Farmer Spotlight – The Crazy Chicken Lady
We’re celebrating our local egg farmers on Sunday, April 21st at our annual Spring Eggstravaganza at Hastings Park! In light of this egg-citing event, we asked The Crazy Chicken Lady to share a bit about her farm so we could get to know her better.
This year Hilliar Farms a.k.a. The Crazy Chicken Lady joined the VFM roster and has been a regular at the Hastings Park Market and made a few appearances at the Riley Park Winter Market. Kristin and her husband own and operate a small farm in Agassiz with their son and twin daughters. You’ll usually find Kristin and her daughter Charlie (whom shoppers have affectionately nicknamed “Crazy Chicken Lady Junior”) selling their free run eggs and ringing the market opening and closing bells. This summer, Hilliar Farms will be alternating an every other week schedule at the Downtown Market and the Riley Park Summer Market.
Q: We love the Crazy Chicken Lady name! Where did you get the name?
A: When I got my first chickens my husband starting calling me the crazy chicken lady. I am very protective of my chickens and eventually people started calling me that, and then they would see a t-shirt with the crazy chicken lady on it and buy them for me — I have quite a few ;). I guess it was because I was always talking about my chickens lol. Once I decided to start doing markets I instantly had a vision for the logo and the name fit perfectly. I think it gives people a laugh and then they meet me and they are like “You really are the crazy chicken lady”
Q: How long have you been farming? Why did you choose chickens?
A: 4 years ago we decided to move our family to acreage (I grew up in Coquitlam and moved to Harrison Hot Springs after meeting my husband) and we knew we wanted to have a few chickens to get our own eggs and give our kids a little farming experience. I ended up buying a small chicken coop and 14 chickens off a friend. We got 14 eggs a day which was more than we could eat and I started posting on Facebook to friends and family to see if they wanted any eggs. It took off and then I needed 30 more chickens, then 50 more, then another building. The more chickens I got the more eggs I sold and I couldn’t keep up with demand. Before I knew it I had a small lot (a permit for 399 chickens from BC Egg). I really just fell in love with my chickens. Last Spring my husband and I built a barn which was ready this past October, we had outgrown both of our chicken coops.
Q: What types of chickens do you have? Can you tell us a bit about how you care for them?
A: Most of our chickens are Bovans, which are brown chickens that lay brown eggs. We also have 3 heritage birds, Rosemary is a turken chicken, Mustard is a Buff Orpington, and Salt a Cuckoo Maran. My kids named the Heritage Birds.We built a large barn where the chickens run free (free range) with a huge door that we can open to let the fresh air and sun in during dry weather. In the morning at dawn we have automatic doors that open up to let the girls out to a covered outdoor run where they can dust bathe and enjoy the outdoors irregardless of weather. From there we have 3 doors that open up into the pasture where the girls can run and play in a lightly forested area where we rotate fencing to keep a fresh pasture. It’s really important to us that our chickens live their best natural life possible. In the pasture they get to forage for bugs, seeds and dust bathe, climb on branches and just be “chickens”.
Q: What do you do when you’re not farming or at at market?
Q: What brought you to the Vancouver Farmers Markets? What do you love most about VFM so far?