Gate Sale Policies:
Biosecurity Measures and Covid-19
Pick ups are done at our farm gate and are usually prearranged for Sunday afternoons from late March through July by set time and appointment only. We have one customer arriving at a time, every hour or half hour and biosecurity measures will be in place. All hatching eggs, chicks or ducklings are pre-ordered and paid for by Interac email transfers prior to their pick up. We are not accepting cash at this time.
Please park your vehicles outside the farm gate. This is where our gate sales transactions well occur. You will be able to see many of our chickens, turkeys and waterfowl from our gate entrance and the road adjacent to our property.
You can call us upon your arrival at 250-309-4142 cell or our house number 250-309-4142 or ring the bell by the gate. We will meet you at the farm gate with the hatching eggs, chicks, turkey poults, ducklings, goslings or eating eggs. Thank you.
At Wild Acres, we are dedicated to preserving rare and heritage poultry through our constructive old-fashioned breeding program. Heritage birds are bred specifically to live outdoors rather than in a climate-controlled barn. Their hardiness comes from breeding them so that they can withstand cold winters and hot summers. The diversity of eggs and the vigorous flock appearance is a reminder of the diverse genetics and the valuable heritage breeds worth preserving.
We are designing, planting and working towards a more permaculture type set up with a food forest that will allow our flock to forage for their own food for a good portion of the year. Our heritage breeds are fed a rich wholesome diet that includes: whole grains, greens, fruit, high quality Non-GMO feed, vitamins, minerals and apple cider vinegar daily.
We set high standards as we enter our stock in poultry competitions. We cannot enter any birds that are ill or will become ill during a show. We would be asked to leave the show if they were and we want to maintain our good reputation with the Vernon Pigeon and Poultry Club and their associates as well as our customers.
We always strive to improve poultry and waterfowl stock with each generation through careful selection by using biosecurity measures and culling any bird that is weak or shows lack of vigor. We have never had Mareks or any other major disease and we intend to keep it that way. We operate as a closed breeding program and we only purchase and exchange hatching eggs on occasion with other reputable breeders.
We do not sell adult birds or pullets. Adult birds can stress out and become sick if moved from their home environment. Therefore, if we do purchase an adult bird from a reputable breeder it is put into a quarantined area and monitored. We have only purchased a few adult birds at the National Poultry Show in 2017 and they have all remained healthy. We do not sell laying hens or other adult birds and we do not refund chicks or take back any birds once they are hatched or purchased and leave our property due to biosecurity reasons.
Wild Acres culls poultry that shows any signs of weakness, birth deformities or is the wrong colour. We prefer to follow guidelines like the law of ten, which points out that a target of thirty offspring should be set to simply find one good trio – sixty to find two trios to retain as breeders. We are breeding for a strong, disease resistant flock with an old-fashion approach. Our birds need to be able to free range, scratch in the dirt and drink water out of a puddle without issue as their ancestors did.
We are members of the American Poultry Association and we breed towards their standards but we cannot guarantee show quality. Each year we hatch hundreds of chicks, raise them, cull them as needed and then we make careful selections for poultry shows and our breeding pens. Our show birds are used in the Wild Acres breeding program.
We do not vaccinate our flock or chicks or use antibiotics. We believe in a more holistic approach to raising our poultry and waterfowl. We use Electrovite, apple cider vinegar, powered kelp or poultry vitamins for both our adult birds and chicks. Sometimes chicks can be at risk of Perosis (slipped tendon) when their diet is deficient in manganese or some of the following vitamins: choline, nicotic acid, pyridoxine, biotin or folic acid. These vitamin deficiencies which can lead to, an irreversible condition affecting the hock joints and it may look like Marek’s disease. Perosis causes the joint to gradually twist out at a hideous angle, leaving the chick permanently crippled and the best thing you can do for the chick is to cull it.
Vaccines for poultry were developed to reduce the potential transmission of diseases among chickens kept in cramped commercial production facilities. It is important to remember inoculations are not a substitute for common sense, biosecurity and everyday hygiene.
Understanding the types of vaccines used by hatcheries:
There is considerable research that shows vaccines become ineffective beyond the 2 year mark. and heritage hens can live up to 8 years and some bantams can live longer. This means that your older hens no longer enjoy the protection they did when they were younger. It is worth remembering that vaccines are not always 100% effective in preventing the disease for which they are produced. Vaccination does not last forever and a hatchery pullet may still get a disease it was treated for at day old. There are many complex reasons as to why some vaccines may not work. Chickens are never given booster doses like other family pets.
Live vaccine – the active part of the vaccine is the live organism that causes the disease and is capable of inducing the disease in birds. Vaccinated birds, in many cases are able to infect non-vaccinated birds if housed together.
Attenuated vaccine – with this type of vaccine the organism has been weakened by special procedures during manufacture so that it has lost its ability to cause the serious form of the disease. The chickens contract a very mild form of the disease.
Killed vaccine – with this type of vaccine the organism has been killed and is unable to cause the disease, although the ability to trigger the immune system remains. As a rule the level of immunity produced by this form of vaccine is weaker than that produced by live and attenuated vaccines.
Biosecurity has become more of a concern since all of the antibiotics in Canada can only be purchased through a veterinarian. We do not use antibiotics with our flock but we do use and recommend medicated chick starter for growing poultry. We recommend feeding your chick medicated starter crumbles. H-Pro Chicken Medicated Starter is the chick feed we use, which is 21% protein to ensure strong growth and feather development. It contains essential minerals and vitamins to provide all the nutritional requirements of baby chicks. It is medicated with a coccidiostat to help build resistance to Coccidiosis. Any birds in our flock that do not meet the APA standards, becomes injured or show signs of weakness are culled.
We are on good terms with our local veterinarian who visits our farm as requested and who we consult with regularly. Monitoring the stock to ensure they are healthy, paying attention to cleanliness, supplying fresh water daily and making excellent feed choices are more important than ever.
Customers are not allowed in our breeding pens and we do not permit farm tours or visits. We meet all our customers at the gate. The risk of contamination coming in from outside sources is a potential threat to our birds, so in order to “protect our borders” from viruses and bacteria entering our property and threatening the health of our birds, we do not permit visitors to enter areas where our livestock are kept. However, you will be may able to see some of our birds free ranging through the fence near the gate entrance.
We practice segregation of different aged flocks to ensure health and livelihood. Our incubator room, chick cages and adult birds are all kept separate in individual buildings or breeding pens. Our pullets and cockerels are also divided into various pens until they are the same size as our adult birds and can fend for themselves in a free range environment.
When we do our chores we use specific overalls/clothes and farm boots/shoes and they are not worn off of our property. We want our chicks and poultry to remain safe and disease free. Thank you for understanding and helping us to keep our rare and heritage animals safe for future generations.