Kuujjuaq hunters and trappers build chicken coop

The hunters and trappers association in Kuujjuaq, Que. is building a chicken coop. ‘It means if we run out of caribou or whales, we would help cut the cost of living up North,’ says association head Thomas Shea.

‘It means if we run out of caribou or whales, we would help cut the cost of living up North'

With some extra insulation, this trailer will house 100 hens during the subarctic winter in Kuujjuaq, Que. (Shaun Malley/CBC)

Thomas Shea never thought he'd be able to put "farmer" on his resume.

But the head of the hunters and trappers association in Kuujjuaq, Que. finds himself in charge of an unlikely project: a chicken coop.

"This could be a benefit for the hunters. It means if we run out of caribou or whales, we would help cut the cost of living up North," Shea says. 

"Communities are growing, our people are populating very fast and it's gonna affect everybody. If we can have our own supply here, we say let's try it."

In an old trailer near Kuujjuaq's power station, they're putting the finishing touches on a chicken coop.

Several layers of thick insulation are being added to help keep nearly 100 hens safe during the winter.

Eggs will be given free of charge to elders, group homes and the needy.

The Kativik Regional Government is supporting the project with the help of provincial funding.

Adel Yassa is director of regional and local development for the KRG.

"The local hunting, fishing, trapping associations in Quebec qualify for many funding programs," Yassa says. "And the people are involved in a local project that provides community services."

Yassa says the KRG has approved similar projects in Akulivik and Salluit.

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