Toronto Backyard Chicken Pilot 0
Great news Toronto! In certain wards, backyard chickens are allowed as part of a city-run pilot project.
To celebrate, we are offering 10% off your coop order and free shipping to all residents of Toronto. Just use discount code TORONTOPILOT and select "Free shipping 150km of Toronto" on checkout. This offer runs for the month of October.
Here are the details of the pilot project. If you have any questions about chicken keeping, drop us a line! 1-877-672-4755
Toronto Backyard Chickens Pilot Project:
1. Notwithstanding that chickens are currently on the List of Prohibited Animals in Toronto, City Council authorize the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards to develop and implement a pilot program as soon as possible and at least prior to the end of October, 2017 permitting backyard hens in Wards 5, 13, 21 and 32 for a period of up to three years from the date of implementation, with an interim review after 18 months. Such pilot program is to include the following conditions:
a. participants in the pilot program must register, as directed, with the City and must be the owner or lawful occupant of the property;
b. only residential properties are permitted to be registered. Neither apartment buildings, condominium buildings, nor properties without sufficient outdoor space to house the hens, as determined by the Executive Director, Municipal, Licensing and Standards will be permitted;
c. limit of four backyard hens per property;
d. participants agree to permit City staff to attend and inspect the property as deemed necessary to fulfill the purposes of the pilot program, and compliance with applicable bylaws;
e. participants shall agree to terms and conditions satisfactory to the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards prior to keeping hens on the owner's property;
f. no roosters are permitted;
g. participants must comply with Chapter 349, Article III, Care of Animals and all other applicable laws;
h. hens must remain on the owner's property, and further, any hen found off the property of the owner will be considered at large in the City; and
i. the eggs produced are for personal consumption. The sale, or offering for sale, or any other type of distribution is prohibited.
Hands On Chicken Seminar - Extra Date! 0
After selling out the last event, we've added an extra date on October 28th!
Spend a morning in the Humber Arboretum with a backyard flock of chickens! A coop and flock of hens will be present for this fun learning experience. Learn all about how to raise your own egg laying flock. Topics of discussion will include chicken handling, feeding and watering, health, bylaws, coops and much more. Participants will leave with a good understanding of how to keep chickens of their own.
Four Legs or Wings Pets will be on site with their Eglu Cube and Eglu Go Up chicken coops to try out as well as some laying hens.
This is an outdoor event, so please dress for the weather. Access to facilities will be available. This event has limited spacing.
Participants at this event will be given a $50 credit towards the purchase of any Eglu coop or walk in run. Conditions apply.
For full details and tickets, visit: chickensinthearb2.eventbrite.com
- Four Legs or Wings Pets
Plastic Coops vs Wooden Coops 0
We get asked a lot about what makes a plastic coop like our line of Eglu better than a traditional wood construction coop. Let's look at the differences between the two coop types.
When investing in anything, longevity of a product is very important. You don't want to purchase something two or three times. Buying a poorly made wooden coop you may find yourself replacing it after a few seasons. Better quality wooden coops made with the right materials will last longer before they need maintenance.
Our plastic coops have a very long lifespan! No need to replace your coop after a few years of use. Rain, snow or sun, doesn't deteriorate the UV stabilized plastic. The plastic in our coops isn't the same you find in cheap kids toys or patio sets. Ours were designed to live long lives outside all year round.
Wooden coops need increased maintenance the older they get. Paint peels, wood rots, fasteners loosen and thin galvanized mesh wears through. Every couple of years you may have to repaint or replace wooden parts that have taken a beating from the weather.
The only maintenance you'll have to complete on a plastic coop is cleaning out any poop and dirty bedding, and giving things a good hosing down to get it back in spotless condition.
Pests & Mites
If you get pests like mites in your coop, they can be quite a challenge to get rid off and it may take weeks of regular cleaning and spraying with solutions to control. In wooden coops, mites can find spots to hide away from the spraying and cleaning you're doing to get rid of them. Once you think you have the problem dealt with, they reappear and you have to start again. Mites will hide in corners where sheets of wood meet as well as in knots and grain found in wood and plywood.
With our plastic coops, there aren't any hiding spots for the pests to hide away in. All of the component that make our plastic coops come apart for easy cleaning and disinfecting. Mites don't stand a chance and the problem is quickly dealt with.
Still have more questions? Give us a call toll free 1-877-672-4755 or contact us by email.
Chickens in Winter? 0
We get a lot of questions about keeping chickens in the Canadian winter. Most people are amazed how easy it is to keep them, even here in the great (and cold) white north.
What breeds are good for winter?
Most breeds sold in Canada are winter hardy. Sex links, Chanteclers, Barred Rocks and Orpingtons are few worth mentioning. All breeds of chickens will grow in extra feathers as the weather cools to prepare them for the winter.
Do your coops work in Canadian winters?
The line of Omlet coops work great in Canadian winters! We have tested them without any issue. The hens were happy, warm and laying eggs even on the coldest of days!
Do I need heat in winter?
Adding a heat lamp or heater to a coop is a big no-no! Your hens won't grow in any extra feathers to help them acclimatize to the cooling weather and if the power were to go out (as it tends to do in winter) your birds will freeze quite quickly.
How do I keep my hens cozy in the run?
Your hens will behave the same way as they do in summer if you can stop snow and wind getting into the run. Using our run covers, you can create wind blocks and cover from the elements. Chickens only have issues with the cold when the draft parts their feathers and cools down their bodies. No draft, no cold birds.
Will they go outside? Do I need to leave food in the coop?
Your hens will happily leave the coop all winter as long as the run is snow and wind free. If you free range, you may find some of your birds a little reluctant to wander around in the snow.
Food and water should only be available to your flock in the run. Putting food or water in the coop is unnecessary and will create extra mess and moisture in the coop. There are no benefits to food or water in the coop.
Will the water freeze?
Once the temperature regularly dips below 0°C your water will freeze. You can change the water throughout the day, replacing the ice with water or you can use a heated chicken waterer.
Will the eggs freeze?
It takes a few hours, but your eggs will freeze. We find it best to check for eggs more often in the winter to avoid cracked shells.
Where can I get chickens in Canada? 0
Chickens are pretty easy to find for your backyard flock. We've listed a few places to start having a look and talking to people.
There are lots of great Facebook groups for poultry keepers. Avoid the US based ones as transporting birds across the border is a nightmare you probably wouldn't want. In Canada a good group is Ontario Poultry Fanciers and Hobbyists. You'll also find there are probably local groups as well like Toronto Chickens or Vancouver Island Backyard Chickens and Ducks.
Although hatcheries usually service larger farms, many are happy to sell a few hens for a small flock. Most hatcheries require you to preorder but sometimes they will have last minute cancellations and be able to find a few birds for you. In Ontario, Frey's Hatchery in St.Jacob's is becoming quite popular with backyard enthusiasts but there are many others to choose from.
Online classified websites like Kijiji are a fantastic place to look for birds. Many farm with small breeding flocks use it to sell of their extra birds.
Tips for purchasing chickens 0
If you've never purchased chickens before, you might not know what to look for or what to get. We've compiled some tips that will help you make an informed decision when starting your flock.
If you're new to hens, dealing with a reputable breeder or hatchery is the easiest. Go online and read some reviews from past customers. A good breeder will only sell the best birds and make sure you go home happy.
What age of birds?
There are 3 ages of birds you can purchase:
Day old chicks: These birds are straight-run meaning they aren't sexed, so you could end up with roosters. Unless the bird is a sex-link variety, it's not possible to tell a male from a female. These chicks will require special care and will not be able to live outside in the coop for a few months.
Started chicks: These birds are a little older (age depends on the breeder) but still need some extra care and time before going outside.
Ready-to-lay: These chickens are guaranteed to be hens, so you won't have a rooster crowing you awake every day! They are usually 16-22 weeks old and are either laying or just about to come into lay. These birds are the easiest to start with as they can go straight out into the coop.
Birds that are over a year-and-a-half old are sold off quite cheap as their most productive laying period is coming to an end and they are going to start slowing down. These birds will still happily lay eggs for you, but they won't as vigorously as a young ready-to-lay will.
When purchasing birds, give them a once over. Bald patches, cuts or sores, scaly legs are all signs of health issues. These birds may be sick, have parasites or have begun pecking. Look for birds with clear eyes, good comb colour and clean flat feathers.
Bring a box
When you buy chickens, they don't come packaged up. You need to bring an animal carrier or cardboard box that the breeder will put your hens in so you can transport them home. A cubic foot per bird is ample. In the bottom of the box it helps to put down some pine shavings or an old towel to stop them from slipping.
Avoid getting a rooster if all you're interested in is egg production. Hens lay eggs without a rooster around. Your neighbours will thank you for stick to hens only.
- Four Legs or Wings Pets