes a glossary of terms and a list of sources of additional information.