Chicks & Ducklings

Wild Acres is a small family-owned breeder farm that hatches rare and heritage chicks, Runner ducklings, turkey poults and goslings by pre-order for gate sales only. We do not ship poultry or waterfowl. 

Please Note:

  • We started taking orders on Nov. 1st and we are already sold out for April and May for our hatching eggs, chicks and ducklings.
  • Any new orders placed for product that is available will not shipped or be picked up until sometime in June as we work through our order queue.  
  • If it is not in our online store, then we are sold out or it is not available for 2022. 

Don’t count your chickens before they hatch as fertile eggs are never a guarantee as to how many chicks will hatch for you. Losses occur with developing eggs and freshly hatched chicks, regardless of your skills with an incubator or the hen that was supposed to do her job.

Only the strongest should survive as Mother Nature intended. Chicks can die for no apparent reason, especially within the first few weeks after they hatch because they cannot regulate their own temperature until they are older. Be vigilant in your care of them and remember that chicks that are weak or rescued from unhatched eggs do not promote a healthy or sustainable flock.

Poultry and Waterfowl Sale Policies: (Please Read)

    • Purchasing from us means you accept and agree to our terms and conditions.
    • Please ensure that you have read/researched poultry or waterfowl needs prior to purchasing in order to be fully prepared for taking on their daily requirements and the lifelong commitments. 
    • We do not vaccinate our chicks nor our adult birds.
    • Chicks and ducklings are pick-up only at our farm gate (we no longer ship chicks or ducklings). 
    • We do not sell or ship pullets, laying hens nor other adult birds.
    • Pre-ordered day-old unsexed chicks are only available for pick-up at our farm in May and June.
    • Pick-ups and are usually pre-arranged for Sunday afternoons, depending on breed availability and the current order queue.
    • There is a 4-chick minimum order.
    • All our chicks, duckings, goslings and turkey poults are sold straight run/unsexed, which works out to approximately 50% male and 50% female but there are no guarantees of sex on unsexed chicks or waterfowl. 
    • The rule of thumb for ordering chicks is to order twice as many chicks as you would want hens.
    • Due to biosecurity reasons, we do not take back any birds once they are hatched or purchased and leave our property.
    • Please do not drive or walk into our farmyard as our flock health is a priority. 
    • We will meet you at the gate when you pick up your chicks, ducklings or eggs.
    • We do test hatches and check for fertility prior to sales to ensure quality chicks and hatching eggs. 
    • Our chicks have all been hand raised and they are handed over to you in good health with the potential to live a long and productive life. 
    • Once the chicks, poults or waterfowl, leave our property they become your own responsibility and we are not liable for any unexpected health issues or losses which may occur. 
    • We cannot guarantee the long-term health of your birds, their longevity or the number of eggs that they will lay as these depend on many factors that are beyond our control. 
    • New birds should be segregated and monitored for at least 30 days before entering your existing flock. 
    • Wild birds and other animals such as mice can carry a range of disease-causing viruses, parasites and bacteria.
    • Ensure that your birds and their food and water are kept away from wild animals.
    • Promptly clean up spilled feed and litter, and keep feed in sealed, waterproof containers to avoid attracting unwanted guests and to protect it from becoming contaminated.
    • In order to hold your place in queue we require a 20% deposit on chicks and ducklings paid via Interac email transfer.
    • Sorry, No Personal Cheques, PayPal or Visa.
    • We do not refund deposits on chicks, poults, waterfowl nor eggs unless we can’t supply the order.
    • Prior to pick-up at the farm gate final payments can be made by Interac email transfer to info@wildacres.ca (We will also accept cash at our farm gate).
    • Emails are preferred, and we can answer questions more readily this way as well.
    • We show poultry and breed towards the Standard of Perfection, but we cannot guarantee show quality with poultry, waterfowl or hatching eggs.
    • See our price/breed list for more information.
    • We offer many care tips on our website, but we cannot guarantee your success rate as each home environment is unique. 

We do not guarantee show quality. It is possible to get show quality from us but not every bird is worthy of the show. Some birds grow faster, some are smaller, some have better feather quality or colour and some a more correct body, tail or comb according to the APA Standards. We usually separate the smaller chicks and or pullets during their growth stage from the larger breeds or cockerels to ensure they get the nutrition they need for proper vitality and growth. 

When raising poultry and waterfowl a lot depends on their feed, their daily care, their environment and how their growth is affected by the changing weather or your unique climate. We cull hundreds of birds and chose only a few for the show or our breeding pens. Some birds just end up as layers in our main coop and that is ok too. 

We do not ship to the USA or Internationally.

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PRICES AND AVAILABILITY:  
See our price/breed list or online store webpage for more details

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 Deposits hold your place in the queue and reserve your order.

 Payments for Poultry and Waterfowl Orders can be made by:
Interac Email Transfers to info@wildacres.ca

Payments for Pick-Up Orders can be made by:
Cash at the gate
Interac Email Transfers prior to pick up.
Sorry, No Personal Cheques, PayPal or Visa

 

Ordering a Standard Size Chick Box Package:
(that can hold up to 25 unsexed day-old chicks) 
When you are picking up day-old chicks or ducklings and travelling more than an hour from our farm you will need a standard chick box package as day-old chicks/ducklings cannot regulate their own temperature until they are a few weeks old. 

A Standard Chick Box Package Contains:
a 72-hour heat pack, GroGel Plus-B and a chick nesting pad by order for $30.

For customers who live within an hour of our farm we can supply a regular small box with air holes and shavings.

72-Hour UniHeat Pack : 38C (100F) placed underneath the nesting pad


These are Jersey Giant Chicks from Wild Acres.

Standard Size Chick Box for 25 chicks, 12″ X 10″ X 7″ (6″ headroom) The holes in the box are 9/16″

Image result for Grogel   GroGel Plus-B

The nesting pad in the chick box will keep the babies from sliding around in the box during the transit the to their new home. The standard sized chick box also comes with GroGel Plus-B for the chicks to eat as well as a 72 hr. UniHeat Pack that will keep your chicks at 38C (100F). GroGel Plus-B provides immediate nutrition and hydration for all baby poultry in a very concentrated and digestible form. GroGel Plus-B mixes easily with water to form a shiny green, edible gel that reverses dehydration and provides critical nutrients and probiotic bacteria.

Caring for Chicks: (Disclaimer: We can only supply tips for raising poultry, but every household is unique and we do not guarantee your success rate.  Please see our  Care Tips | Wild Acres  webpage for more information.)


18 inch cardboard brooder guard and beginner poultry kits and or accessories can be found at your local feed store. 

No matter how they arrive at your home, chicks all need the same care if they aren’t raised by a hen. The crucial elements for successfully raising newborn chicks come down to the following: 

Heat: Chicks need a safe heat source and a constant temperature between 32 degrees Celsius or 89.6 degrees Fahrenheit. A 250-watt incandescent bulb, safely attached, will do the trick. Use a 18 inch cardboard brooder guard to keep out drafts. Please set up your broody area prior to picking up your chicks and ducking’s. Chicks and ducklings cannot regulate their temperature until they start to grow feathers and are a few weeks old.


We like to use this style of chick feeder for freshly hatched chicks. Line the bottom of your chick brooder area with paper towel during the first few days. Sprinkle feed onto the paper towel around the feeder and encourage the chicks to eat. This can be used for up to about 12 chicks. Use a second feeder or a larger one for more chicks. Do not put the feeder directly under the light as it will heat up. Shavings can be added to the brooder area after the chicks know how to feed themselves. 

Food: Feed your chicks commercial chick starter for the first two months. If you are new to owning chicks medicated feed is a good idea. Wild Acres uses medicated chick starter and many of our poultry friends do as well. We wean them off medicated and slowly add non-medicated chick starter as they move into the pullet stage.  They should always have feed in their brooder. Scatter food on a paper towel flooring or shop towels the first few days and place the feeder in the middle but not directly under the heat. After a few days add pine shavings slowly to the brooder area and raise the feeder or hang it up. This ensures that the shavings and poop stay out of the food.

This is our favourite starter waterer for freshly hatched chicks. It can be used with a small base or a larger one. We prefer the smaller quail base as the chicks cannot get as much dirt/shavings into the base of it, the brooder area stays drier and so do the chicks. Do not put it directly under the heat lamp as it will warp. We add apple cider vinegar and Electrovite to the water for vitality. This will work for up to 12 chicks. You will need a second one or a larger one for more chicks. We find two smaller waterers work the best in our brooder area. 

Water: Always have a chick waterer available.  Dip their beaks in the water a few times when they first hatch or arrive home to show them where it is. Clean the waterer daily and raise it up on wooden or cement blocks as the chicks grow to keep it out of the dirty shavings or poop.


Electrovite and Poul-Vite can be found at your local feed store and in hardware stores that carry farm supplies. 

We like to add a pinch or two of Electrovite DVL (vitamins and electrolytes) and tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (Bragg) to a chick gallon waterer. Do not use ACV in a metal waterer as it will cause rust. Use it in a plastic waterer only with apple cider vinegar. Electrovite DVL can be found at your local feed or may be found at your hardware store if they carry other poultry or livestock supplies.

Wild Acres prefers to use Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar especially with our youngest chicks, poults and waterfowl as it contains the amazing Mother of Vinegar, which occurs naturally as strand-like enzymes of connected protein molecules. Certified organic Bragg organic raw apple cider vinegar is unfiltered, unheated and unpasteurized.

Our Chicks feather out quicker and are a lot healthier when compared to chicks given the regular filtered apple cider vinegar. We find Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar also benefits our own health and it tastes great mixed in salads. You can find it at your local grocery store.  

Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar Details

  • Rich in enzymes & potassium
  • Support a healthy immune system
  • Helps control weight
  • Promotes digestion & PH Balance
  • Helps soothe dry throats
  • Helps remove body sludge toxins
  • Helps maintain healthy skin
  • Helps promote youthful, healthy bodies
  • Soothes irritated skin

The Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits for Poultry and Waterfowl:

*Reduces intestinal and fecal odors. *Aids in digestion. *Helps to break down minerals and fats.
*Assists the animal to assimilate proteins. *Assists the animal to convert food better.
*It lowers the pH of the digestive tract which will make an environment less welcoming to pathogens therefore may reduce common infections and increases resistance to disease. *Improves stamina and fertility. *It is a great overall tonic that will improve the general well-being of the animal.
If started while Birds are young (1-1/2 to 2 weeks), birds
*Will feather out quicker. *Are hardier. *Grow to their potential sooner when used with an adequate feed. *Apple Cider Vinegar is rich in the vitamins, minerals and trace elements found in apples, especially potassium. * It will normalize pH levels in the stomach, improve digestion and the assimilation of nutrients. *Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) won’t work as a “Natural” Wormier it has little effect on worms.
Cautions:
Do not use metal water dishes (except stainless steel).
Vinegar should not be used internally with animals that have an irritated lining of the intestinal tract.
Do not use Apple Cider Vinegar while treating for worms or coccidiosis.

An article from the Chicken Chick:
Chicken Heat Stress, Dehydration and Homemade Electrolyte Solution
http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/07/chicken-heat-stress-dehydration-and/
“Acidified water affects laying hens by making the calcium in her feed a little less digestible (based on chemistry….calcium is a positive ion, and dissociates better in a more alkaline environment). Professional farmers regularly add baking soda to their feed when heat stress is expected….this maintains egg shell quality when hens’ feed consumption drops due to the heat.”
In summary, during high heat conditions, baking soda facilitates calcium absorption while vinegar inhibits it. SKIP the vinegar in the heat, opting for an electrolyte solution instead.
An article from Fresh Eggs Daily:
http://www.fresheggsdaily.com/2012/07/hot-weather-acidosis-and-homemade.html
Temperatures between 55-75F (12.77-23.88C) are optimal, anything higher starts to cause stress to their bodies.

Arrival: Prepare your brooder, heat source, food and waterer before chicks arrive home. As soon as your chicks arrive, place them in a brooder. Too much handling can wear them out, cause stress and sickness. Keep the chick area draft free as chicks cannot regulate their own temperature for the first few weeks of their lives until they grow feathers.

You can buy a brooder or make one yourself. It’s basically an enclosed pen with a good heat source such as a 250-watt heat lamp or electric brooder hen for chicks. A large metal dog crate with 18-inch brooder paper added around the inside or outside to ward off drafts works well. You can hang the heat lamp inside if it is large enough or mount it on top.

We generally hang two lights per broody pen. A regular 250-watt heat lamp and a secondary lower wattage red reptile light. It works well during the hotter summer months or as the chicks grow older. Red reptile lighting systems can be found in your local pet store and they come in 50-150 wattage. The brooder environment should be large enough to provide at least one-half of a square foot per chick.

Chicks dehydrate during transit so place each chick’s beak in the waterer a few times when they arrive so they know where to drink. For best results, provide chicks in the brooder with at least two waterers and one or two feed sources. Keep the waters and feed fairly close to the heat source but not directly under it.

We use diatomaceous earth (DE). It can be bought at your feed store. It is a white fine powder that can be sprinkled on the floor of the brooder before adding the shavings on top. The diatomaceous earth keeps the brooder and chicks dry, it acts as a beginner grit for them too. They will eat some of it but do not be alarmed. It assists with their digestion and the will aid in keeping the smell of ammonia down in their poop/brooder. We also use it in our hens’ nesting boxes under the straw to assist in keeping pests at bay and under the shavings in our coop.

Growing Up: As the chicks get older, you can lower the temperature in the brooder by about five degrees each week or switch to a lower wattage. When the outside temperature is about the same as the brooder temperature, you can move the chicks to a secure outdoor coop but continue to supply heat until they are fully feathered out.

At about eight weeks of age, most chicks have feathers but don’t be too quick to introduce them to the great outdoors without making sure they are ready for it. We do not introduce our pullets or cockerels to the adult birds until they have had a few months of living on their own in an outside pen. In this way the pullets and cockerels can get used to the climate and we introduce grains into their diet and provide grit gradually over time.

The fenced in younger birds watch the older hens and they slowly adjust to seeing each other over time. When we release the younger pullets or cockerels they are almost the same size as the rest of our flock and they have strengthened their immune systems gradually to the outdoor weather, the bacteria etc. The older hens are less likely to pick on the younger ones as they have gotten used to seeing each other.   

Bantams and smaller breeds grow slower than layer breeds will need more time with the heat lamps and a higher source of protein during the growth period than the dual-purpose and larger breed chicks. We continue to give bantam chickens and smaller breeds a higher source of protein their entire lives. 

Question: Do you check for mg or other diseases on a regular basis?

We take every precaution and observe our poultry with keen eyes daily to ensure the health of our birds. Having smaller flocks in a free-range setting for most of the year makes this easier for us as we can readily see when a bird is not running around and behaving as it should be.

We observe our birds daily and remove and cull all weak or sick birds immediately. We do not use antibiotics or vaccines, so our poultry health is of the utmost importance. We are also on good terms with our veterinarians and they visit our farm a few times a year or when we need them.

Due to our biosecurity measures, our chickens yearly free ranging habits and our selective breeding program we have not had any major diseases and we have noticed that our flocks grow in vigor each year. We have been breeding our chickens and waterfowl since 2013. Each generation of that particular breed is bred for improved vigor, temperament, egg quality and APA standards.

We always meet customers at the gate for pick up orders and we do not allow farm visits or sold birds to return to our property. All new stock is brought in by hatching eggs only and we do not buy or sell adult birds. 

We show birds periodically and most of our flock is between 1-4 years of age.  We have shown our birds at the IPE, National Poultry Show, Fall Feast and Winter Poultry Show. Any birds showing the slightest signs of anything before the show are eliminated by USA or Canadian judges, so we are very careful about having very healthy birds. 

We want to win and keep our good reputation, so we strive to improve our breed lines every year. We wash, dry and feed the show birds extra goodies before, during and after the shows. We also quarantine them before and after the shows.   

Throughout the year and especially during the breeding season we spend a lot of money on high quality feed and our developing food forest. We supplement with more added protein in our chicken’s flock as well as Non-GMO pellets. We give our birds extra vitamins/minerals and apple cider vinegar year-round. We also provide food enhancements such as grains, seeds, fruits, vegetables, alfalfa, garlic, kelp and herbs.

We only hatch eggs that are inspected for cleanliness, cracks, shell thickness, shape, colour and meet the correct criteria for that breed. We cull chicks that do not hatch well or show any signs of weakness and we continue to assess our chicks and chickens throughout their lives. We retain only the best for breeding and we strive for healthy strong chickens that meet the APA standards as much as possible.

Our top show hens are in our breeding pens and through most of the year we let them out to free range. Our top roosters are in special rooster pens or separated during breeding season. We keep several pens of unrelated roosters and pick out only the best show quality ones for breeding. We prefer 1-3-year-old roosters for breeding purposes and we generally use two roosters or more together to aid in the gene pool.  

All of our poultry is regularly dewormed and inspected throughout the year. Each one is marked with a coloured leg band so I know who has been inspected and what year they were in the breeding pen.  If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.