You've been approved for urban hens... Congrats! Now, be sure to get a pet sitter to match!
Back in late 2021, the City of Calgary announced a new "urban hen program" under its updated Pet Ownership Bylaw. This new program would allow people living within the city limits to apply for a license to keep hens in their backyards. This announcement was received with great enthusiasm by many, and understandably with some reservation by others.
Additional details related to the new program were revealed in March 2022, including a (long) list of requirements for owners to apply for a license. Applications were accepted until April 18th, and 100 licenses were awarded via lottery at the end of that month. If the new program is successful in 2022, it is likely that more licenses will be issued in 2023.
You can find more information about the City of Calgary's "Urban Hen Program" HERE.
One of the requirements to apply for a license was to attend a two-day urban hen training class called "Urban Chicken 101", presented by Alberta Farm Animal Care. Kathleen, the owner of Paskapoo Pet Services, immediately jumped at the opportunity to become trained and certified. This course covered all the essentials such as regulations, proper housing, care conditions and health concerns. Additional resources and a Q&A session were also available to attendees.
Based on the attendance to the very first Urban Chicken training class, it was evident there is great interest regarding urban hens in Calgary!
Just like cats, dogs and bunnies, urban hens require adequate and professional care when their owners need to absent themselves from home. This is why Paskapoo Pet Services is happy to be the first company offering professional pet sitting (home visits) for these new feathered citizens this summer! :)
As we only offer services in the NorthWest of the city, it is possible we may not be able to help every hen owner in the city. So what should you look for when hiring someone to care for your precious urban hens?
Here's a few tips.
- Hire someone who is properly insured for taking care of urban hens.
In today's world, hiring a service provider who doesn't carry proper liability insurance is a no-no. Furthermore, not all insurance policies will cover pet sitters for the care of urban hens. "Pet sitters" listed on on-demand apps are considered sub-contractors and will not have adequate coverage (nor any experience) when it comes to taking care of hens.
Paskapoo Pet Services has confirmed in writing with their insurance provider that they are fully covered for the care of urban hens.
- Hire someone who is trained and certified in how to properly care for hens and their specific needs, including sanitation protocols.
At Paskapoo, we strongly believe in education and training. That is why we got trained and certified at the first opportunity. The care of chickens is also covered as part of PSI's CPPS certification.
Furthermore, with the avian flu going around, cleanliness and sanitation are of the utmost importance for us.
- Hire someone who has an excellent track record and solid pet sitting experience.
With more than 15,000 pet sitting assignments under our belt, we have the experience that not a lot of other pet sitters in Calgary can claim to have. We have never missed a visit since our soft opening, back in 2013. Sadly, we can't say the same for a lot of other hobbyist sitters out there.
When your chickens will need to be taken care of, we will be there.
What is included in Paskapoo's Pet Sitting Service for Urban Hens?
Two visits per day (between 6-9 am, and again between 4-9 pm)
Feeding and water (as per instructions)
Inspection of the coop
Temperature and humidity checks
Collection of the eggs (our favorite part!)
Spot cleaning and disinfection
Head count and wellness check on each bird
Twice-daily online reports with photos
Care for the other pets of the household (as per instructions)
House Security Checks