Jasmine Vickaryous – H5N1, a strain of the avian flu, is on the rise in the province and conservationists are urging Albertans to help limit the spread.
This article covers the growing concern that Avian Influenza is becoming Alberta and people can do to help the limit the spread to both wild birds, and their backyard flocks. Annemarie Pedersen from AFAC and Mark Boyce, Chair of Fisheries and Wildlife for the Alberta Conservation Association, both weigh in on the the issue and what practices should be implemented.
AgForLife – The Urban Hen Program is here in Calgary! As “eggs-citing” as this may be, many city-dwellers have no idea where to begin when starting a coop of their own.
This article interviews Cassandra Kirkpatrick, who is the instructor for all of the AFAC Urban Hen and Backyard Chicken programs. Here you can learn more about what to expect with urban chicken farming, how to care for your chickens, tips for building a coop, and more.
As urban and rural communities alike trade restaurants for coops and crowds for flocks, AFAC is excited to announce new sessions for its 2021 backyard chicken webinar series featuring hen expert Cassandra Kirkpatrick. Running from spring to fall, workshops cover a wide range of material that includes: coop design, breeds and flock behaviour, home care versus vet care and more. Registrants can expect to learn about bylaws and costs as well as obtain the certification needed to own backyard chickens in some municipalities.
The renewed interest in small flocks inspired programs that provide individuals with the tools and knowledge to care for their hens and provide the highest standards of animal welfare.
How the first Virtual Backyard Chicken Series was born
Early in April, there was a lot of thought given to what resources AFAC could provide to an Alberta that was now at home for the foreseeable future. With the interest growing in food sources and back-to-basics, as well as the resounding success of the virtual Livestock Care Conference, the idea of a virtual Urban Hen program was born. Cassandra Kirkpatrick, the facilitator of AFAC’s Urban Hen workshops since 2017, was quickly on board! With her enthusiastic support and hosting skills, the Virtual Backyard Chicken webinar series was brought to life over three weeknights in May.
This series covered flock health, handling, cost, by-laws, breeds, coop design, diseases, and more. This three-hour workshop, split into one hour sessions, covered the basics and the necessities when owning and raising backyard chickens. With a dedicated Q&A period after each session, each of the 52 registrants had a chance to ask their questions about their particular backyard flock venture.
Once the series came to an end, the registrants were given an opportunity to take a quiz and receive a certificate of completion. These certificates allowed them to meet potential permit requirements for their municipality and get started on their chicken adventures!
Within days of the series end, AFAC started to receive requests for yet another introductory series, as well as inquiries for more advanced content such as disease control and in-depth biosecurity. With that in mind, AFAC is proud to present the following:
Advanced Chicken Care Series will be running the month of July starting July 8th. These workshops will run once a week for four weeks covering a variety of in-depth topics. Take our Poll to help choose the four topics covered! This series is meant for those who have taken a workshop in backyard or small flock care or have prior experience. Registration to open soon!
And finally, AFAC is proud to bring a monthly feature, “Questions from the Coop”. On the third Tuesday evening of each month, a different poultry expert will join AFAC for a free Q&A session that will be open to anyone who has questions about their coop, feed and nutrition, bird health, or any other topic. The first session is on June 16th, watch our Facebook or Twitter accounts for the link to join!