Avian influenza is sweeping the world this year, and there’s information you need to know to protect your flock.Check out the Ontario Animal Health Network Veterinary Podcast, featuring Dr. Tom Baker, the Incident Commander at the Feather Board Command Centre, discusses the new strain of avian influenza, reviews the recent cases in the U.S., and go over what commercial producers in Ontario need to know.Listen now, click HERE!
DATE: May 12, 2018LOCATION: Ourimbah, Central Coast region of New South WalesDETAILS: The deaths of more than 700 ring neck pheasants from botulism, at an Ourimbah [Central Coast region of New South Wales] property, have prompted a warning from biosecurity experts to report unusual signs and behaviour in domestic poultry.Greater Sydney Local Land Services District Veterinarian, Dr Aziz Chowdhury, said botulism was a rare condition caused by a toxin found in the environment, often spread by wild birds, rotting carcasses or other contaminated material.Botulism is best prevented by removing dead birds daily, removing the source of the toxin, supplying clean feed and water, and preventing wild bird access to the feeder and water, keeping birds away from stagnant or pooled water, and providing feed in containers and not on the ground. Sick birds should be isolated and provided with food and water.SOURCE:http://www.promedmail.org/post/5793869ProMED-mail posthttp://www.promedmail.org/ProMED-mail is a program of the International Society for Infectious Diseaseshttp://www.isid.org
Multinational feed additives producer Nutriad participated in the 11th Asia Pacific Poultry Congress (APPC) organized by the World Poultry Science Association, which was held in Bangkok recently.Belgium-headquartered Nutriad works with poultry producers around the world to support them with feed additives solutions that have effectively proven to promote gut health, even in an environment where the use of antibiotics is increasingly being restricted.In recent years 'Gut health' has been gaining an increasing attention from veterinarians. It is understood that it refers to multiple positive aspects of the gastrointestinal tract, such as the effective digestion by absorption of food, absence of GI illness, normal and stable intestinal microbiota, effective immune status and a state of well-being.Any disturbance or imbalance in these matters could potentially impact the gut health of animals. It is therefore necessary to maintain the balance of all possible associated factors related to gut health.Poultry producers used to achieve this by using of Antibiotic Growth Promoters (AGPs). The use of AGPs however is being increasingly restricted. That resulted in the development of natural additives that became part of alternative feed strategies.Nutriad has been pioneering research and product development that support producers around the world in achieving gut health and notices an increasing attention in Asia Pacific for its’ innovative solutions.At the APPC, business development manager of digestive performance Daniel Ramirez presented on “Utilizing Feed Additives to Maximize Broiler Gut Health,” where he emphasized on the improvements that can be made by optimizing single-molecule feed additives and by investigating their optimal use in specific programs, focusing on the application of butyrate (ADIMIX Precision) and phytogenic compounds (APEX 5).“Gut health is important for maximizing the health, welfare, and performance of poultry. For optimum intestinal support, ADIMIX Precision utilizes a unique precision delivery matrix that delivers the butyrate into the intestines where it has the greatest benefit,” Ramirez said.For more information, visit: www.nutriad.com.
DATE: May 11, 2018LOCATION: Colorado, Florida, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, West VirginiaDETAILS: Since the last update on April 16, 2018, 12 more ill people were added to this outbreak.Thirty-five people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Braenderup have been reported from nine states. Ill people range in age from one to 90 years, with a median age of 65. Fifty per cent of ill people are female. Of 28 people with information available, 11 (39 per cent) have been hospitalized and no deaths have been reported.SOURCE:http://www.promedmail.org/post/5792603ProMED-mail posthttp://www.promedmail.org/ProMED-mail is a program of the International Society for Infectious Diseaseshttp://www.isid.org
DATE: May 8, 2018LOCATION: Yunlin countyDETAILS: A goose farm in southern Taiwan's Yunlin county was found to have been contaminated by a subtype of H5 bird flu virus and 2,279 birds on the farm were culled, the 68th case of poultry farm infection this year, according to the Council of Agriculture (COA).Several geese on the farm in Yunlin's Sihu Township were confirmed as having contracted the virus, the council's Bureau of Animal and Plant Inspection and Quarantine said in a press release.The bureau has reminded the farm's operators to disinfect the area following the standard operation procedure of destroying the geese.Officials called on all poultry farm operators to keep their birds warm and in a place with good ventilation as temperatures vary considerably between daytime and nighttime.SOURCE:http://www.promedmail.org/post/5789396ProMED-mail posthttp://www.promedmail.org/ProMED-mail is a program of the International Society for Infectious Diseaseshttp://www.isid.org
DATE: May 8, 2018LOCATION: Handbjerg, Holstebro, WestDETAILS: On May 5, 2018, LPAI H5 was detected in ducks collected in connection with the Danish surveillance programme for avian influenza. All 20,900 ducks on the holding were killed and destroyed.SOURCE:http://www.promedmail.org/post/5789717ProMED-mail posthttp://www.promedmail.org/ProMED-mail is a program of the International Society for Infectious Diseaseshttp://www.isid.org
Avian influenza (AI) can infect domesticated and wild birds, including chickens, turkeys, pheasants, quails, ducks, geese, and guinea fowl. Birds become infected when they have direct contact with the ocular or nasal discharge or feces from infected birds or from contact with contaminated surfaces, food or water supply.There is an increased risk of AI infection to poultry flocks during spring and fall wild bird migration.AI can be brought into a barn as a result of lapses in biosecurity, and it is most often transmitted from one infected commercial flock to another by movement of infected birds, contaminated equipment or people.All poultry farmers should monitor bird mortality, and track flock feed and water consumption. Monitor for clinical signs of AI infection, such as depression, decreased feed consumption, a drop-in egg production, swollen wattles, sneezing, gasping, discharge from the nose or eyes, diarrhea or sudden death.If you have any concerns regarding the health status of your flock, contact your veterinarian immediately. Key steps to reduce the risk of AI infection in your flock include: Adequate training of farm and company personnel in biosecurity and disease prevention measures. All people entering poultry barns, including farmers, employees and service providers must put on clean footwear, protective clothing and follow all biosecurity protocols each time a barn is entered. Minimize visits to other poultry production sites and avoid co‐mingling of birds from multiple sources as well as contact with outside/wild birds. Avoid exchanging and sharing equipment with other poultry production sites or farms. Ensure all vehicles and farm equipment that access the barn vicinity are properly washed, disinfected and thoroughly dried before use. Ensure that laneways are secured and have restricted access. Prevent wild bird and rodent entry to poultry barns and related facilities. Ensure that bedding is free of contaminants including feces from wild animals. If possible, “heat treat” the barn/litter ahead of chick or poult placement (to 30°C for at least 3 days).
UPDATE:  April 30, 2018LOCATION: Northwest area of the Niagara region, OntarioThe FBCC is issuing an update to the March 16, 2018 Biosecurity Advisory relating to the diagnosis of ILT on a commercial broiler chicken farm in the northwestern part of the Niagara Region.A second case of ILT has been identified in a subsequent crop of vaccinated broiler chickens being raised in the same barn as the first case. However, the attending veterinarian stated that the vaccine appears to be effective in preventing new cases as general flock health is improving. It is important to remember that the ILT virus can be very persistent in litter, on interior wood surfaces and the environment.FBCC continues to coordinate disease response efforts with Chicken Farmers of Ontario, the farmer, their veterinarian, OMAFRA and industry partners to eliminate the disease on the index farm and prevent spread of the virus.All farmers, family food growers and service providers operating in the advisory area are strongly advised to maintain enhanced biosecurity measures at this time.Active flock health monitoring continues on-site as well as on linked farms and those nearby. To date there have been no further reports of ILT beyond the index farm.The enhanced biosecurity advisory area will remain in place until disease control can be assured. As your farm has been identified as being located within the 10km biosecurity advisory area, we request that you remain vigilant in following the enhanced biosecurity procedures that are in effect.Should you suspect any signs of health concerns in your flock, please contact your veterinarian as well as your Board.ILT is a serious, contagious disease caused by a respiratory virus.Signs to look for include: increased mortality, noisy breathing, head-shaking, off feed, decreased egg production, inactivity, ruffled feathers and conjunctivitis.Please advise any visitors to your premises of your biosecurity protocols because of this situation and keep a logbook of movement in relation to your farm.Minimize visits to other poultry production sites, avoid exchanging equipment with other poultry production sites or ensure that it is washed and disinfected.Ensure all personnel in contact with birds wear boots, protective suits, head coverings and gloves/proper handwashing procedures. Ensure adequate control of vermin and wild birds.UPDATE: March 22, 2018LOCATION: Northwest area of the Niagara region, OntarioThe FBCC is issuing an update to the March 16, 2018 Biosecurity Advisory relating to the diagnosis of ILT on a commercial broiler chicken farm in the northwestern part of the Niagara Region.WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:FBCC is coordinating efforts with Chicken Farmers of Ontario, the farmer, their veterinarian and industry partners to control spread and prevent reoccurrence of the disease on the index farm including: Extensive cleaning/disinfection/heating procedures once birds were shipped; Increased production downtime and postponement of placement; Inoculation of incoming chicks with a vaccine type approved for eradication; and Actively monitoring farms at highest risk. The Animal Health Lab at University of Guelph has determined that the virus strain associated with this case is indistinguishable from the ILT virus which caused a significant outbreak in Niagara in 2004.As your farm has been identified as being located within the 10km biosecurity advisory area, we recommend that you remain vigilant in following the enhanced biosecurity procedures that are in effect.Should you suspect any signs of health concerns in your flock, please contact your veterinarian as well as your Board. ILT is a serious, contagious disease caused by a respiratory virus. Signs to look for include: increased mortality, noisy breathing, head-shaking, off feed, decreased egg production, inactivity, ruffled feathers and conjunctivitis.Please advise any visitors to your premises of your biosecurity protocols because of this situation and keep a logbook of movement in relation to your farm. Minimize visits to other poultry production sites, avoid exchanging equipment with other poultry production sites or ensure that it is washed and disinfected. Ensure all personnel in contact with birds wear boots, protective suits, head coverings and gloves/proper handwashing procedures. Ensure adequate control of vermin and wild birds.Initial alert:DATE: March 16, 2018LOCATION: Northwest area of the Niagara region, OntarioDETAILS: On behalf of the four feather boards, the Feather Board Command Centre (FBCC) is issuing an ILT Biosecurity Advisory to all poultry industry service providers operating in the northwestern part of the Niagara Region. A Biosecurity Advisory Area map is being provided to assist with routing and enhanced biosecurity measures.FBCC has been notified by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), that Infectious Laryngotracheitis (ILT) has been diagnosed on a commercial broiler chicken farm in the northwestern part of the Niagara region. All farmers and small flock growers within 10 km of the affected farm are being notified by board staff and advised to enhance their biosecurity and closely monitor flock health.This is the first diagnosis of ILT in an Ontario broiler chicken flock in several years. The high broiler chicken density in the area creates the potential for spread to otherunvaccinated birds. OMAFRA reports that the farmer is following proper biosecurity protocols and the situation is under control.Please reinforce your biosecurity protocols if working with flocks or travelling through this area of the Niagara Region. Suspend all non-essential visits. For essential visits, apply the following recommended biosecurity measures: wearing boots, protection suits, hats and gloves/hand washing. All deliveries/loading should be last on the route. Wash and disinfect the truck's undercarriage and steps before proceeding with any other delivery/loading. Do not go to another farm within 12 hours.Should you be aware of health concerns in flocks you deal with, please advise the farmer to contact their veterinarian as well as their Board.We anticipate this advisory status to last until at least late April.SOURCE:Feather Board Command Centre
Live vaccines contain naturally occurring mild pathotype or attenuated (weakened) viruses, bacteria or coccidia and are designed to elicit local and systemic immunity in birds. They are suitable for mass administration by water or spray.
DATE: April 27, 2018LOCATION: Morrum and BromollaDETAILS: A total of three new cases of H5N6 bird flu have been identified after analysis at the National Veterinary Office (SVA). They were a sea eagle, a pigeon and a buzzard found in the areas surrounding Morrum and Bromolla in southern Sweden. This virus has not been found to present a risk to humans, unlike the H5N6 virus that circulates in Asia.The H5N6 is still circulating in wild bird populations in the country and we do not know how extensive the spread is. It is likely that new cases of wild birds will be detected, and there is still a risk of infestation of the bird of birds. Therefore, we would like to remind you that it is always important to protect your domestic birds from direct and indirect contact with wild birds, "says Karl Stahl, Deputy State Psychologist at SVA.The virus is closely related to H5N8, which circulated among wild birds in Sweden in 2016 and 2017, and also caused outbreaks in poultry. While the H5N8 has been massive in large parts of Europe, the H5N6 has not been reported to the same extent, nor has it been associated with the same mortality.In February 2018, a H5N6 bird flu was detected at a sea eagle and a buzzard on the Blekinge coast. Thereafter, additional cases have been found in a crew in Uppsala County and two other wild birds in Blekinge.It is important to have good care routines and to prevent direct and indirect contact with wild birds as far as possible. Animal owners should pay attention and contact the vet if poultry show increased mortality, changes in feed and water consumption, egg production reduction or impaired general condition.SOURCE:http://www.promedmail.org/post/5770993ProMED-mail posthttp://www.promedmail.org/ProMED-mail is a program of the International Society for Infectious Diseaseshttp://www.isid.org
DATE: April 19, 2018LOCATION: Kpessi (Agbedrafo), Lacs, [Maritime Region]DETAILS: Information received from Dr Batawui Komla Batasse, director of [Livestock and Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Breeding and Fisheries], noted a reoccurrence of a listed disease on a farm with layers, broilers and swine. The event is continuing.SOURCE:http://www.promedmail.org/post/5757429ProMED-mail posthttp://www.promedmail.org/ProMED-mail is a program of the International Society for Infectious Diseaseshttp://www.isid.org
DATE: April 16, 2018LOCATION: Sanov, Zlin, ZlinskyDETAILS: Information received from Dr Zbyněk Semerád, director general, State Veterinary Administration, Veterinary Administration, Prague, Czech Republic reports an occurrence of a listed disease in a backyard poultry flock.SOURCE:http://www.promedmail.org/post/5751461ProMED-mail posthttp://www.promedmail.org/ProMED-mail is a program of the International Society for Infectious Diseaseshttp://www.isid.org
At a time of major change for livestock production a growing number of producers are making strides to stay ahead of the curve on everything from new medicated feed rules to animal care standards, by taking advantage of new integrated management strategies that include a stronger focus on advanced nutrition approaches."Cross-disciplinary approaches are the way of the future," says Darryl Lewis, president of Nutrition Partners, a nutrition company serving swine, poultry and dairy sectors across Canada. "Our industries are evolving. When we need to make a change in one area, such as a shift away from medicated feed, there is no one solution. Health, nutrition and management are all inter-related and must work together. At the same time, nutrition is becoming a bigger focus in that mix representing strong innovations and opportunities for improvement."Partnership mentality drives progressNutritions and veterinarians, for example, must work more closely together, he says. However the key to success is that producers themselves must also have a hands-on role in working with both groups. "Every operation is different and there is no one-size-fits-all. The producer must be a direct partner in deciding what will work best. You can have the best health and nutrition strategies in the world but if they don't fit with management they won't work. The future is about teamwork and alignment among everything that goes into production."Nutrition Partners has focused for many years on keeping one step ahead of industry needs and today its model stands as an example of where the trends are headed. The company philosophy is that success requires partnership. That's how the Nutrition Partners team approaches customer relationships. Nutrition Partners is also a part of Poultry Partners, which is a collaborative effort between veterinarians, nutritionists and industry experts that provides cross-disciplinary strategies in partnership with customer operations.Meeting today's challengesThe model Nutrition Partners has championed has proven particularly beneficial as a perfect storm of consumer, market and industry trends drive a wave of modernization and sophistication across all livestock production sectors. Nutrition Partners offers vitamin and mineral knowledge and support while also providing leading premix options. But the key to its approach is working across disciplines to help operations design the best use of these options as part of broader strategies that optimize production in alignment with marketplace demands."Consumers have moved past the grocery store and have become increasingly interested in food production," says Lewis. "At the same time industry continues to find better ways of doing things. We have better knowledge and options than ever to meet what the marketplace wants and that's to our advantage. It’s important we as an industry show consumers how we do what we do and why we do it. We have to accept incoming changes and market indicators instead of putting on the blinders."Strong advances in nutrition are an example that industry has the power to innovate and meet today's challenges, he says. Feed and nutrient formulations are increasingly tailored to meet antibiotic-free, ionophore-free, elite level quality control standards. Nutrition strategies are increasingly sophisticated to support animals in all situations at all stages of life, incorporating benefits beyond basic nutrition. Bio-based feed additives ranging from prebiotics and probiotics to functional fatty acids, enzymes and yeast technologies are opening new doors to health, performance and profitability. All are providing fresh ways to benefit both the animals and producers while also fitting what consumers want.Pulling in the same direction"As farm nutritionists, veterinarians and producers themselves continue to collaborate more closely, the producer’s livestock programs should become that much more focused and successful," says Lewis. "The healthier the animals are, the better they eat, the healthier they grow. It’s really that simple. I always say about 80 per cent of what goes on at a farm is related to proper management. Now, as we seek overall improvement we as an industry are also tasked with bringing the remaining 20 per cent up to a new standard. Nutrition has certainly emerged as a big area of opportunity, but we need multi disciplines pulling in the same direction to reach our full potential."The Nutrition Partners poultry team is a partnership between Nutrition Partners and Poultry Health Services. Led by poultry nutritionist Shawn Fairbairn, the partnership provides a comprehensive health and nutrition offering for Canadian poultry producers. Preparing for the new rules on antimicrobialsArguably no change looms larger at the moment than the shift away from medicated feed and preventative antimicrobial use. New rules as part of the now fully implemented Veterinary Feed Directive in the U.S. are having widespread impact. In Canada, the major phase of new rules on antimicrobials, including increased veterinary oversight and prescription-only antimicrobial use, come into effect Dec. 1, 2018."This has been something producers have been preparing for, but we are rapidly approaching that deadline," says Lewis. "With many of our customers this has been something we have been working on for more than five years. All changes -- whether they are industry changes such as regulations to housing setups, bio-security, reduced antibiotic use and greater animal welfare -- to a certain degree each come with a price tag. But with the right strategies this price can become a good investment rather than just a cost. Today we have the capability to make the necessary changes while also improving overall efficiency and production results."More about the trends is available in a feature article: "Fresh pathways to livestock innovation and profitability," and a related Q&A: "Advancing the Industry." Learn more at www.nutritionpartners.ca.
Proper diagnosis and application of vaccines can reduce the frequency and quantity of antimicrobials used on your farm. Here are a few examples related to immunosuppressive diseases and viral infections that can leave birds more susceptible to secondary bacterial infections.
The most sustainable strategy, for both the environment and your staff, is Integrated Pest Management (IPM). IPM is a business-savvy and environmentally friendly approach to pest management that focuses on non-chemical techniques to prevent pest activity, using chemical solutions as a last resort.
Paul Leatherbarrow grew up on a mixed farm and began helping his parents with broiler chickens and other farm chores about 50 years ago when he was a teen. “Obviously, so much has changed,” he says. “It was nine weeks for a production cycle and now it’s five weeks.
As I’m writing this it’s a balmy -28°C in Alberta and we’ve just had a major dump of snow. It’s a little difficult to start thinking about spring and summer in this kind of weather. By the time this issue comes out, the sun will be warmer, the fields will be worked over, and the birds will be singing.
Iowa State University researchers have completed testing of a key component of a new concept for disposing of animal carcasses following a disease outbreak.The research someday may help producers facing animal disease emergencies, such as in 2015 when avian influenza resulted in disposal of millions of chickens and turkeys in Iowa and other states.Jacek Koziel, associate professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering, said animal health emergencies occur around the globe each year due, not only to disease, but also to hurricanes, flooding, fire and blizzards. These incidents often require the disposal of numerous animal carcasses, usually accomplished via burial. In research published recently in the scientific journal Waste Management, Koziel and his team analyzed a method that could help livestock, poultry and egg producers deal more efficiently and safely with crises that lead to sudden increases in animal mortality.Koziel and his team focused their research on improving on-farm burial, the method most commonly employed for large-scale carcass disposal due to its low cost and ability to quickly reduce the spread of airborne disease and foul odors. But emergency burial can contaminate nearby water resources with chemical and biological pollutants, and many locations in Iowa are considered unsuitable for such practices by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Buried carcasses also decay slowly, sometimes delaying use of burial sites for crop production and other uses for years, Koziel said.To overcome these problems, the researchers studied a hybrid disposal concept conceived at the National Institute of Animal Science in South Korea following a massive outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in 2011.The method combines burial with aerobic digestion, a method commonly used for treating sewage in which air is pumped through the content to speed decomposition.The experiment also included burial trenches lined with flexible geomembranes like those used to prevent seepage from landfills and wastewater treatment ponds to protect water quality. The researchers then injected low levels of air into the bottom of the trench to accelerate carcass decomposition and treat the resulting liquid contaminants.The experiment tested the performance of the aerobic component of the hybrid method in a lab using tanks containing whole chicken carcasses, water, and low levels of oxygen that occasionally dropped to zero as would be likely in emergency burial trenches.Results of the study showed low levels of oxygen accelerated carcass decay significantly, reducing carcass mass by 95 per cent within 13 weeks, while similar tests without air produced no noticeable decay. The air and water used for the experimental method create an ideal environment for bacteria to break down the carcasses quickly, a “shark tank,” as Koziel described it.Chemical contamination in the liquid waste met U.S. Environmental Protection Agency criteria for safe discharge to surface waters. The hybrid method also eliminated two common poultry pathogens, salmonella and staphylococcus. Aeration also reduced odorous gases sometimes associated with mass burial.Koziel said the the encouraging laboratory results could pave the way for follow-up field studies that will include evaluation of alternative geomembrane liners, aeration system designs and components, and performance testing of the complete hybrid disposal system.The research was supported by funding from the Korean Rural Development Administration.
While on a recent farm visit, a poultry producer said something that really resonated with me. We were talking about lighting and he referred to the use of incandescent bulbs as “the good old days.”
The H3N2 canine influenza virus was detected in dogs in Ontario this past December. Some producers might be wondering if the outbreak poses a threat to poultry. While the strain is of avian origin, experts Canadian Poultry consulted say the chances of it being transmitted to poultry now that it has switched to a canine-adapted virus are small. Thus, they consider any related disease threat to the poultry industry in Canada to be very low.
Conventional cage laying barns have always been dusty, notes Harry Huffman, an agricultural engineer based in London, Ont. “Thus, I would assume the new floor and aviary style of housing systems will continue to be dusty as well.” Huffman notes that the more important ventilation design parameters in a layer barn hinge around the number and size of birds being housed, and how airflow should occur through the airspace to accommodate the building specs.
Raising broilers is much like building a house. A good deal of effort goes into planning and constructing the structure, but one also needs to be a bit of an artist to create the ideal end result. Experienced and knowledgeable growers are similar in that they follow recommended procedures while also being proactive in identifying issues before they can cause a problem.
Today’s poultry farmers are faced with the necessity of maintaining a profitable balance in managing their livestock facilities. This ongoing challenge, coupled with keeping up with new regulations and animal welfare concerns, add to the complexity of managing a healthy and well-performing flock.
The Ontario Livestock and Poultry Council have developed a guide to assist municipalities incorporate emergency deadstock disposal provisions into their existing municipal emergency response plans.The main objective of the planning guide is to provide municipalities with a systematic approachto: Identify the available disposal options Profile the municipality to determine the extent of any potential disposal problem(s) Select an appropriate disposal method(s) Implement a process to develop and maintain a mass carcass disposal plan. Ontario Pork and OLPC are partnering to offer workshops with municipalities to walk them through the process of completing a mass carcass disposal plan for their municipality utilizing the Mass Carcass Disposal Guide for Municipalities. While pork is being used as the example, the planning template applies to all livestock and poultry species.An electronic version is available at http://www.ontlpc.ca/pdfs/downloads/MassCarcassDisposalGuideRevisedMay2017.pdf
Dealing with the high cost of food in the North is a constant challenge for producers and consumers. Through innovation and new thinking, Choice North Farms in Hay River is hoping to make a difference by undertaking the PoultryPonics Dome Project, supported with over $80,000 of CanNor funding.The announcement was made by Michael McLeod, Member of Parliament (Northwest Territories) on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for CanNor.Choice North Farms is a private egg producing company in Hay River. Their pilot project will integrate vertical hydroponic units and poultry production in a small geodesic dome. This combination will reduce the amount of nutrients and energy required for production, while providing a good supply of quality local fresh produce and meat substitutes.If the pilot project is successful, this innovative clean technology could be scaled and adapted in other Northern communities, promoting economic diversification, reducing the cost of living, and enhancing the quality of life in remote communities."The Government of Canada has long supported the development of the agriculture sector in the North. We are pleased to support innovative technologies that not only grow the economy of Hay River, but also have the potential to provide affordable food to Northern communities," McLeod said. CanNor has invested $80,497 in the project through its Strategic Investments in Northern Economic Development (SINED) program, with Choice North Farms contributing $67,910, the Government of the Northwest Territories injecting $6,586 and the Aurora Research Institute providing an additional $6,000. Total funding for the project is $160,993."We are thrilled at North Choice Farms to be able to pilot this green technology, thanks to the support of CanNor. We are confident it will allow us to produce more food locally while reducing our carbon footprint and production cost. This is great for our business, for the agricultural sector in the NWT and for Northern consumers, " said Kevin Wallington, business development manager, Choice North Farms.READ CP's related feature article: Chickens in the greenhouse
Dan Lenihan, who introduced the Cobb breed of chickens to Ireland and contributed to its success across the UK and Europe, has died at age 79.In the 1970s Cobb was one of the U.S. broiler breeds that transformed chicken from luxury to an everyday meal and Dan Lenihan saw this potential when he bought the assets of Cobb Ireland in 1974. This company had been established in the early 1960s to serve the Irish market at a time when there were severe animal health restrictions on imports of poultry.Cobb Ireland built the hatchery at Straffan, near Dublin, and after purchasing the business Dan Lenihan bought another hatchery at Mullingar, County Westmeath to expand production. This increased from less than 100,000 to more than two million parent stock chicks a year by 2000, delivering throughout Ireland and the UK.Cobb Ireland began exporting breeding stock to Taiwan and Syria in 1975 and as the Cobb breed has expanded across Europe, Middle East and Africa through the last 40 years, the company has played a significant role in this growth.During the last 20 years Dan Lenihan’s operation in Ireland has transitioned from a distributor to a contract producer for Cobb Europe. Ireland's unrivalled history in terms of notifiable diseases has played a key role in Cobb being able to protect supply to customers during the avian influenza issues that occur from time to time in Western Europe. The farms hold a combination of great grandparent and grandparent stock.“Dan has been a true ambassador for Cobb over the last 40 years,” said Mark Sams, general manager for Cobb Europe. “He was a trusted and respected partner who built up relationships within the industry from the U.S., Africa and as far as Australia. He will be deeply missed by us all.”Dan Lenihan was born in Newcastle West, County Limerick, and initially studied dairy science at Cork University. After working in a hatchery in Kill, County Kildare, he set up his own poultry business in Newcastle West with the initial Irish franchise for the Warren Brown egg layer and later sold this business to Whittaker's Hatchery in Cork.He is a former chairman of Bord Glad, the Irish Food Board, and also served as chairman of the Respect fund raising charity that helps people with an intellectual disability. He has also been chairman of the National Poultry Council in Ireland and of the Irish Chick Hatcheries Association.He is survived by wife Marian, son Daniel and daughter Caroline.
Bayer is pleased to announce it has partnered with The Do More Agriculture Foundation – a not-for-profit organization focused on raising awareness and promoting mental well-being for farmers in Canada.As part of the partnership, Bayer's Crop Science division has contributed $20,000 to the Foundation to support its mission of providing support and resources to farmers seeking mental health assistance.The need to support Canadian farmers' mental well-being has never been greater. According to a study from the University of Guelph, more than a third of Canadian producers are experiencing depression and over half experience anxiety. However, the stigma associated with mental health issues remains a significant barrier for those that need help.Forty per cent of Canadian producers reported they would feel uneasy about seeing professional help due to what other people may think."We believe that through this partnership we can help increase awareness of mental health issues and break the stigma that currently exists in the agriculture industry," said Al Driver, Bayer Crop Science Canada's president and CEO. "We see first-hand the challenges that farmers face and encourage them to access these resources to manage their well-being."The Do More Ag Foundation are champions for the mental well-being of Canadian producers and are focused on changing the culture of agriculture to one where producers are encouraged, supported and empowered to take care of themselves. This will be achieved by creating awareness, building community and supporting research."We are so appreciative to Bayer for supporting Do More Ag and Canadian producers. The support from Bayer will allow The Do More Agriculture Foundation to move forward with larger initiatives that will be able to support more producers across Canada," said Kim Keller, co-founder of the Foundation. "This will create more awareness around mental health and build more capacity within communities across Canada to be able to support community members who may be facing mental health challenges."With support from Bayer, Do More Ag will continue the conversation about mental well-being in an accessible way for producers, while breaking the stigma associated with mental health. It will encourage producers to talk about mental health within their operations, families and communities, with the hope of changing the culture in agriculture to one where all producers feel encouraged and supported to take care of their mental well-being.For more information about The Do More Agriculture Foundation, please visit www.domore.ag.
Owners Jeff and Joleen Bisschop produce Country Golden Yolks brand eggs with four other Fraser Valley farms, including organic (7,400 hens) and free-range (27,000 hens), with a pullet barn and egg packing on site.
Actium’s Compost Drums are based on a robust, simple design that is easy to operate and reliable. Our rotating insulated drums helps the composting “bugs” break down organic matter faster. Composting poultry mortalities creates a clean, pathogen and odor free compost. All that is required is a sufficient amount of a dry carbon source such as dry sawdust to be added to the drum with the mortalities. Contact us for more information! www.compostdrum.com (519) 527-2525Video produced at the 2018 National Poutlry Show by Canadian Poultry magazine.
Big Dutchman provides equipment to farms around the world and has been the worldwide leader in poultry, egg, and pig production systems since 1938.They offer practical, economical and environmentally-friendly solutions geared to your future needs. Big Dutchman stands for long-lasting quality, service, and unsurpassed know-how, and as the industry leader, our innovations will continue to positively impact the industries they serve.For more information, visit: http://bigdutchmanusa.com/Video produced at the 2018 National Poutlry Show by Canadian Poultry magazine. 
Research has shown that the consumption of long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids provides a myriad of health benefits, including lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease and death.Yet, few Americans are consuming enough of this vital nutrient to reap those benefits, a deficiency researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences hope to change by fortifying foods people frequently eat — eggs and chicken — with the heart healthy long-chain omega-3 fatty acids."With the incidence of obesity, heart disease and insulin resistance increasing toward epidemic proportions in the United States, people must make changes to improve their health," said Kevin Harvatine, associate professor of nutritional physiology in the Department of Animal Science."Production of nutritionally enriched eggs and poultry meat will help consumers meet health goals and help egg and poultry producers to increase the value of their products."Harvatine and Robert Elkin, professor of avian nutritional biochemistry, have collaborated in this research area since 2011, conducting numerous studies at the Penn State Poultry Education and Research Center with both laying hens and broiler (meat-type) chickens. Elkin has expertise in poultry nutrition and a long history of work aimed at modifying egg cholesterol content, while Harvatine has expertise in lipid (fat) nutrition and metabolism in dairy cattle.The researchers explained that alpha-linolenic acid is an 18-carbon omega-3 fatty acid found in flaxseed, walnuts, soybeans, nut oils and leafy vegetables. It is one of two essential fatty acids that the human body cannot produce on its own but is vital for cardiovascular, cognitive and immune system health. It also is touted for its anti-inflammatory properties.The other essential fatty acid, linoleic acid, is an 18-carbon omega-6 fatty acid commonly found in corn, many vegetable oils, and a wide variety of snacks and fast foods. While omega-6 fatty acids can be beneficial, consuming too much — which many people do — is not good because it promotes inflammation, Elkin pointed out.In addition, linoleic and linolenic acids compete for the same set of enzymes in the liver that convert them into longer-chain derivatives, which have opposing functions in the inflammatory process. As a result, when the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids favors the former, fewer heart-healthy long-chain omega-3 fatty acids are produced by the liver and transported to tissues such as the brain and retina, where they have other important physiological functions.Harvatine said omega-3 needs vary, but, in general, healthy adults should set a target of about 250 milligrams per day of each of the two most important types: eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid — commonly referred to as EPA and DHA, respectively. For people with known heart disease, higher dietary intakes are recommended.EPA and DHA contain a greater number of carbon atoms and unsaturated double bonds, and because their consumption is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, they are referred to as the heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Foods rich in long-chain omega-3s include fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel and herring; however, few people eat two to three servings each week per American Heart Association recommendations."Some people don't like fish, can't eat it due to allergies, or simply can't afford it," Harvatine said. "Whatever the reason, most don't meet the requirement. And, if every person on the planet ate the number of fish needed to achieve omega-3 targets, there would be no fish left — it is just not sustainable."While over-the-counter supplements are available, the researchers believe it is better to reach omega-3 nutritional targets through food such as enriched poultry meat and eggs because, as Elkin noted, "it's perhaps a more effective way to reach a greater number of people who are concerned about health risks (methylmercury) associated with consumption of certain fish species, the sustainability and environmental effects of aquaculture, or simply prefer to not eat fish for a variety of reasons."Eggs find their way onto American plates with frequency. According to the American Egg Board, per capita consumption of eggs is about 267 a year, which works out to about five eggs per person per week. In addition, Americans consumed approximately 91 pounds of chicken per person in 2017, according to the National Chicken Council.Unlike typical nutritionally enhanced eggs found in grocery stores, Harvatine's and Elkin's goal is to create poultry products that are richer in long-chain omega-3 fatty acids but lower in omega-6 fatty acids. Although the chicken is able to convert the 18-carbon omega-3 fatty acid found in plants to the heart-healthy long-chain omega-3s, the process is very inefficient. Humans also have a very limited ability to convert linolenic acid to EPA and DHA.In a recent study published in Lipids, Elkin and Harvatine hypothesized that reducing the dietary level of linoleic acid (the 18-carbon omega-6 fatty acid) would promote greater conversion in the liver of linolenic acid to EPA and DHA, while supplementing the hens' diets with a high-oleic acid soybean oil would simultaneously further enrich eggs with oleic acid without influencing egg EPA and DHA contents.Oleic acid is the principal fatty acid found in olive oil, which is the main fat source in the Mediterranean diet, heralded as one of the healthiest diets for cardiovascular disease prevention.The researchers found that, as compared to controls, supplemental dietary flaxseed oil resulted in an enrichment of egg yolks with EPA and DHA, but simultaneously supplementing the hens’ diet with both flaxseed oil and high-oleic soybean oil maximally reduced the yolk deposition of linolenic acid, long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, and total omega-3 fatty acids by 37 per cent, 15 per cent, and 32 per cent respectively.These results suggested that dietary oleic acid was not neutral with regard to the overall process by which dietary linolenic acid was absorbed, metabolized and deposited into egg yolk, either intact or in the form of longer chain/more unsaturated omega-3 fatty acid derivatives.Based on their knowledge of fatty acid metabolism, as well as triglyceride positional analyses of the experimental oils, Elkin and Harvatine hypothesized that oleic acid may simply have out-competed linolenic acid for absorption from the intestine, which ultimately would result in less omega-3 fatty acid enrichment of egg yolks.In addition to being the first study to report this, according to Elkin, the findings also have implications for human nutrition because the initial steps of intestinal fat digestion and absorption are similar in chickens and humans."It is possible that oils rich in oleic acid might hinder the body's ability to reap the full nutritional benefits of EPA and DHA if consumed along with fatty fish or omega-3 fatty acid supplements, such as fish oil capsules.""This also could be occurring in people consuming a Mediterranean diet, in which oleic acid-rich olive oil is the principal source of fat, and moderate to low amounts of fish are eaten," he added.Studies are underway to confirm this finding in laying hens with other oils that are rich in oleic acid, in order to demonstrate that it is an "oleic acid effect" and not an effect that is specific for high-oleic soybean oil only."The importance of this research to the (egg) industry is that we have learned of a potential new hindrance to enriching eggs with omega-3 fatty acids, and that information can be used when trying to develop the next generation of ‘designer’ eggs," Elkin said.Undergraduate student Alexandra Kukorowski, a Schreyer Honors Scholar, contributed to the research.The Pennsylvania Soybean Board and the Pennsylvania Poultry Industry Egg Research Check-Off Program supported this work.
May We Ever Be Finished? Come What May!!!Since I last wrote, we were deeply entrenched in the construction of the Farmer Automatic Enriched Colony Housing for our next flock of pullets that will arrive later this month.All of the kids helped with the housing at some point, but my son John put in the most hours. He has an eye for quality and spots if something was put together incorrectly. This can be anything from a missing perch cap to misaligned waterlines.The feed trough clips, troughing sections, feed chain and feed pans at the ends all had to be assembled in a systematic order.In addition to the various local neighbourhood young people we had working for us, we decided to take the advice of Clark Ag Systems and get a work crew of men from London to accelerate the building process. These fellows are experienced in putting hen housing together and had worked with the lead, Dennis before.Nicole, Charlotte and I worked as a team putting the housing doors together, and then installing them on the top two levels.We made this an enjoyable task by taking turns with who got to be on the scaffold installing them, and the person on the floor fetching doors and pushing the two on the scaffold.   View the embedded image gallery online at: https://www.canadianpoultrymag.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=latest&layout=latest&Itemid=1#sigProGalleria5243f7b419 Our barn has three rows of the enriched colony housing and is four levels high. We have space to put in one more row in the future.Each side of each row must be “levelled” by adjusting the legs under each housing door. Ben worked on getting one side levelled, and Philip has had to do a lot of the rest of the rows.This job is one of the more undesirable things to do. You have to be on your knees a lot and working just under the housing with an impact drill with a torque bit, wrenches and crowbar. A laser level is a great aid in doing this task.The wire sections to cover up the top rows had to be installed and fastened securely with plastic zip ties.More work on the manure ends, manure belts and egg elevators and conveyor was done as well.The manure belts took 40 minutes to pull with the aid someone guiding them through by pulling a rope to the front and then mechanically pulled to the back with a motor.Nick worked on making the opening for the conveyor that bring eggs into the pack room and a window for us to have a good view for monitoring the progression of the eggs when they advance into the packing room.He enjoyed the company of anyone who would assist him (let’s be real, the guy likes having someone fetch things for him---right Charlotte and John!).Preliminary work on the encasement for the scissor lift and was completed, and we expect to have in-floor heating installed this week and concrete floors poured in the ante room and egg packing room.During most of April and May, the electricians have been doing the many electrical tasks to make the barn functional and safe. Our last build was many years ago and the rules, rates and safety measures needed to comply for electricians are many and inflated since that time.I have never watched the weather so closely as I did this past winter and spring. The cold temperatures, snowfall, rain and wind all affect the particular task you are doing in or outside of the barn.As spring seems to have finally arrived, getting on the land adds to the pressure to get the barn completed.As a family, we have always wanted to have an open house to egg-ucate people about the direction that egg farming is going.By 2035, conventional housing has been banned and all egg farmers must have progressed to another form of housing...be it the colony enriched, free run or free range.We look forward to hosting the Open House together with Clark Ag Systems on Friday May 11. If my time permits and interest is expressed, Egg Farmerette might be persuaded to write another blog posting after our hens are settled, laying and happily clucking in their new habitat.CLICK HERE  to read more about Cindy's experience transitioning from a conventional to an enriched layer barn.
The Miamys Poultry Company from Tunis, Tunisia will be purchasing Jamesway multi-stage machines for their upcoming hatchery project. The contract was signed, with some ceremony, at the Canadian Embassy in Tunisia with Canadian Trade Commissioner, Philippe Armengau, in attendance. Jamesway is proud to be adding another country to their list of over 180 international clients.The large Tunisian company has been involved with breeder, turkey and layer production and will be expanding with this new hatchery.The decision to use Jamesway was solidified after a successful visit to Poland where the Miamys Team was able to tour the Cedrob Hatchery, the largest hatchery in the world and an enthusiastic Jamesway client.Along with a complete line of setters and hatchers, the Tunisian operation will also feature some of Jamesway’s Automatic Hatchery equipment and Hatchcom Data Retrieval System.
Duck is succulent and rich. It’s also something a little different but not too different. What’s more, new, exciting and convenient products are making it more accessible all the time. Indeed, duck products now go far beyond whole roast duck.
Elijah Kiarie has a strong interest in the gut health of livestock, especially poultry and swine. He’s also passionate about teaching, mentoring students and delivering research that is meaningful to farmers. That combination along with a connection to renowned University of Guelph swine researcher Dr. Kees de Lange, brought Kiarie to Guelph in January 2016 as McIntosh Family professor in poultry nutrition.
USPOULTRY and the USPOULTRY Foundation announce the completion of a funded research project at the University of Georgia in Athens, Ga., in which a researcher showed how infectious laryngotracheitis (ILT) can spread from vaccinated flocks.Dr. Maricarmen Garcia, at the University of Georgia, recently completed a research project that studied how well a recombinant ILT vaccine protected broilers when various doses of the vaccine were used.She found that all dosage levels used protected against the clinical signs of the disease, but none of the dosage levels prevented the broilers from shedding the ILT challenge virus to other broilers. This study reinforces the observation that biosecurity is very important to control spread of ILT from vaccinated flocks.The research summary can be found on the USPOULTRY website, www.uspoultry.org.
The results of a study recently published in the prestigious international journal Science Advances have enabled researchers to better understand the role of eggshells in embryo development and hatching.The objective of the study, conducted by an international research team led by Marc McKee from McGill University in Canada and involving the participation of scientists from the University of Granada (UGR), was to analyse the nanostructure of chicken eggshells.The findings could be used to produce healthier, more robust eggs by providing researchers with the means to genetically select laying hens with specific characteristics.An eggshell is made up of both organic and inorganic matter that contains calcium carbonate. One of the important findings of the study was that the nanostructure was closely linked to the presence of osteopontin, a protein which is also found in bones.Eggshell transformation processEggshells are strong enough to resist fractures during the incubation period. However, they gradually weaken as the hatching period approaches to make it easier for the chicks to break through the shell.The eggshell weakens as its internal layer dissolves, releasing calcium which, in turn, is needed by the embryo for bone formation.The study found that this process is made possible as a result of the changes that occur in the eggshell nanostructure during the incubation period.Implications for food safetyFurthermore, the researchers were able to recreate similar nanostructures to those they discovered in the eggshells by using proteins, specifically by adding osteopontin to mineral crystals grown in the lab.The team add that: “A better understanding of the role of proteins in the calcification process that strengthens the eggshell structure could have significant implications for food safety.”According to the team, which includes Alejandro B. Rodríguez Navarro from the Department of Mineralogy and Petrology (UGR), approximately 10 per cent of all eggs break or crack before consumption, which increases the risk of food poisoning and infections such as Salmonella.Understanding how the different mineral nanostructures contribute to strengthening the eggshell could allow scientists to genetically select laying hens based on specific traits, which would put healthier, more resistant eggs into circulation.However, studying the internal structure of eggshells can be challenging because of the ease with which they break when under analysis. To overcome this obstacle, the team used a focused ion beam sectioning system that allowed them to accurately cut the samples out of the eggshells and study them using electron microscopy.The full pager is avaliable here: https://canal.ugr.es/noticia/study-healthier-robust-eggs/
As it did for most livestock species, substantial genetic improvement in turkeys started in the 21st century. In the 1960s, hybridization of turkey varieties began, followed by the development of pedigree programs for large white turkeys in the 1970s.
Currently, more than 90 per cent of broiler chicken feeds contain enzyme supplements, which have a direct positive effect on animal performance. However, new generation enzyme supplements have been developed for specific use in the feed industry.Yeast products are rich sources of mannan polysaccharides, ß1,3- and ß1,6-glucans and nucleotides, which can function as prebiotics and have been shown to stimulate the immune system and gastrointestinal tract development. This provides favorable conditions for beneficial intestinal bacteria and results in decreased attachment of pathogens such as Salmonella.Dr. Bogdan Slominski from the Department of Animal Sciences at the University of Manitoba aimed to develop a product that would contain a combination of a multi-carbohydrase preparation fortified with a yeast cell wall lytic activity with the yeast-derived product(s) as an effective and inexpensive alternative to antibiotic growth promoters.The experimentsSlominski and his research team conducted a series of experiments to first optimize the depolymerisation of yeast cell wall polysaccharides using varying enzyme activities to explore the potential for the release of bioactive components from various yeast products.They demonstrated that the use of a specific yeast cell lytic enzyme could significantly depolymerize yeast cell wall polysaccharides so they become water-soluble and, thus, more bioactive. Additionally, yeast cell lysis resulted in the release of a variety of nutrients, including nucleotides, known to play a role in immune system development.In addition to investigating the effects of enzyme/yeast-based prebiotic supplements on growth performance of broiler chickens and turkeys under commercial field conditions, the researchers also produced different enzyme-pretreated yeast products as dietary enzyme/yeast-based prebiotic supplements. They performed feeding trials with Salmonella and Clostridium perfringens challenged poultry as well.The findingsThe enzyme/yeast-based prebiotic supplements the team developed significantly decreased the incidence of Salmonella shedding and reduced Salmonella cecal counts in broiler chickens and laying hens. In the laying hen, the enzyme/yeast-based prebiotic supplements also reduced Salmonella colonization/numbers in different internal organs.The Clostridium perfringens challenge study with broiler chickens demonstrated that enzyme/yeast-based prebiotic supplements were as effective as antibiotics in birds post challenge recovery. Other findings of the feeding trials show that enzyme/yeast-based prebiotic supplements fed to broiler chickens suggests a shift in microbial population of the lower gut towards beneficial microbes and a more diversified microbial community, resulting in less susceptibility to pathogenic invasion.In the broiler chicken study performed under field conditions, researchers observed improvements in body weight gain and feed conversion ratio for diets containing the enzyme/yeast-based prebiotic supplements. In addition, the team observed a significant effect of the enzyme/yeast-based prebiotic supplements on body weight gain and feed conversion ratio in turkeys. Dr. Slominski and his associates have clearly demonstrated the benefits of enzyme/yeast-based prebiotics supplements, which may serve as alternatives to antibiotic growth promoters.The next stepsThe researchers plan to develop yeast products with further enhanced biological activity. Additionally, they aim to investigate the configuration of yeast products required for the bioactive components to exert their activity in protecting the gut from pathogens.This research is funded by CPRC/AAFC under the Poultry Science Cluster Program. This is in addition to funding from Canola Council of Canada and Canadian Bio-Systems.CPRC, its board of directors and member organizations are committed to supporting and enhancing Canada’s poultry sector through research and related activities. For more details on these or any other CPRC activities, please contact The Canadian Poultry Research Council, 350 Sparks Street, Suite 1007, Ottawa, Ontario, K1R 7S8, phone: (613) 566-5916, fax: (613) 241-5999, email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit us at www.cp-rc.ca.CPRC membership consists of Chicken Farmers of Canada, Canadian Hatching Egg Producers, Turkey Farmers of Canada, Egg Farmers of Canada and the Canadian Poultry and Egg Processors’ Council. 
Although research into the effects of LED lighting for poultry is ongoing, data often appears inconsistent. In addition, experts have focused less on behavioural and welfare aspects as compared to production.
Five genes that affect sociality-related behaviour in chickens have been identified by researchers at Linköping University in Sweden.Several of the genes have been previously linked to nervous system function or behaviour. The new study, which is published in Genetics, is the first that assigns these genes a role in sociality.Sociality and social behaviour covers a wide range of behaviours. Dogs seeking human contact and honeybees using complex waggle dances to exchange information on where to find good food sources are two examples from the animal world. But what actually governs social behaviour?“By identifying the genes responsible for the variation in such sociality we can understand how sociality is formed and how social behaviour is controlled at a genetic level. Why some people or animals are more gregarious by nature and others more independent is just one such example,” says Dominic Wright, senior lecturer at the Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology (IFM), who has led the study.To assess this, the researchers used a cross between wild and domestic chickens. The AVIAN research group at Linköping University is one of the few groups in the world with a breeding population of Red Junglefowl, the wild ancestor of the domestic fowl.For 8,000 years, humans have selected the individuals that have desirable traits and bred them, a process known as domestication. As a result, today’s domestic fowl and the original wild fowl differ strongly in their social behaviour. For example, Red Junglefowl typically take longer to approach other birds, but spend more time with them when they do.By crossing the domestic and the wild fowl for several generations, the researchers obtained chickens that exhibited a large range of social behaviour.The researchers measured sociality by placing chickens in a novel environment (a large box) and observing how likely they were to seek contact with other chickens. A more social chicken approaches the others more rapidly and spends less time exploring the new surroundings. The same behaviour is also displayed by more anxious chickens.The investigators also measured gene expression in one of several regions in the brain involved in the regulation of social behaviour, the hypothalamus. By correlating behaviour, gene expression and genetic variants, the researchers identified five genes that seem to control aspects of this behaviour.“Although these genes had been implicated with behaviour or nervous system function previously, this is the first time they have been shown to control sociality also. We also found that several of the genes affect both sociality and anxiety in the chickens,” says Dominic Wright.The research was supported by grants from the Carl Trygger Stiftelse, the Swedish Research Council, the Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning (FORMAS) and the European Research Council.
Chickens perform best when the barn has a certain temperature range. When temperatures get higher, the birds can experience heat stress, thus leading to fewer eggs or compromised growth. Luckily, there are some nutritional strategies a farmer can implement.The damaging effects of heat stress on broilers and laying hens are reduced growth rates, decreased egg production and poor meat and egg quality. The burden exerted on the profitability of poultry farming will grow worldwide in the future as genetic selection for fast growth increases sensitivity to heat stress.In addition, poultry markets of warm regions are forecasted to grow in the following decades. Strategies to alleviate the detrimental effects of heat stress on the productivity of poultry are, therefore, sound and should be based on several complementary approaches. Such approaches include housing conditions, management practices and nutritional strategies. This review focuses on the latter. | For the full story, CLICK HERE.
USPOULTRY and the USPOULTRY Foundation announce the completion of a funded research project at the University of Delaware in Newark, Del., in which researchers found that European infectious bronchitis vaccine does not protect against U.S. strains.The research is part of the Association’s comprehensive research program encompassing all phases of poultry and egg production and processing.Dr. Jack Gelb and colleagues recently completed a research project in which they examined the use of multiple strains of infectious bronchitis vaccines to induce protection against new infectious bronchitis variants.They found that combinations of existing vaccines did not provide protection to the new strains. Inclusion of the European 4/91 vaccine also failed to provide significant protection against current variant strains of infectious bronchitis.A complete report may be obtained by going to USPOULTRY’s website, www.uspoultry.org.
How can new science-based knowledge and innovation help Canada’s feed industry build a successful future? What impact will a major regulatory overhaul have on the sector? How will feed industry participants transition to impending new rules which tighten judicious use of an-timicrobials?These are just a few of the many pressing questions facing Canada’s feed industry, as the countdown continues toward the 2nd annual Animal Nutrition Conference of Canada (ANCC), May 2 to 3 in Edmonton, Alta.Organizers for Canada’s leading national conference on animal nutrition are preparing to launch a robust technical program featuring top international experts who will discuss the latest developments including cutting-edge nutritional strategies for improving per-formance, profitability and sustainability in the emerging new landscape.Science of success“The conference offers something for everyone involved in the feed industry, with strong sci-ence-based sessions covering the latest knowledge and innovations across all major livestock sectors,” says Theunis Wessels of Nutrition Partners and Poultry Partners, industry co-chair of the ANCC Organizing Committee. “There is still time to register and we encourage those inter-ested to do so right away. Don’t miss this opportunity to participate in learning and discussion around key developments that will drive the success of our industry.”The ANCC is open to anyone with an interest in feed innovation and is hosted by the Animal Nutrition Association of Canada (ANAC), the national trade association for Canada’s feed indus-try. ANAC members manufacture over 90 per cent of Canada’s commercial feed.New innovations for changing times“The industry has entered an important time of evolution,” says Rob Patterson of Canadian Bio-Systems Inc., ANCC program chair and member of the Leadership Group of the ANAC Nutrition Committee. “Science-driven innovations are forging the pathway to the future and many of the key advancements will be showcased in the 2018 ANCC program.”The ANCC program includes a pre-conference symposium featuring “A new look at specialized nutrition technologies,” an opening plenary session covering hot topics and issues in feed nutri-tion, focused sessions on both monogastric and ruminant topics as well as a closing plenary presentation which will include a presentation on the implications of carbon-smart agriculture. Day one will feature an announcement of the winner of this year’s ANAC scholarship as well as an evening reception where participants can enjoy food, drinks and networking around a sup-plier showcase and graduate student poster competition. On day two following the main agen-da, ANAC will host a special session on Canadian regulatory updates.Bringing the feed industry together“The ANCC is about bringing people together across our industry, to share and learn together and also to find opportunities to work together to move our industry forward,” says nutritionist and ANAC Board member Andy Humphreys of Versus Animal Nutrition. “We encourage anyone involved in the feed industry to participate and we look forward to seeing you there.”Full program details and registration information are all available at www.animalnutritionconference.ca. Learn about ANAC at www.anacan.org.
With the use of antibiotics for growth and performance promotion phased out in Canadian poultry production, boosting support for overall health is critical. Indeed, overall health is closely related to gut health in chickens and turkeys – the better the gut health, the better the chances of avoiding necrotic enteritis and other diseases that can lead to poor performance and mortality.
When it comes to disease diagnostics, time is of the essence. And yet there is currently no commercial, on-farm detection technique for poultry diseases like avian influenza (AI).
The Canadian Animal Health Surveillance Network (CAHSN) was originally an initiative of the Department of National Defense. The idea was to utilize and connect laboratories across Canada in order to have standardized methodologies, to create networks and to improve bio-containment. In their estimation, it didn’t matter so much how an outbreak of foot and mouth got into the country – whether it was accidental or intentional – they realized it would have the same impact no matter how it got there.
Several years ago, the people at Egg Farmers of Canada (EFC) noticed a trend. In an increasingly urbanized society, fewer people had a direct connection to where their food came from. Despite this shift, the organization’s CEO Tim Lambert noticed younger Canadians were more interested in where their food came from. They appeared particularly concerned about the environmental impact of production.
With farms, woods, wildlife and fresh air, rural residents cherish the charm and beauty of the countryside. Many people move from cities seeking peace and a pristine environment in the country.Most people understand that a rural community includes farmers and that farming is a business. Ontario’s agriculture and food sector employs 760,000 people and contributes more than $35 billion to the province’s economy every year. This means that certain activities take place according to a production schedule; and some affect residents living close to farms. In almost all cases, farmers and their rural neighbours get along well together. However, there are some exceptions.For the year of 2015- 2016 the ministry received 107 complaints related to farm practices. Of these, 45 (40 per cent) were about odour, while the others were mainly about noise (26 per cent), flies (19 per cent) and municipal by-laws (nine per cent).Odour complaints are generally related to: Farmers spreading manure on fields Fans ventilating livestock barns Manure piles Mushroom farms To manage conflict about farm practices, the Ontario government enacted the Farming and Food Production Protection Act (FFPPA). This act establishes the Normal Farm Practices Protection Board (NFPPB) to determine “normal farm practices”. When a person complains about odour or other nuisance from a particular farming practice, the board has the authority to hear the case and decide whether the practice is a “normal farm practice”. If it is, the farmer is protected from any legal action regarding that practice.When people make complaints about farm practices, a regional agricultural engineer or environmental specialist from OMAFRA’s Environmental Management Branch works with all parties involved to resolve the conflict. The board requires that any complaint go through this conflict resolution process before it comes to a hearing.Each year, through the conflict resolution process, OMAFRA staff have resolved the vast majority of complaints. In 2015-16, only twelve of the 107 cases resulted in hearings before the board. Of these, only two were odour cases involving multiple nuisances such as noise, dust and flies. Thus, while odours remain the biggest cause of complaints about farm practices, OMAFRA staff working through the conflict resolution process has proved very effective in dealing with them.
I first heard the word ‘sustainable’ in university many moons ago. It seemed academic, and the right thing to do as we studied agriculture and how to feed the world in the future. Then I didn’t hear that word for about a decade.
As if tax planning weren’t painful enough for poultry producers… Over the past year, the federal government has made things even more confusing – and drawn the ire of farmers in the process. Last summer, the feds unveiled controversial small business tax reforms.
Chicken Farmers of Canada is proud to announce the election of the 2018 executive committee. The elections followed the annual general meeting and the 15-member board of directors, made up of farmers and other stakeholders from the chicken industry, has chosen the following representatives:Benoît Fontaine, Chair (Stanbridge Station, Quebec)Hailing from Stanbridge Station, Quebec, Benoît Fontaine, chair of Chicken Farmers of Canada, most recently served as the first vice-chair of the executive committee. He first joined the board of directors in 2013 as an alternate, and became the Quebec director in 2014. He farms in the Lac Champlain area and raises 5.5 million kg of chicken and 500,000 kg of turkey. A former high school Canadian history teacher, and second generation chicken farmer, Benoît has also been heavily involved in the Union des producteurs agricoles since 1999. Benoît has also served on Chicken Farmers of Canada’s policy committee and the production committee.Derek Janzen, first Vice-Chair (Aldergrove, British Columbia)Derek Janzen, first vice-chair, and his wife Rhonda have farmed in the Fraser Valley since 1998. They currently produce 1.4 million Kg’s of chicken annually and manage 22,000 commercial laying hens. Prior to farming, Derek worked for B.C.’s largest poultry processor for nearly nine years. He worked his way up from driving delivery truck to sales and marketing where he took the position of Major Accounts Manager. Derek’s experience in the processing industry has served him well with his board involvement. Derek has held various positions on a variety of boards including chair of the B.C. Egg Producers Association and also was appointed by the Minister of Agriculture as a member of the Farm Industry Review Board, B.C.’s supervisory board. Derek enjoys being involved in the industry and is excited to represent B.C. at the Chicken Farmers of Canada.Nick de Graaf, 2nd Vice-Chair (Port Williams, Nova Scotia)Nick de Graaf is a third-generation poultry farmer in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia operating the farm founded by his Dutch grandfather in the early 1960’s. Today the farm produces more than 660,000 chickens, and 67,000 turkeys per year. Nick is also part of Innovative Poultry Group (IPG). IPG farms 55,000 broiler breeders and owns Maritime Chicks, a new, state-of-the-art hatchery employing the HatchCare system. In addition to poultry, Nick grows more than 1,600 acres of wheat, corn and soybeans. He is self-sufficient in the production of corn and soybeans for his on-farm feed mill where he processes poultry feeds for his own flocks. Nick is in his 8th year as a director with Chicken Farmers of Nova Scotia. He has participated in Chicken Farmers of Canada as an alternate director and as a member of the policy committee. Nick and his wife, Trudy, have three children and two grandchildren.Tim Klompmaker, Executive Member (Norwood, Ontario)Tim Klompmaker lives in Norwood, Ontario and was elected to the Chicken Farmers of Canada Board in 2017. Tim started farming in 1984 along with his wife Annette and his three sons. He is a third generation chicken farmer with the fourth generation already in place and running chicken farms of their own. Tim served as a district committee representative for Chicken Farmers of Ontario before being elected to the Ontario Board in 2000. He served as CFC alternate representative for Ontario from 2012 to 2013, and has represented Ontario on the CFC Production Committee, the AMU Working Committee, and at NFACC. He has also served as first vice-chair of Chicken Farmers of Ontario.The Board looks forward to continuing its work together, ensuring that Canada’s chicken industry continues to deliver on consumer expectations for excellence. With an eye to the future, Chicken Farmers of Canada will work with all its partners, ensuring clear, common goals for the future, and setting a solid path and purpose for all stakeholders, and for generations of chicken farmers to come.Canadians want Canadian chicken, so we deliver them fresh, locally-raised food, just the way they like it. Our farmers are a stabilizing force in rural Canada, where they can – and do – reinvest with confidence in their communities, but their contribution is much wider. In sum, we are part of Canada’s economic solution, and do so without subsidies, and are very proud of both.Chicken Farmers of Canada introduced its “Raised by a Canadian Farmer” brand in 2013 to showcase the commitment of farmers to provide families with nutritious chicken raised to the highest standards of care, quality and freshness.People care deeply about their food, about knowing where it comes from and that what they’re serving to their family and friends is of the highest quality; our farmers and their families are no different. So, when we say that the Canadian chicken industry is good for Canadians, it’s because we know that we’re raising our chickens to the highest standards: yours.
It wasn’t exactly the kind of product launch that consumers – and, for that matter, retailers – were expecting. Almost two years after receiving government approval to supply Ontario-sourced kosher chickens, Premier Kosher introduced its free-range birds in 50-pound boxes that were shipped directly to customers, bypassing retailers entirely – at least for now.The move came only a few weeks after Premier Kosher received final government approval for its production plant in Abingdon, Ont., and only a few weeks before the Passover season, the busiest time of year for kosher food retailers. | For the full story, CLICK HERE.
The idea of using a biological system to produce products for human use is not new. Since civilization began, humans have harnessed bacteria, yeast and more to produce alcoholic drinks, fermented foods and, later on, things like silk and insulin.
As part of Cargill Protein’s efforts to address growing interest from customers and consumers for continuous improvement in humane handling of food animals, Cargill Protein is investing $22 million (CDN) to install a state-of-the-art Controlled Atmospheric Stunning (CAS) system at its London, Ont., chicken processing facility. The system replaces electric stunning and will be operational this spring.“As we grow our business to meet consumer and customer demand for wholesome, nutritious, affordable animal protein, we continuously explore enhancements that position us as an industry leader in both animal welfare and protein production,” said Claudecir Pagnussatto, plant general manager at London. “Our new CAS system will help reduce handling stress with chickens, resulting in a higher-quality, more consistent product.”While both electric and CAS stunning systems are approved, proven and acceptable for humane poultry harvesting, a growing number of consumers and customers are expressing a desire for CAS systems at poultry facilities. Cargill was a pioneer in the use of CAS at a U.S. turkey processing facility more than a decade ago.“Cargill is committed to ensuring the highest standards of animal welfare are maintained and believes all food animals deserve respect and dignity prior to harvesting. We have led the way in many areas of animal welfare,” said Dr. Stephanie Cottee, Cargill’s global head of poultry welfare. “We were the first to install third-party remote video auditing at our harvest plants to ensure our animal welfare program is properly implemented.“For the past two years, we have been named to the second highest international company ranking tier by the U.K.-based Business Benchmark for Farm Animal Welfare. We are dedicated to animal welfare because it’s the right thing to do.”This investment also underscores Cargill’s commitment to its traditional protein business, with nearly $900 million of investments in North America over the past two years to ensure continued growth. Cargill’s London, Ont., chicken processing facility serves customers throughout Canada and produces a variety of products to meet customer specifications. It was opened in 1987 and employs more than 830 people.
I recently went back to school to join an ethical food choice discussion at a high school in our nation’s capital. Although it jarred me on some levels, it inspired me on many more. I’m sharing this experience as just one example of thousands like it that are happening online, in boardrooms and conversations about food across Canada every single day.
Canada is a leading producer of high-quality, safe agricultural and food products. Agriculture is a major contributor to Canada's economy, and the sector is expected to prosper throughout 2018. A growing world population, the rise in disposable income in developing nations, and increasing trade in farm products present opportunities to further grow the Canadian agriculture sector, creating more jobs for the middle class.Canadian exports of agriculture, agri-food, fish and seafood to all countries in 2017 rose to $64.6 billion, a $2 billion increase from 2016 exports. Canada is the world's fifth highest total exporter (by value) of agricultural and food commodities. Maintaining and enhancing the strength of our exports is vital to achieving the Government of Canada's trade target of growing agriculture and food exports to $75 billion by 2025.Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada recently released the 2018 Canadian Agricultural Outlook with analysis on the economic state of the agriculture and food sector. The Outlook report provides a forecast of farm income for 2017 and 2018, and looks ahead to longer-term trends that could impact the agriculture sector.According to the report, Canada's producers are forecast to see record farm income levels in 2017 and near-record levels in 2018. Crop and livestock receipts are both set to increase in 2017 and 2018. Net cash income is forecast to reach a record level in 2017 and remain high in 2018. At the same time, continued growth in asset values is expected to raise average farm net worth to $3.16 million by 2018.Budget 2018 takes the next steps towards building a gender equal, competitive, sustainable and fair Canada – where science and innovation spur economic growth.Budget 2018 contains many initiatives that will build on the ambitious growth agenda for agriculture set out in Budget 2017, which included many significant ongoing investments to help our farm families and agri-food processors excel, including the $3 billion federal-provincial-territorial agricultural policy framework, the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, $950 million Innovation Supercluster Initiative including the Protein Industries Supercluster, $1.26 billion Strategic Innovation Fund, $70 million for agricultural science, and $2 billion in rural infrastructure.Together, these investments will build on the Government of Canada's strong agenda for agriculture and help ensure Canada's agriculture and agri-food sector remains a leader in job creation and innovation, and a continued engine of economic growth."Strong international demand for Canada's safe, high-quality agricultural products has helped make the sector a key driver of the economy. The Government of Canada is working hard to ensure farmers and the agriculture and food system as a whole, are prepared to meet global needs, helping to strengthen the middle class and keep Canada on the path to prosperity," said Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.
Many of you are aware that the Federal Government recently introduced tax legislation that affects farm business owners all over Canada. Because of the rapid way in which things progressed, there is a lot of confusion as to what legislation was proposed, modified, or simply dropped altogether.I have attempted to outline the “evolution” of these tax changes in this article, from early 2017 to where we are today.I wish I could tell you that the tax changes create a better tax environment for business owners, but in my opinion the opposite is true – business owners now face more complexities and uncertainties then ever in managing their tax affairs and trying to comply with tax legislation.On that positive note, let us start with a quick history lesson:Background/TimelineMarch 22, 2017 – Budget 2017Finance signals its intention to address specific tax planning strategies employed by business owners.July 18, 2017 – Finance releases the ProposalsFinance releases the consultation paper, and unexpected draft legislation and explanatory notes (“the Proposals”).The Proposals target the following strategies: Income splitting (“Income Splitting Proposals”): Income splitting is redirecting taxable income between the family so that the family “unit” pays the least amount of income tax. This includes allowing more than one family member to access the Enhanced Capital Gains Exemption (ECGE). Private corporations investing in passive assets (“Passive Investment Proposals”): Canadian-controlled private corporations carrying on an active business in Canada (which includes farming) have the ability to pay a low rate of tax on the first $500,000 of corporate business profits. Corporations can invest the after-tax business profits in rental property, stocks, bonds, etc., and delay triggering personal tax until some later date. Surplus stripping (“Surplus Stripping Proposals”): Converting what would otherwise be a taxable dividend from a company to a capital gain, which are currently taxed at lower rates. July 19, 2017 – October 2, 2017 – Reaction to the ProposalsOutrage within the business and tax community ensues.The business and tax community identify a significant number of issues with the Proposals, including but not limited to:Income Splitting Proposals: Too complicated for business owners, let alone professional tax advisors, to understand, increasing tax compliance costs. Significant concern that the Proposals will result in CRA challenges to what should be a relatively simple business decision, i.e. how much can I pay my family members and myself. The cost of incorrectly applying these rules is significant – income is taxed at the highest marginal tax rate for the province of residency. In Ontario, this can be as high as 54%. Farmers and their family members may not be able to access their ECGE. Passive Investment Proposals: Business owners will pay extremely high rates of tax on investment income earned in a corporation and paid out to the owner as a dividend. In some cases, the rate of tax could be as high as 73%. The sale of land or quota within a corporation, or the rental of land owned by a corporation, is treated as investment income, which would specifically affect farmers. Surplus Stripping Proposals: Estates could face significantly larger tax burdens if a business owner passes away. Tax costs to transition incorporated businesses to the next generation increase significantly, providing a tax incentive to sell the business “outside” the family. October 16, 2017 – October 19, 2017 – Finance Takes a Step BackFinance makes a number of significant announcements regarding the Proposals: October 16, 2017: Finance announces it intends to proceed with the Income Splitting Proposals, however They intend to simplify them; and Restrictions on the ECGE will be dropped altogether. October 16, 2017: Finance announces it will reduce the small business tax rate to 10% effective January 1, 2018 and to 9% effective January 1, 2019. This affects CCPC’s carrying on an active business in Canada. This announcement is a surprise, albeit a welcome one. October 18, 2017: Finance announces it intends to proceed with the Passive Investment Proposals, however current investments will be “protected” from the new rules, as well as corporations earning less than $50,000 of investment income in any given year. October 19, 2017: Finance announces it is going to drop the Surplus Stripping Proposals altogether. December 13, 2017 – Finance releases “Version 2” of the Income Splitting ProposalsThe revised Income Splitting Proposals are simplified, and a number of exclusions to the rules are introduced.The Income Splitting Proposals are to be effective January 1, 2018.February 27, 2018 – Budget 2018Finance releases draft legislation regarding the Passive Investment Proposals.These rules are simpler and less complicated compared to what Finance was originally proposing.March 27, 2018 – Bill C74 – Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 1 (March 27, 2018)“Version 3” of the Income Splitting Proposals as well as the Passive Investment Proposals are introduced in this Bill.Where are We Now?Income Splitting ProposalsWe are in a completely different world now when it comes to income splitting.A family business carried on through a corporation, partnership, or trust must consider the new rules when any family member is paid from that business.Generally speaking, if you pay a family member income from a family business, that income will attract the highest marginal tax rate for your province. This concept is known as “tax on split income,” or TOSI.Thankfully, there are exceptions to the TOSI rules. Some of the more notable ones are as follows: TOSI does not apply to a wage or salary – which have always been subject to a “reasonability” requirement; TOSI does not apply to income from an “excluded business” – this exception looks at the level of involvement of the family member in the business, both in the current year and throughout the history of the business; TOSI does not apply to income from “excluded shares” – this exception is only relevant for incorporated businesses, and looks at the nature of the business being carried on in the company, the source of its income, as well as the type and number of shares owned; and TOSI does not apply to a capital gain from the disposition of “qualified farm property,” which can include shares of a family farm corporation, however you still have to be careful if a minor shareholder is involved. There are other exceptions to TOSI as well which might be relevant for your situation.Passive Investment ProposalsEffective January 1, 2019, if a corporation earns in excess of $50,000 of investment income in the prior year, access to the low small business tax rate in the next year is affected.This will apply to the corporation earning the investment income, as well as any other corporations “associated” with that corporation (essentially a group of corporations with common control/shareholders).“Investment income” will not include the sale of assets that are used in an active business, such as farmland or quota.Next StepsConsult with your tax advisor immediately to: Determine the impact of the Income Splitting Proposals on the current business structure/remuneration plan for family members; Consider the impact of the Passive Investment Proposals and whether access to the low small business tax rate is affected, assuming your business is incorporated; and Determine whether any planning or restructuring is required because of these new rules. In the meantime, we anxiously await more direction from Finance and CRA on many of the issues, uncertainties, and complexities relating to the legislation in its current form.
Canada's agriculture and food system is a leading producer of high-quality, safe products and a key driver of the country's economic growth. The Government of Canada understands the importance of this sector in creating good, middle-class jobs, while growing the economy, and is committed to working with farmers, ranchers and processors to ensure its continued innovation, growth and prosperity.April 1st marked the official launch of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a progressive $3-billion commitment that will help chart the course for government investments in the sector over the next five years. The Partnership aims to continue to help the sector grow trade, advance innovation while maintaining and strengthening public confidence in the food system, and increase its diversity.Federal, provincial and territorial (FPT) governments have been working collaboratively since 2016 to develop the next agricultural policy framework, the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. FPT governments consulted with a wide range of stakeholders, including producers, processors, indigenous communities, women, youth, and small and emerging sectors to ensure the Partnership was focused on the issues that matter most to them.In addition, under the Partnership, business risk management (BRM) programs will continue to help producers manage significant risks that threaten the viability of their farm and are beyond their capacity to manage.Ministers of Agriculture will convene in Vancouver this July for the Annual Meeting of Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers of Agriculture."I am incredibly proud to announce that the Canadian Agricultural Partnership has officially launched and all that it promises for our great sector. Our goal is to help Canadian farmers, ranchers and processors compete successfully in markets at home and around the globe, through this strong collaboration between provincial, territorial and federal governments," said Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

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