Chickens in New Westminster

Maybe you’re tired of paying $6 for free-range eggs (that might not be so free-range), or perhaps you want an unusual backyard inhabitant. Regardless, we seem to be in the age of the urban chicken, though to date it seems to be more talk than action; most backyards in New Westminster seem to be distressinglyRead More

Maybe you’re tired of paying $6 for free-range eggs (that might not be so free-range), or perhaps you want an unusual backyard inhabitant. Regardless, we seem to be in the age of the urban chicken, though to date it seems to be more talk than action; most backyards in New Westminster seem to be distressingly poultry free.

New Westminster, unlike Vancouver, has had a by-law on the books regulating the keeping of chickens   since the late 1960s (bylaw 4271, drafted in 1967 and passed in 1968).

The by-laws are a little restrictive – your lot has to be 6000 square feet in size, the poultry house must be 50 feet from the nearest inhabited building, and the chicken coop must be more than 2 or more feet from the property line.

Obviously this doesn’t fit well with most urban lots, and is not nearly as relaxed as the new by-laws passed recently in Vancouver.

I’d hummed and hawed about talking to the city about possibly relaxing their by-laws, but then I’d heard that the city officials weren’t enforcing the letter of the (by-)law unless a neighbour complained, so I stopped worrying about getting the rules changed, and instead, focused on getting chickens.

Step one – select a breed of chicken. Like most domesticated animals, there are many breeds of chickens, with pros and cons for each, so you need to pick the breed that exemplifies the qualities you desire. I wanted a large, dual purpose chicken (eggs and meat) that was a good egg producer and would be somewhat personable. The Australorp fit the bill, and seemed very chicken-ish in looks.

Step two – try to find a breeder. I discovered that small specialty breeders are actually quite hard to find; many don’t seem to know much about the internet. I started checking Craigslist – in my mind, a cost-effective way for the small breeder to advertise – but there were few listings, fewer for the breed I wanted, and I didn’t get a warm-fuzzy-feeling from any of them.

I moved to searching online, to see if I could get chicks sent by parcel post; believe it or not, mail-order chicks are very popular (at least south of the border), and apparently the chicks will do just fine in a box for a day or two.

I was slightly relieved to not find any companies that were close enough to mail the chicks; I was hesitant about sending infant chickens by mail, and had a vision of a box of dead, fluffy yellow chickens showing up on my door step. If the kids caught sight of that, the therapy would continue for years.

Then I came across The Fraser Valley Poultry Fancier Association (, and discovered that they had a winter show where breeders and chicken keepers would show their prize livestock. I convinced family and friends that were interested in chickens to make an outing of it. The show was very interesting, but the real find turned out to be the show’s program, which had a long and varied list of breeders in and around Greater Vancouver.

I ended up contacting several breeders. Most didn’t want to part with their young chickens, and some were a delightful combination of rude and strange. We finally found a breeder who was willing to part with three chickens “on the point of lay”, but there was a catch – it would be 6-8 months.

Here’s a quick lesson on chicken terminology (and biology) before proceeding: female adult chickens are hens, male adult chickens are roosters, juvenile female chickens are called pullets, and their male equivalents are called cockerels. A chicken typically is considered to be “on the point of lay” at about 6 months. A hen does not need a rooster to lay an egg, but a rooster has to be involved if you want the egg to hatch.

Step three – figure out where to keep your chickens. The most common choice seems to be the chicken ark – a portable coop that has an area enclosed by wire mesh, and a wooden hut for sleeping and laying. I found plans for one on the internet ( and spent a weekend (and a few evenings) gathering materials and building it.

Chicken Arc

The last thing you need to do before getting your chickens is to gather the supplies you’ll need. There isn’t much – food, grit, a feeder, and a water container. The food part is obvious, and Otter Co-Op (Aldergrove) sells an organic “laying feed” (designed to meet the nutritional requirements of a laying bird) – $15 for a 45lb bag, and that bag has feed our chickens for 3 months. You can also make your own – there is lots of information on the internet, but it can be complicated sourcing things. Grit is small, rough stones the birds keep in their gullets to help grind up their food (they are essentially a chicken’s teeth).  A feeder is just a food holder – it’s less wasteful (and less likely to attract rodents) than scattering it on the ground, and a water container should be self explanatory.

Chickens also make quick work of some kitchen scraps – peelings from carrots, apples, pineapple, bananas and other fruit, especially berries (we feed them the leftovers, the brown bits that the kids won’t eat, etc). It’s fun to roll the berries around, and have the chickens chase them.

They also like pasta, crackers, and other grain products (but can get gummed up if they eat too much). We also add flax seeds, sunflower seeds, and finely crushed egg shell to their feed from time to time. Because there are free-range in the back yard, they also eat grass, seeds, worms and other bugs, and all the leaves off my wife’s prized beet crop.

The day we got the chickens, we immediately liberated them into the back yard. Unfortunately, when it came for them to roost at nightfall, they had no idea that their ark was their accommodations. We spent some time in the dark, chasing chickens, and pulling them out of rhododendron trees. It took two nights of us placing them in their ark at night before they figured it out, and they learned to put themselves to bed. I would recommend keeping them penned up under their ark for a couple of days to save yourself the joy of the chicken round-up.

Chickens being chickens

If you are going to let your chickens free-range, you have to consider the risks from other animals. A full grown chicken can take on a cat, but don’t stand a chance against a dog. Raccoons are very real threat as well, and are the reason we secure the chickens every night. Our dog has a high prey-drive, so it took a few weeks to teach her that the chickens (like the cat) were off limits. She’s pretty good now.

Ruby thinking about a chicken buffet

And now to the reason (presumably) you want chickens – the eggs. The Australorp was a famed egg producer prior to the industrial-farming movement. The average Australorp will produce 250-300 eggs, and one Australorp set a world record, laying 364 eggs in 365 days. The production of eggs is linked to the amount of light the chicken gets over the day (modern egg producers cheat with artificial light), and the colour of the egg is determined by the colour of the chickens ear lobes

A chicken will lay heavily for about 2 years, and then the production of eggs will start to decline. A domestic chicken can live for 17 years, however. You need to decide what you will do with your chickens when they hit menopause (or as I like to think of it, egg-o-pause). If they are pets, then eggs are a side benefit. But if food is the idea, then you’ll have a hard decision to make a few years down the road.

A piece of advice – don’t run around promising your neighbours the excess from your anticipated glut of eggs – it takes a while to for them to get up to speed. So far, of our three chickens, one is laying, and in the last 3 months, we’ve gotten 2 dozen eggs. We should get 2-3 eggs a day in the spring and summer, but you never know.

When I get asked the inevitable, four-times-a-week, question of when they will lay, or why they aren’t laying more, I grumpily answer, “I’m not sure – perhaps you should go ask them.” The point of all this is, it’s unlikely that you will be awash in eggs when you first get your chickens, even if your chickens are at the so-called “point-of-lay.”

Should you decide to get chickens, you’ll be inevitably be asked these questions:

  • Will they get avian flu? It’s unlikely in a small, isolated flock, not nearly as likely as in industrial setting with thousands of birds crammed into cages.
  • Will they attract rats? If you leave the food out, you get pests, just like if you left the remains of a picnic outside.
  • Don’t they smell? Not really. You do need to clean out their ark once a week. We lay newspaper, and put it straight in the compost.
  • Are they noisy? Chickens are pretty quiet, certainly quieter than a barking dog, or fighting cat. Just don’t get a rooster (it’s against the by-laws).
  • What do you do with them in the winter? Chickens can handle subzero temperatures– they puff up their feathers, and huddle together. We are looking at getting a small light bulb in a can to provide some supplementary heat if it gets really cold.

There are a few down-sides that we’ve noticed,

  • They will eat unprotected fruit; we have 3 blueberry plants, and half-a-dozen strawberry plants. By the time we got the chickens, the fruit season was mostly over, but I would sometimes find a chicken standing on top of a strawberry plant, eating the berries (apples seem to be safe, but I wonder what happens when our grape vine produces). A solution would be to keep them enclosed in a pen on the grass
  • They make a lot of poop. Some of the morning “deposits” are as large as our dogs. Fortunately, it’s excellent for the compost – it doesn’t have the same dangerous pathogens as cat and dog poop. It’s still not fun to step in, however, and they seem to like to poop on the sidewalks.  Again, an enclosure on the grass would fix the issue. The poop is great for the lawn.
  • When going on vacation, you need someone to chicken-sit; this means someone to let them out in the morning, put out food, and then secure them at night and put away the food. Simpler than a dog, but still a complication.
  • You have to be careful with food; one of the kids was feeding large handfuls of wheat berries to the chickens, which constipated one of the chickens. It was an experience, giving the chicken an enema.

If you are thinking about chickens, here’s what I’ve experienced so far: you won’t be struggling under a glut of eggs, they are easier to easy to look after than expected (but difficult to acquire), and they’re fun to watch parade around the lawn, pecking at anything that catches their fancy.

David Griffiths

David Griffiths is a really valued member of the Tenth to the Fraser community. Interested in joining our pool of writers? Please see these submission guidelines.


  1. Great post! Good information and funny too! We have thought of keeping chickens but are still poultry-free as well.

  2. We've thought of doing this too. I think it would also be a great learning experience for our daughter and I'd love fresh free-range eggs. I remember visiting friends on a farm and being sent out to get the eggs. It was like finding treasure when I reached in and pulled out a fresh egg.
    Right now though I'm more focused with getting us humans back into our "ark". We need our renovations complete.
    These are a few great websites I came across when looking into it:

    1. The first time I found an egg, it was pretty amazing. I though my wife had gone out and put one there – it was just sitting perfectly atop the shredded newspaper in the nesting box.

      It's still a little thrill to find them (because they've been so rare to date).

      1. Hi David, We are also considering adding chickens to our lives here in New West. Just wondering how things are going a year later? Any issues? How's your (their) egg production?

        I'm going down to City Hall today to find out a bit more info. Our lot is big enough, but the ideal place for the coop (I envision 6 birds in a 24sq. ft. coop with a 100sq. ft. caged run) is closer to 42' from our house, tho' 70 feet from nearest neighbour. Hoping the city looks the other way…

  3. We're going ahead with it ourselves and are at step one. 🙂 I think we're looking at spring to become chicken overlords.

  4. I operate a professional pet sitting business (Calli Co. Pet Services – and I'm…no joke…learning how to care for chickens, as some of my clients are also looking into getting chickens. Having not grown up on a farm, this is certainly an experience for me! 🙂

  5. Thanks, David.

    I have pet allergies, and my wife has been itching for a pet for a few years. This might be the cure. I did a little research on the bylaw, and Chickens are covered under the same bylaw as rabbits (which was her leading candidate up to now). This might just be a spring project, our back yard is perfect.

    Your story is missing one important peice of information: what did you name them?

    1. Hey, Patrick.

      They drop feathers, but it's outside, and I don't think they have the same dander as cats and dogs. Let me know if you need any info.

      I wanted to name them Stock, Strip, and Nugget. I was outvoted three-to-one, so it's Mary, Clementine, and Lilac.

      I should have suggested McMuffin, Benedict, OnToast – names that are less ominous.

  6. Is it true that the mess that comes with having chickens attracts rats? If so maybe a chicken coup close to the high school would attract some of the rats out of their high school home for a healthier learning environment for the boys and girls.

  7. There are many households in Queensborough that have chickens coups. My grandfather was one of them until he passed away few years ago. The only problem is chickens can attract rats but some people may be able to see past this as there are many positives to having your own organic egg farm. As well rats seem to be everywhere regardless of chickens.

  8. Howdy,
    I was told by a neighbour down the street to check this website out and give you some advice about keeping birds. I live in queensboro and I have a flock.I also am a member of the FVPA, along with another fellow down the road. I had a few birds entered in the winter show ! I think it was the first time they had entries from our town in a long time ! I also have read the vancouver bylaw and I think it has some flaws. Like keeping food in the cage at night. Bad idea, and banning roosters is no good either. Having to register is ridiculous. I read that so far they only have 18 ! Roosters are not banned in our town and I don't know what your talking about with the ear lobe and egg colour either. If your looking for egg production you should have bought some ISA browns or Bovans, they are commercial layer strains. FOr meat birds you can't beat the broiler. Dual purpose is kind of old fashioned before modern hatcheries and breeding. If your looking to buy birds, don't forget the fraser valley auction every saturday has chickens, ducks, pheasants, pigeons, you name it. And if you want to get day old chicks and commercial strains pitt meadows otter co-op has them in the spring, around march, pre-order, and they also will bring in broilers a couple times a year so you can grow some for really gourmet chicken. It is nothing like you buy in the store when you feed them grain rich diet. For feed the best places are onladner trunk road, tri-west open on saturdays, and westway feeds. I wouldn't suggest using the paper for them. You should realy get some proper bedding I use sawdust from the mill and straw for the nest boxes. I would also be careful about the information you find out there, alot of it is garbage especially those yuppie vancouver ones. The very best package I have found is by the Ontario agriculutre department. HEALTHYBIRDS.CA is the website, it talks alot about bio-security which is actually really important and thats why vancouver is trying to make everyone register. the healthybirds also has factsheets on all the diseases and pest and things chickens can get and best husbandry practises. Another important thing is how to properly bleed out the bird, and dress it. plucking is not as easy as you might think. There is some good links to that on the backyardchicken website in the states with good pictures and techniques. I would say keeping a flock is more difficult then a dog. With a dog you only have to check for fleas, and when a dog is sick it lets you know. Chickens don't let you know when they arn't doing so good, so you have to be a bit more interactive. Ducks are also allowed in our bylaw, ducks are more hardy then chickens in general, and also lay very rich tasting eggs. I think you forgot to mention oyster shells to. The birds need lots of calcium to make egg shells, so buy a sack of oyster shells. You can feed your eggshells back to your birds, but make sure they are dry and crushed so they don't get the taste of egg, otherwise they will start eating the eggs they lay. You can also add a light into you coop to promote more egg production in these dark times of the year. Good luck ! send me a email if you want a cockerel for your pullets !

    1. Great tips Jerry! Thanks for commenting on the post – I'm sure it'll be very helpful for those folks who are considering chickens in New Westminster.

    2. Jerry, thanks for the comment and the info – I'll check out

      A couple of things:

      – you are right – roosters are not expressly prohibited in New Westminster. They are prohibited in all of the two dozen cities allow hens (whose bylaws I read), but in an urban setting, you'll run afowl (pun intended) of your neigbhours

      – according to Heather Havens, several books, and Wikipedia, ear lobes indicate egg color. From Wikipedia, "In general, chicken breeds with white ear lobes lay white eggs, whereas chickens with red ear lobes lay brown eggs."

      – duck eggs sound great, but not at the expense of the veggie gardens. The chickens already do a number on the beets, and I've heard ducks are worse.

      I didn't mention calcium – most "layer" feed has it already. I wash, dry, and crush eggshells to add to their food every other day. Our chickens are also in the yard all day, eating gras, bugs, worms, and sometimes even picking through the compost.

      I'd read in a couple of sources that straw and sawdust could cause respiratory issues as they generate more dust. We are going to get some straw to try out.

      We are allowed up to 8 chickens, so we might get a few more – maybe the Austrolorp-leghorn hybrid that is supposed to be a very prolific layer. You are right about the heritage breeds not laying as well as the modern crosses, but they burn out fast. Heritage breeds are slower, but last longer.

      Dog vs chicken – our dog requires a walk once a day of about an hour. So far, the chickens have shown no inclination to get a collar and leash. The chickens don't bark at people on our front step, and never have to be shoo'd off the couch. The time to feed is about the same. Picking up poop is easier for the dog, and more time-consuming for the chickens. The chicken manure is useful, however, and the dog poop is not.

      The book I found best for educating is Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens, but there are dozens of books on the subject. I would that anyone getting chickens would educate themselves from lots of different sources. You are right – I've heard several things that turned out to be wrong, and it was from "educated sources".


  9. Ah, nostalgia. When I grew up (don't ask when or where) everyone had chickens in the backyard! It was a joy, and now a fond memory, to listen to rooster crow, and hens go cluck cluck!

  10. Howdy again ! sorry I didnt know you folks replied, I double checked my email maybe I typed it in wrong last time by mistake. I was told the rooster can be considered a nuisence under the noise bylaw, but it has to meet a certain criteria. I believe the new animal control bylaw calls dogs barking for up to 3 minutes every 15 minutes before its considered a nuisence. A rooster crowing is not as anoying as a dog barking for 3 mintues straight, and we have a few dogs in the neighbourhood that do better then 3 minutes at a go ! I think if your neighbors are cool with chickens they'll probably won't mind the rooster. the rooster is really very benifical, He will protect the hens with his life, he will make a predetor call to tell the hens to hide when danger is near, he makes a come here call when he finds a worm and offers it to the hens rather then eating it himself ! They are banned in vancouver mostly because of the spca battle against cock-fighting. A big ring was broken up around 6 years ago, unfortuantly its still very popular amoung new immigrants from different parts of the world that come to Canada. Heather havens is an american who came to canada, imported some birds and moved into a place that didn't alow them . She made the news because people complained about her and she decided to try promote keeping chickens in the media and used her BS in agriculture to pass herself as some chicken expert. aparently her field was really soil managment . shes since moved back, she left behind a mess of misinformation that people regergetate and probab;y why only 18 people have registered in vancouver. I don't know about the wiki thing but I do have a rooster with red lobes, he doesn't lay brown eggs, I also have americana's and they have red lobes, but lay blue eggs. . try looking up the APA breed standards, or try Hendersons chicken breed chart in google. Chickens or ducks don't belong in your garden you need to fence that area off or pen your chickens. Chickens will eat all the same things as a duck. A few years ago a few chickens got in my greenhouse and ate most of my peper plants and pecked at all the ripening tomotoes. formulated layer feed does have calcium as it's meant for egg production. When you feed it to your austrolorp it will burn it out just the same as any comercial bird. That has got to be more of haven or yuppie BS. When you buy formulated pellets or mash you don't even need grit ! the feed simply disolves with water. With formulated layer pellets or mash your eggs will be the same quality as those in the store, because thats the exact same stuff they feed cage layers and freerun in industry ! vancouver bylaw does not allow free ranging like ours, they're bylaw clearly states it all has to be covered to protect the birds from other wild birds. thats how Avian influenza and Newcastle and other parasites are spread in the wild. So definatly read and learn from the HEALTHYBIRDS.CA website about the best husbandry practises rather then your other sources. The people who wrote that are all DVM's and poultry scientists, with proper credentials unlike havens or maynard. I think in the main article you say how its unlikely a backyard will get disease compared to a comercial flock. This is not neccessarily true when you free range because your birds are exposed to wild bird and their droppings. Comercial layer flocks are contained and more closely monitered by people who know about bio-security and how to detect the symptoms, but because of the high concentration things spread like wildfire. I have seen the effects of newcastle first hand in my flock. just like people get exposed to colds and flus so do birds exposed to nature. Sawdust and straw are bad for chickens , More yuppie nonsense ! You seem to take real good care of your dog walking for an hour ! See what I mean about your dogs barking at your front step, rooster arn't as obnoxious towards people. I don't know why you pick up your chickens poop. Seems like alot of extra work considering they poop atleast a dozen times without warning ! And I should tell you about the breeds a bit better. I dont know who you called up but FVPFA but most members are raising show birds, we breed birds to APA or ABA standards. So no one is going to part with a bird before it's full grown, and it's show quality is determined. They probably sounded wierd or rude to you because your new to it all. I dont know why they call birds heritage breeds. That sounds like yuppie talk. they are either standard or bantam breeds. So who has determine that a austrolorp leghorn cross is a prolific layer ? its not a standardized breed ! When you cross you get half breeds. What half will be better represented is Gregor Mendel's guess. about the roosters again, I think vancouver is the only one banning them in the lower mainland, so I don't know what 2 dozen cities your talking about other then examples vancouver used to justify their unjust bylaw rules. I think there are more birds in queensboro alone then all of vancouver ! There are alot of good sources that vancouver points out to on their website, stick to the ones from acredited universities for quality information rather then the guy selling his coops or whatever other else theyre doing these days. happy holidays !

    1. Jerry, I don't think you get an email if there is a reply.

      I try to be skeptical of all I hear. Heather Havens said a couple of funny things – chickens don't eat grass (I see mine eating grass all the time), and that layer food was all a bird needed (scientists can't even decide if eggs are good for you or not).

      The ear-lobe colour thing is a generalization – you know, true 80% of the time. Totally misleading the other 20%.

      I have looked @ The small-flock pages look handy. A lot of the bio-security risks don't exist in an urban environment, tho. For example, there is no farm equipment potentially tracking diseases around. But there is potential for contact with wild birds (but the dog and the cat scare them away).

      We have young kids in the backyard, and I've read many accounts of rooster attacks. I am ok without one. If we lived on an acreage, I would have roosters (and more chickens).

      The chicken manure – it's on the sidewalk, the steps, the lawn, etc. I pick it up because I want it for the compost, and the dog would track it into the house. I consider the manure to be almost as good as the eggs. And walking the yard with a shovel gathering manure is like easter, looking for chocolate eggs, except they aren't eggs and they aren't made of chocolate.

      I don't entirely trust agricultural scientists. They advocating (or at least allowing) the feeding of cows to cows, and corn to cows. The big commercial egg and meat production is pretty inhumane, and is facilitated rather than prohibited by agricultural scientists. Usually the big disease outbreaks are caused by overcrowding and poor (or inappropriate) diet.

      That you can't slaughter your own birds, but rather need to feed them into some huge industrialized slaughterhouse is an outcome of scientists and bureaucrats.

      Finally, what is a yuppie? I thought they had spiky hair, drove over-priced European cars, and generally overdosed on cocaine and expensive scotch back in the 80's. I thought they were an endangered or extinct species.

      BTW, I'd love to come by and see your chickens one day, maybe learn something new?

  11. Great post, David. I build chicken coops in Vancouver ( and have been getting a lot of questions from people around Metro Vancouver about whether chickens are legal in their municipalities. I encourage folks to get chickens now as an act of civil disobedience. There's nothing sillier than bylaws that hinder our right to control the food we eat.

  12. howdy david, sorry, I guess on this website you have to check it and I havnt looked at it much, but the easiest way I found to get to this is to just type chickens in new west in gogle. I know what you mean, its tough to figure things out on your own, let alone have to rely off secound hans advice that is misleading or wrong. when I spoke at the vancouvers public hearing regarding the bylaw, I told them that many other places would look at what they did,and they should allow more birds and home slaughter and in the end they made a really restricted bylaw because all they heard from was people who didn’t know much about chickens but wanted eggs. I told them it was ridiculous to ban home slaughter of chickens, I said they would be powerless to stop it, and that it was better to properly educate the proper methods of bleeding and eviscerating the carcass rather then just saying you can’t do it. I said you grow and eat the corn, the potatoes and whathaveyou, but you ban a person from growing a chicken to eat is not a just food system like they try to make it sound. Broilers are the meat birds, if you feed them the formulated feeds (like layer pellets except meant for growing and finishing a broiler) they will be ready to slaughter in around 45 days. I talked with a commercial grower a few months ago, and you can order special xtra fast broilers now that will be done in 35 days. So, thats from a 1 day old chick, to the chicken you see at the grocery store is 35 days old. No joke, the feed is so formulated for maximum feed conversion, and the chicken you buy in the store is just baby chickens, and has little flavour compared to a grain and grass fed bird you can do yourselfs. growing broilers on a good diet will have a delicous yellow fat. If you really want to learn the truth about bc’s chicken industry its on the BC egg marketing board, and chicken marketing boards websites. the provincial regs are 99 laying birds and 299 broilers without having to get quota. I don’t buy chicken in the store anymore, and rarely eat chicken served in restaeurants. Once you taste the flavour of a bird grown ona natural diet , and not for maximum feed conversion, you might agree. thats why the saying tastes like chicken. not all the scientists are bad, the problem is economics, and they want to make the most profits. so you need fast growing birds, cheap feed, and as little space possible. Its these feed scientists that scrounge for cheap proteins for they’re feed mills. Same with formulated layer pelets, it’s a cost to conversion (in this case eggs). Btw- it’s only vancouver that doesn’t permit the back-yard slaughtering. When i call the peple in vancouver yuppies, its because they live in million dollar houses, and want to keep 4 chickens ! like you said, drive a porshe car to the feed store to pick up a sack of pellets ! I don’t mind people comming to take a look, I get a lot of look-e-lous, but my propery is fenced off, and I have the bio-security sign to keep people out. I get about a person a week, more in the summer asking for birds. I don’t sell them, but I’m happy to get someone started in the right direction. Also, in the past I have introduced a bird to the flock, and it had mites, and other parasites. I had to treat all my flock because of it. And that is a toughest way to learn about bio-securrity from getting a single new bird from a person. I check spot check my birds regularly now by looking under the wing where there are few feathers, look at the base of the feathers for tiny little blood drops the back of the neck by moving the feathers a bit to peer at the skin and the vent (where the poop and egg come out) check around there too. send me a email sometime. bye !

  13. Howdy David,
    i thought i should pass along some important news we learned from a speaker at the poultry fancier meeting, we had a dvm from the ministry of ag come out and talk about a few serious outbreaks going on right now, and being a fellow new west resident i thought i would keep you informed. there is a lot of infectious laryngotracheitis ILT going on in the commercial broiler industries right now, the symptoms are on that website, but its when the lungs start to fill up with puss, the birds have problems breathing, gasping for air, and coughing up blood. You don't have to worry to much because we are not near any commercial poultry farms, and if you practise good biosecurity, you would keep a bird seperate and the symptoms would display themselves. there is a vaccine available.
    the other one is enteritidis salmonella, this one is a little more scary because there are no symptoms. it seems an outbreak originating in alberta, has spread to bc from the hatcheries. it doesn't really harm the bird, the bird can live a regular life as a carrier and disease spreader. The only problem is the eggs the bird lays will be internally contaminated with this pathogen. that means if you undercooked your egg or chicken (because it is in the bones of the bird aparently) you run the risk of getting salmonella poisoining. You can take a sample down to the ministry of ag in abbotsford for FREE testing, but if you do come up positive, the government knows your flock is carrying it. even practising bio-security will not stop it, because birds don't display any symptoms, and it's spread through feces, so even if you have 1 bird with it, it will spread to ALL your birds. the only way to get rid of it is to de-populate, and dissenfect.
    I've let a few folks in queensborough know, with ILT the effects are very obvious, with the new strain of salmonella, there is nothing except the test. myself, I have been keeping a tight bio-secure area for several years now, and know the sources of all my birds, so i have a high level of confidence that my flock is negative for salmonella, however now=a=days nowing what I do, before I would purchase a bird, i would want to know that it is not a lifetime carrier and shedder of the salmonella pathogen. I'm going to give a copy of the handouts I recieved to our animal services down the road, you would think the government would want to take the initiative, but too much is at stake (commercially) to tell people the truth of whats going on right now in the industry. so be sure to let people know to question the source of birds they want to buy about it, before its out of control. this is one that us as bird owners have to take respobsibility for to not keep spreading them. hope all is well in your flock. bye for now

  14. HOPING someone can assist 🙂 I'm looking to purchase pullets from a local breeder, anyone know of any good websites or farms, I will travel to Chilliwack, thank-you!!

  15. Finally….we got 'em! Picked up two 4-month old Silver Laced Wyandottes from Langley yesterday. They are 1-2 months from the point of lay so we should have eggs by end of summer. The coop took me ages to build and, if ever I do it again, I will be buying an assembleable kit or getting the coop made (looking at you Duncan).

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