Did you know that Chilliwack’s New Siberia Farms (today a dairy farm) was once a regional leader in the technique of “chicken sexing” — determining the gender of newly hatched chicks?
The farm also has direct links to Siberia: original owners Andrew and Mary Balakshin hailed from the Russian region. The couple arrived in Chilliwack in 1925, after having fled to China during the Bolshevik revolution. Andrew, a graduate from agricultural college in Russia, quickly established New Siberia Poultry Farms on Chilliwack’s Fairfield Island.
In 1937, the couple’s daughter Annie became the first certified female chicken sexer in Canada. New Siberia Farms began offering chicken sexing services to other poultry farmers using the advertising slogan “Save yourself time, labor, expense and raise better pullets” (Chilliwack Progress, Jan. 11, 1939).
Learn more about the history of New Siberia Farm during the Balakshin’s Farm Tour, one of several field trips offered as part of the 2017 BCHF Annual Conference. The tour also includes a visit to the Atchelitz Thresherman’s Museum to view a collection of steam and gasoline stationary engines, tractors and farming machinery.
The Balakshin’s Farm Tour runs Saturday May 27, 2017, from 1:30 to 4:00 p.m., with transportation from the Royal Hotel Chilliwack. To register for the tour, contact Andrea at 604-809-3603 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration deadline is May 15, 2017.