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Do you wish to adopt some hatchings? These are the policies that you need to know.

Do you wish to adopt some hatchings? These are the policies that you need to know.

Good morning and welcome to Hatching Chicks. This video is being made to explain our new adoption policies to any school or person out there who wishes to take our hatchlings home at the end of the program.

Firstly, please let me thank you all for being part of our family. Hatching Chicks is a family owned and operated business and with your support we are growing every year. To the parents, thank you for supporting your children and their educators with this wonderful experience. And to the educators, please know that we appreciate your efforts in supporting our business and looking after our birds to the best of your ability.

Now please listen carefully as our adoption policies have significantly changed and there is an entirely new process which needs to be followed if you are interested in proceeding with adopting a new chick or duckling.

I will firstly explain what has changed, and then later in this video I will let you know why we are making these changes and what your next steps should be.

The most important change is that from now on there will be a formal adoption process for all birds at the end of the program. Any person who wishes to adopt will need to purchase the birds from our website at least 2 days prior to the collection date of the program on the second Friday.

The minimum purchase quantity will be 2 ducklings or 3 chicks. Before purchasing the birds, you will need to complete an Adoption Application to demonstrate your ability to care for them. This Adoption Application and a copy of the invoice will need to be provided to the school so that the educators are aware that the birds will be going to a safe and adequately provisioned home. I strongly recommend that adopted birds are taken home on the Thursday afternoon prior to the end of the program as this makes the Friday collection much easier for the educators.

If you want to adopt more birds than are available in your centre, we may be able to assist. Please proceed with your order before Wednesday afternoon and we may be able to allocate birds from a different centre to you. If we are unable to supply extra birds we will refund you your full purchase price with our apologies.

Under no circumstances will adoption be allowed after the cut off as we need to plan our driving routes carefully in order to minimise any impact on the hatchlings.

If any centres ignore this new policy - for example by allowing parents to take birds home without completing the adoption paperwork -  then we reserve the right to invoice the centre for those animals or perhaps even ban the centre from participating in future years.

The second big change is that we will no longer be offering a Rooster collection service. Part of completing the Adoption Application will be an acknowledgement that the new parent will maintain responsibility for the chicks regardless of if they turn out to be hens or roosters. So this is really important for any prospective parent to consider - if you cannot be responsible for roosters on an ongoing basis then do not adopt chicks. If you adopt these birds then they are your responsibility not ours. I cannot make this more clear.

So then, why are we making these changes? It actually comes down to 2 distinct factors - cost recovery and animal welfare.

Let's look into animal welfare first. When a bird is returned to us here at Hatching Chicks we know it will be looked after properly. Every single healthy bird that is returned to us is supplied back to our breeders or people who we know personally. Some are sold as chicks, but most of them are raised to adult stage and then sold to backyard poultry keepers. We are personally committed to the welfare of each bird, especially since some of these birds will end up being the parents of next year's program.

In contrast there are a lot of people who like adopting chicks because they have been free and then express annoyance when some of those chicks turn out to be roosters. Our new adoption policy will hopefully ensure that hatchings are only adopted by those people who do have the capacity and experience to look after them. If someone really wants some baby chicks but cannot have roosters then we can direct them to specialist breeders who can ensure they only receive female chicks.

This new policy will also assist in keeping the cost of our programs as low as possible for schools. Over the past 4 years we have only increased the cost of the program by 1% per annum despite inflation being above 4% per annum over this time. It makes sense to me that rather than raising the cost of the programs in these difficult times it is better to shift some of the costs of the program onto the people who wish to adopt the hatchlings.

So just a couple of final thoughts -

If you are an educator and your school is in a highly urban environment where it simply does not make sense to have locals adopting chicks - think inner Sydney suburbs - then feel free to not allow any parents to adopt from your centre. We will happily take all unwanted chicks and return them to our farmers in alignment with our goals and the relevant legislation.

And if you are a parent, please don’t adopt a hatchling just to make your child happy. A hatchling does not only need space in your home, but also in your heart. If you cannot do that, please reconsider your decision to become a poultry parent. The birds will be happier at our farm than unwanted in someone's backyard.

Thank you for your attention. For more information about Hatching Chicks, our chickens or our breeders feel free to take a look at some of our other videos.

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