How does the Adopt-a-Chicken program work?
You go to the Adopt-A-Chicken program on our website and sign up! The fee that you pay helps support the preservation of heritage chicken genetics through the care and housing of the birds and the hatching of heritage chicks. In return, you receive a dozen eggs every two weeks from the heritage hens for the duration of the program. You come to the ACPPTC building on the U of A south campus and pick up your eggs on the designated days. You will also receive photos, videos and newsletters describing the flock, have the opportunity to attend educational workshops and events and learn all about the life cycle of a chicken, agriculture and the poultry industry in general.
When does the program start?
Registration is generally opened in mid-November. The opening will be announced on our website and facebook page as well as by email for past supporters and people on our current notification list. Once registration is open, you can sign up at any time until the maximum number of supporters has been reached.
How many supporters are allowed in the Adopt-A-Chicken program?
At this point, we are taking 500 supporters. If we discover we can add 50 or 100 more at a future date, we will announce this and email the notification list.
What happens when you reach 500?
The registration window will close and you will be offered the opportunity to put your name and email on our notification list. We recommend that you sign up as soon as you are notified as the program does fill up quickly.
When do I start picking up eggs?
Egg pick-ups will begin in January 2019. You will receive a welcome email with information about the egg pick-up schedule, directions to the pick up location and more details about the program. Directions to the ACPPTC and egg pick-up calendars will also be available on this website.
Do I get the eggs from the specific hen that I have adopted?
The Adopt-A-Chicken portion of the program is a way for you to have some fun, pick a breed, choose a clever name and learn about the hen or rooster that appeals to you the most! However, the dozen eggs that you receive will have eggs from all the the different breeds of chickens in our program. This is actually a very interesting part of the program as there is quite a variety in size, shape and colour of the eggs from the different hens. Also, as you follow the maturing of the hens, you will see the changes that happen with their eggs. At the beginning, they are quite small ( we call them pee-wees) as the birds are immature. As they grow and mature, the eggs get significantly larger and the colour and shape will have more variety.
Can I buy eggs if I am not in the program?
No, we are not licensed to sell eggs to the public at large. We have special permission from the Egg Farmers of Alberta to run the Heritage Chicken Program and offer the eggs as an appreciation and thanks to our supporters.
I want to raise some heritage chickens. How do I go about ordering them?
Our Chick Program ordering window will open in January 2019. We will announce the start date on this website as well as facebook and social media. Once the ordering site is open, you can go in and place your order at any time. You will be able to order until mid-April, 2019. However, some of the breeds such as the Light Sussex have limited availability, so it is best to order early if you wish to obtain those particular chicks. All the information you need about available breeds, cost, pickup locations, hatch dates and responsible small flock management is on the site.
Where do I pick up my chicks?
The HCP partners with Peavey Mart and chicks can be picked up at 20 Peavey Mart locations throughout Alberta. You can choose your location when you order your birds.
Can I order heritage chicks if I don’t go through the HCP chick program?
We do not sell chicks at any other time of year. However, you may order hatching eggs which are available most months of the year and hatch your own heritage chicks.
How do I order hatching eggs?
You can either contact the HCP coordinator through this website or contact the Poultry Research Centre directly at 780-492-7694.
How do I order heritage chicken meat?
Our meat program is connected to the Adopt-A-Chicken program. When the heritage chickens are processed at the end of their cycle, we offer the stewing meat for sale to the HCP egg program supporters. If you are registered in this program, you will be notified when the meat is available to order. There is not enough product to offer meat sales outside of the program.
I am ordering chicks and wonder if there are any educational workshops that I can attend to learn about taking care of my chicks?
Yes, we offer several workshops specifically to help small flock and backyard chicken farmers learn about all aspects of raising healthy happy chickens. The workshops cover anatomy, housing, food and nutrition, health and disease, bio-security and breed characteristics, including how to choose the right breed(s) for your particular situation and needs. These workshops are held before the chick hatch to give participants time to get ready. In addition, you will receive a copy of Raising Small Flocks in Alberta, a PDF document that covers all aspects of raising chickens. We are happy to answer all questions through our website as well, just email the HCP coordinator who will answer your questions or forward them to experts in the field.
Do I have to order chicks to attend the workshop or can anyone go?
The workshops are open to anyone who is interested in chickens and we highly encourage individuals both in and outside of our programs to attend.