Liz Munro

Liz Munro

People flock to heritage breed show

A weekend show focused on livestock heritage breeds was aflutter with questions on how to raise backyard hens in the Red Deer area.

A weekend show focused on livestock heritage breeds was aflutter with questions on how to raise backyard hens in the Red Deer area.

An organizer of the three-day Canadian Heritage Breeds show and sale, which ended Sunday at Westerner Park, said a number of people asked about owning hens for laying eggs.

They weren’t asking about the city’s plans to draft a bylaw amendment which would allow urban chickens in the first place, said Liz Munro, who is the director of the Red Deer chapter of Canadian Heritage Breeds.

“People are waiting for the warm weather (to buy an urban chicken),” Munro said. “They wonder which birds are best and how to care for them.”

One breed, the silver-laced wyandotte, comes in either standard or bantam (small) size. They’re very friendly and docile so they’re great around children, Munro said.

“Because of the urban chicken (issue), our attendance is up,” said Munro on Sunday. “This is the first show for the CHB since we became a registered, non-profit (charity) but we’ve had poultry sales and events for three years.”

Everett and Adrienne Tetz, who recently founded the Red Deer chapter of Canadian Liberated Urban Chicken Klub (CLUCK), were also glad with the response they received regarding urban chickens.

“A lot of people have had a lot of practical questions about how to get started this spring,” said Adrienne.

“Lots of young families are pretty excited about it,” said Everett. “We found a bunch of families who are already doing it, but in places like Innisfail, Olds, the greater Red Deer area.”

They also said the event was great for those already raising urban chickens because it gave them an opportunity to connect with each other.

An Advocate story on Oct. 11 profiled the Red Deer couple raising six heritage hens, prompting the city to look into whether urban chickens should be allowed.

In October, the city’s Governance and Policy Committee gave staff three months to come up with a bylaw amendment to make urban chickens a permitted use, but with a number of restrictions to address animal welfare and other issues.

City councillor Paul Harris, who stopped into the show on Sunday, said he thinks allowing urban chickens is a great idea after visiting “urban chicken farmers” in the city.

“We (as a city) don’t want smell, noise and roosters,” said Harris.

Families in Red Deer say they have chickens because they make entertaining and delightful pets; they eat weeds, bugs and kitchen scraps and provide rich compost material for fertilizer; they provide fresh, organic, nutritionally dense, hormone and antibiotic-free eggs; and they help to teach children responsibility and to appreciate where food comes from.

Michelle Sulz, who lives on an acreage near Athabasca where she has chickens, said Red Deer should allow urban chickens.

“I think with proper care, people should have the right to have a few chickens in their backyard — maybe not roosters, but hens,” Sulz said. “I think families learn a lot by being able to raise chickens.”

In early 2009, Vancouver allowed hens in backyards.

Vancouver area resident Clayton Botkin, who was displaying 10 bantam chickens including silkies, said Red Deer could model Vancouver’s bylaw.

“It’s being conscious of neighbours — having no roosters is a sensible thing,” said Botkin. “And making sure to limit the number of birds in yards because it could get out of hand.”

— copyright Red Deer Advocate

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta Biobord Corp. recently hosted a virtual open house from Stettler

The company plans to develop a fuel pellet and medium density fibre board (MDF) plant near the community

ALERT’s Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) Unit
Two central Albertans charged with child porn

ALERT’s Internet Child Exploitation unit arrests 24 suspects

A child writes in their school notebook during a home schooling session in Cremona, Alta., Monday, March 23, 2020, amid the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. Thousands of students in Calgary will shift to online learning as of today in a bid to curb rising COVID-19 infection rates in the city. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Alberta begins rolling out AstraZeneca COVID vaccine for those 40 or older

Alberta begins rolling out AstraZeneca COVID vaccine for those 40 or older

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges all the empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist which is a independent pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, on Monday, April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
A CN rail worker stands on an idle locomotive as protesters opposed to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion block rail lines, in Burnaby, B.C., on Friday, November 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
CN makes rival bid to CP Rail’s offer to buy U.S. railway Kansas City Southern

Offer tops proposal made last month by Canadian Pacific Railway

A vial of the Medicago vaccine sits on a surface. CARe Clinic, located in Red Deer, has been selected to participate in the third phase of vaccine study. (Photo courtesy
Red Deer clinical research centre participating in plant-based COVID-19 vaccine trial

A Red Deer research centre has been selected to participate in the… Continue reading

Alberta Biobord Corp. recently hosted a virtual open house from Stettler

The company plans to develop a fuel pellet and medium density fibre board (MDF) plant near the community

The controversial Super League is materializing after Madrid and 11 other clubs announced its creation on Sunday. (File photo by BLACK PRESS)
Super League a ‘longtime dream’ for Madrid president Pérez

League created because coronavirus pandemic left clubs in a dire financial situation

San Jose Sharks centre Patrick Marleau (12) skates during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Minnesota Wild, in San Jose, Calif., Monday, March 29, 2021. Marleau is skating in his 1,757th game. Only one other player in NHL history has hit that mark. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Tony Avelar
Patrick Marleau set to break Gordie Howe’s record for most NHL games played

Marleau was set to suit up for the 1,768th time Monday

FILE - In this Saturday April 17, 2021 file photo, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II follows the coffin in a car as it makes it’s way past the Round Tower during the funeral of Britain’s Prince Philip inside Windsor Castle in Windsor, England. Now that the Royal Family has said farewell to Prince Philip, attention will turn to Queen Elizabeth II’s 95th birthday on Wednesday, April 21 and, in coming months, the celebrations marking her 70 years on the throne. This combination of events is reminding the United Kingdom that the reign of the queen, the only monarch most of her subjects have ever known, is finite. (Leon Neal/Pool via AP, file)
Queen enters ‘twilight’ of reign after farewell to Philip

Charles’ increased role began gradually

This combination photo shows Oscar nominees for best actress, from left, Viola Davis in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” Andra Day in “The United States vs Billie Holiday,” Vanessa Kirby in “Pieces of a Woman,” Frances McDormand in “Nomadland and Carey Mulligan in Promising Young Woman.” (Netflix, from left, Hulu, Netflix, Searchlight Pictures, Focus Features via AP)
Oscar predictions: Can anything beat ‘Nomadland’?

Best actress race is perhaps the biggest wild card

Letter: Restrictions have nothing to do with religion

Many have framed the closure of GraceLife Church near Edmonton by Alberta… Continue reading

LtE bug
Letter: Thanking volunteers in Red Deer

National Volunteer Week is April 18 to 24. At the Canadian Cancer… Continue reading

Letter to the editor
Letter: Good on MLAs for speaking out

This is a letter in regard to MLAs not standing united behind… Continue reading

Most Read