The last Poultry & Small Livestock Swap of 2020 drew a good crowd Saturday despite overcast skies and a bit of hail.
The event, organized by Wylie Bystedt, owner of Coyote Acres Ranch and the president of the Cariboo Central Interior Poultry Producers Association (CCIPPA), drew 10 vendors to the New Cal Rabbit Farm and Feed. This swap was the third and final one of the year, though they had initially been postponed due to COVID-19 concerns.
CCIPPA hosts workshops to educate people and hosts events like the poultry swap to bring like-minded people together. The group is interested in furthering poultry education and promoting the keeping of small livestock in the region. This includes chickens, geese, ducks, quails and rabbits, though chickens are by far the most popular Bystedt observed.
“We’re interested in helping to develop the economic development of local poultry production, so we want people to be able to have chickens in their backyards if they want to be able to breed, we want to help them with that and make sure they’re doing the best job they can,” Bystedt said.
Bystedt said she feels it’s important for the community to see what kind of variety is available when it comes to poultry as they are a wide range of chicken breeds that give you different coloured eggs and characteristics, like cold resistance, to cultivate.
“The more diverse your population is, the stronger it is in general,” Bystedt said. “(The swap) is like going to the farmers market, when you’re able to actually talk to the person who is growing and raising them there’s a benefit and education there. People can go and find the right animal that’s a good fit for them.”
Poultry raising is a lot easier to get into than people think, Bystedt said. Many people don’t realize that there is a supportive community out there for poultry and small livestock. In terms of food sustainability, she said it’s the way to go as there are feed stores in every community along with readily available supplies.
For those interested in taking it up or broadening their knowledge on the topic, there will be two workshops before the year is over at New Cal Rabbit Farm and Feed. One will be held near the end of October on egg production and pricing while the other will take place in November on poultry disease and management.