High Marks for Hen Houses
By Tyler Shoberg, Associate Editor
Trent Selte ranches in the County of Vermilion River, Alberta, about two hours east of Edmonton. Last year, when his 7-year-old son, Parker, needed to think up a project for a school fair, the second-grader had the perfect plan: Delta Waterfowl's hen houses.
"Parker decided he wanted to do nesting tunnels, as we had to do the monitoring of them," Trent Selte said. "So, we grabbed the tools and camera and set out to complete the 21 tunnels on our land."
Trent Selte's land is enrolled in Delta Waterfowl's Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS). The hen houses are part of an overall management strategy to maximize the acreage in ALUS for duck production. Selte explained how Parker's project panned out:
"We had taken our three kids, as well as a niece and nephew and my wife's mom, out to do the monitoring of (the hen houses). The kids rode around on a grain bag filled with fresh hay, pulled by the quad.
"They had so much fun that day and they all learned a lot. Parker took in two nests that we pulled out of the tunnels that had egg shell pieces in them, as well as a couple of Delta magazines for his display.
"We might be a bit biased, but we think he had the best project at school the day of the fair! (Parker) came up with the questions and the answers on his poster based on all the hands-on learning he had while helping to monitor the nesting tunnels.
"It was the perfect project for him, as he has always had a passion for birds."