To keep our poultry breeds going strong and protect against inbreeding it is necessary to hatch and grow out large numbers of chicks every year and select only the very best for breeding the following year. Like most conservation projects, this is not a money making venture. We need your help. Specifically, we are looking for poultry enthusiasts who are interested in growing out groups of chicks for us.
Our program is modeled on one suggested by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy. Each grower will receive a group of 25 chicks from us of their chosen breed. (We are also open to people wanting to grow out multiple groups.) When the chicks are 16 weeks of age, we will evaluate them and select three birds to return to our breeding flock. The remainder is yours to keep and do with as you please: keep them, sell them, eat them, breed some yourself.
Participants should be located in the Nanaimo - Ladysmith area.
Ideally, growers should have some experience with poultry keeping. If you are completely new to chickens and would like to do this, talk to us. We may be able to mentor some people if they are located very close to us, i.e. within the Cedar-Yellowpoint area.
Your responsibilities as a grower:
You will be fully responsible for raising the chicks including providing all the necessary infrastructure, feed and care. This requires
- a suitable brooding area;
- sufficient numbers of heat lamps;
- feeders and waterers for chicks and for the growing birds;
- a pen or coop once they are past the brooding stage;
- suitable bedding materials;
- time for daily care including feeding, watering and cleaning;
- Predator protection.
Participants will be charged our normal price for chicks - $8 each or $200 for each group of 25 upon signing the contract. After we have selected our three birds at around 16 weeks, we will refund the purchase price for the chicks in full! As we would normally charge $25 - $30 for a pullet, this is obviously quite an advantageous arrangement for the grower. For this, we expect the very best of care and commitment. The agreement will be void if mortality exceeds 20%, i.e. more than 5 birds per group of 25, or if the birds show signs of serious lack of care, malnutrition or disease, stunted growth or injury that can be attributed to overcrowding, lack of cleanliness, insufficient shelter etc.
We hope that by involving many more people in the breeding and rearing of these breeds, we can keep them going strong for many more years!