Photo by Crystal Rhyno/Advocate staff

Having a hens-on experience

Chickens are not the average household pet but at least one Morrisroe family is welcoming six of the feathered animals into their backyard. The Cundict children – Elizabeth, Katherine, Tom – wanted a dog but their parents Mark and Joanne said no way because of the amount of work involved in caring for the dog.

Chickens are not the average household pet but at least one Morrisroe family is welcoming six of the feathered animals into their backyard.

The Cundict children – Elizabeth, Katherine, Tom – wanted a dog but their parents Mark and Joanne said no way because of the amount of work involved in caring for the dog.

So when the siblings heard the City of Red Deer was extending its urban chicken pilot project, the children went back to their parents with another proposal.

“I thought it would be a lot cooler than having a cat or dog,” said Elizabeth Cundict, 13. “They are a productive pet. You take care of them and they give you eggs.”

Joanne Cundict said it seemed like a neat project that they could turn into a learning project for the entire family. In May, they attended Backyard Chickens 101 Workshop, an event in Red Deer put on by the Canadian Liberated Urban Chicken Klub (CLUCK).

Although she grew up on a farm, Joanne said they learned a lot from the workshop and from her children who continue to teach them about chickens that they never knew. There are 40 homes with up to six chickens participating in the formal pilot which runs until March 31, 2014.

At the end of the pilot, the city will consider options for allowing or disallowing urban chickens including a bylaw.

The Cundict family purchased six baby chicks – three orpingtons, one australorp and two cross breeds shortly after the backyard chicken session. Chicks need to be kept warm so the family has been using a heat lamp in their garage to keep the little ones toasty.

Joanne said the hens do not start laying eggs until six months but they wanted her children to learn about the whole process of raising chickens. The finishing touches were put on the backyard coop over the weekend. The chickens were expected to move in their home over the long weekend.

“We grew up on a farm,” said Joanne. “It’s nice to have our own eggs. The most important thing is we will know where our eggs come from.”

She said the eggs will be white and brown which will be a great treat for the family.

The neighbours, on both sides of the Cundicts, were informed about the new editions to the family and are thrilled about the fresh eggs next door.

“They could lay up to two dozen eggs a week,” said Joanne. “We are going to have to have friends.”

Just Posted

Woman who posed as animal control officer sentenced in Red Deer court

B.C. woman sentenced to 90 days in prison after targeting and harassing Innisfail dog owner

One of the last buildings needed for Red Deer’s 2019 Winter Games is being completed

RDC residence is on schedule, despite ‘tight’ time-frame, says RDC official

Red Deer singer/songwriter is Top 3 finalist in Project Wild

Ryan Langlois, who wins at least $50,000, will find out Nov. 24 if he gets top prize

Man charged in fatal hit and run in North Red Deer

‘The victim had been standing by a parked vehicle, not in the traffic lane, when he was hit’

A No-Go: Athletes and officials weigh in after Calgary votes ‘no’ to 2026 bid

TORONTO — Rotating Olympic hosts? A single go-to destination every four years?… Continue reading

Predators may have NHL’s best goalie combo on, off ice

NASHVILLE — Pekka Rinne is off to an even better start than… Continue reading

Canadian Premier League buys Ontario’s League 1, looks to develop talent there

TORONTO — The Canadian Premier League has bought Ontario’s League 1 and… Continue reading

2015 ‘Bachelor’ star pleads guilty to reduced charge

INDEPENDENCE, Iowa — A farmer who appeared on ABC’s “The Bachelor” pleaded… Continue reading

‘Game of Thrones’ returning in April 2019 for final season

LOS ANGELES — The eighth and last season of “Game of Thrones”… Continue reading

Big question for Amazon’s 2 chosen cities: Will it pay off?

WASHINGTON — The awarding of Amazon’s second headquarters to two affluent localities… Continue reading

Calgarians vote ‘no’ on 2026 Olympic bid in non-binding plebiscite

CALGARY — The results are in, and a majority of Calgarians are… Continue reading

Leon Draisaitl scores and adds two assists to power Oilers past Canadiens 6-2

EDMONTON — Leon Draisaitl had a goal and two assists and Connor… Continue reading

Most Read