Utilizing vaccines to reduce antimicrobial use

Utilizing vaccines to reduce antimicrobial use

By controlling certain viral diseases with vaccination, producers can reduce on-farm antimicrobial usage.

Nesting in enriched cages

Nesting in enriched cages

While multiple studies have uncovered some of what affects nesting and pre-nesting behaviour, much remains to be learned.

Maximizing broiler performance

Maximizing broiler performance

Reaching genetic potential through best management practices.

DATE: January 16LOCATION: United Counties of Prescott and RussellDETAILS: OMAFRA is reporting that a chicken from a mixed flock of 100 birds has tested positive for Infectious Laryngotracheitis (ILT). Poultry producers, small flock growers and service providers are urged to maintain enhanced biosecurity in the United Counties of Prescott Russell north of Hwy 417.SOURCE: www.fbcc.ca
DATE: January 8, 2019LOCATION: Riverside Country, Calif.DETAILS: The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed virulent Newcastle disease in a second commercial poultry flock in California. The latest case is in a commercial layer flock in Riverside County. This finding is part of an outbreak in southern California that began in May 2018 in backyard exhibition birds.SOURCE: www.aphis.usda.gov
Ontario's Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Ernie Hardeman, recently launched a public awareness campaign to highlight mental health challenges suffered by farmers and encourage people to ask for help when daily struggles become too much to bear."We care about the well-being of our farmers and farm families. We recognize they face unique mental health challenges associated with running a farm business, and want them to know it's OK to reach out for help," said Hardeman.As part of the campaign, Hardeman held a roundtable with members of the agricultural community and had a candid discussion on mental health issues in the sector."Farming can be a tough business, one that sometimes takes a toll on farmers and their families and yet we all know people who have been reluctant to ask for help," said Hardeman. "We want to address the stigma that still surrounds mental health, and help people find the resources that can make a difference."The ministry also supports a number of programs to help farmers, including research to evaluate mental health needs for farmers and farm business risk management programs to cover loss and damage.This is part of the government's commitment to invest $3.8 billion over the next 10 years to develop and implement a comprehensive and connected mental health and addictions strategy. "I want to thank the farmers and farm leaders who participated in our mental health roundtable and showed a great deal of openness and commitment to help tackle this issue and support hopefulness," Hardeman said.
DATE: December 21LOCATION: CanadaDETAILS: As of December 21st, 22 confirmed cases of Salmonella have appeared in Canada. This prompted the Public Health Agency of Canada to collaborate with provincial public health partners, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Health Canada to investigate the outbreak. The investigation found exposure to raw chicken and turkey products to be the likely source of the outbreak. That's because many individuals who got sick noted eating different types of chicken and turkey before their illness occurred. Almost half of the illnesses, which are genetically related to illnesses that date back to 2017, happened between October and November of 2018.SOURCE: Canada.ca
After a year of uncertainty, Canada, the U.S. and Mexico finally agreed on ‘NAFTA 2.0’. Renamed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), all three countries are expected to ratify the deal fairly soon.
In late 2017, the Poultry Industry Council reported that, “increased numbers of reovirus-associated lameness cases were reported in Ontario broiler flocks by poultry veterinarians between August and October.” It was necessary for some infected birds to be euthanized.
DATE: December 16, 2018LOCATION: Saint- Felix-de-Valois in Lanaudiere Region of QuebecDETAILS: There have been no additional cases of Infectious Laryngotracheitis (ILT) reported from the Quebec outbreak. An aggressive vaccination program continues. The first confirmed case in this outbreak occurred on June 14, 2018.SOURCE: www.fbcc.ca
DATE: December 14, 2018LOCATION: Leeds Grenville, OntarioDETAILS: A small flock of seven layer type birds has tested positive for Infectious Laryngotracheitis (ILT). Clinical signs first appeared in late November. The virus has been identified as a wild strain. Poultry producers, small flock growers and service providers are being urged to maintain enhanced biosecurity.SOURCE: www.fbcc.ca
DATE: December 5, 2018LOCATION: Perth County, OntarioDETAILS: Further laboratory tests have confirmed the diagnosis of Infectious Laryngotracheitis (ILT) in a Perth county egg layer flock. Birds were previously vaccinated as pullets. Mortality levels are decreasing, and the remainder of the flock appears healthy. Strict biocontainment measures are in place at the farm. Poultry producers and small flock growers are being urged to maintain enhanced biosecurity, particularly in unvaccinated flocks in the 10 km radius biosecurity risk area.SOURCE: www.fbcc.ca
DATE: November 9-15, 2018LOCATION: Los Angeles and Riverside counties, Calif.DETAILS: During the week of November 9-15, the USDA confirmed two additional cases of vND in backyard exhibition chickens in Los Angeles and Riverside counties, California. Since May 18, the USDA has confirmed 178 cases of vND in California: 104 in San Bernardino County, 35 in Riverside County, 38 in Los Angeles County and 1 in Ventura County.SOURCE: content.govdelivery.com
4-H Canada announced a new program Tuesday that will support the emotional and physical well being of rural youth across Canada.Called the 4-H Canada Healthy Living Initiative, the two-year program begins in spring 2019.The collaborate effort is supported by founding partner Farm Credit Canada (FCC), UFA Co-operative Limited, DowDuPont and Cargill, who’ve collectively pledged $150,000 toward the initiative.“This is an investment in young people who will play a large role in shaping the future of Canadian agriculture,” says Michael Hoffort, FCC president and CEO.The first year of the program will see the creation of resources and tools that will support youth facing mental health challenges.It will communicate how to access resources or recognize when a peer needs support as well.The second year will focus on physical health, nutrition and well-being.The approach is intended to help youth both navigate challenges and develop their strengths while focusing on wellness.The healthy living initiative is in response to the critical needs of youth in rural communities in Canada.Young people living in rural and remote communities are at greater risk of experiencing struggles related to their mental and physical well-being.They also lack the resources and services that might be available to those in more urban areas.The goal of this initiative is to support the 25,000 4-H youth members across Canada to lead lives that balance emotional, mental and physical health and remove barriers to access.As part of the two-year commitment, 4-H Canada will also deliver webinars and workshops and assist in the creation of resources that will be made available for the over 7,700 4-H volunteer leaders that are critical mentors and role models in adult-youth partnerships.These resources will train volunteers and offer resources that help recognize youth in distress and provide the access to support they need.“The Healthy Living Initiative means offering youth not only the tools and resources to face challenges, but also opportunities to learn how to thrive,” says Shannon Benner, 4-H Canada CEO.
Alternative housing systems have gained in popularity over the past few years due to an increase in outside influences. Consumers have become more involved with farm-to-fork and have driven the egg industry to adopt modifications on how birds are housed throughout their production cycle. 
The goal of any broiler breeder program is to produce the greatest number of hatching eggs per hen housed and life of flock hatch to give us the most chicks per hen housed.
Transitioning from a conventional cage to alternative housing, either cage-free or within an aviary system, requires careful attention to good management. One important aspect of that is nutrition.
As you bundle up for winter, your livestock aren’t the only ones who want to stay out of the cold. Pests also seek shelter indoors when the temperatures drop. So, make the necessary preparations around your property to keep both the cold air and pests outside where they belong.
With the elimination of antibiotics occurring across Canadian poultry production, factors such as water quality are becoming much more important in the quest to optimize bird health.
There are three design elements of the Weeden sprinkler system.
Though barn fires are a year-round concern, most barn fires occur in the winter. The colder months are generally the time when feed and bedding storage is greatest, electricity use is high, and equipment repairs and upgrades are made. It is an important time to be extra vigilant. When it comes to barn fires, prevention is key.The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), in collaboration with representatives from fire protection and response, insurance, university, farm and commodity organizations, recommends these top 10 safety practices to reduce the risk of fire. These practices can be done without having to make major changes to building structures or equipment.1. Focus on HousekeepingMaintaining a clean and organized barn is a simple and cost-effective way to reduce the likelihood of barn fires.2. Limit The Use of Temporary Electrical EquipmentExtended use of temporary equipment can increase the chance of a fire occurring through degraded outlets and extension cords. Make sure to hard-wire electrical equipment that is used regularly.3. Regularly Inspect and Maintain Permanent Electrical SystemsThe humidity and corrosive gases generated by livestock and the storage of manure can degrade permanent electrical systems. The Electrical Safety Code has specific requirements for the installation of electrical equipment within livestock housing areas. For more information, see Section 22-204 and Bulletin 22-3-5 in the Ontario Electrical Safety Code and the OMAFRA factsheet, Electrical Systems in Barns.4. Perform Hot Works SafelyWhen using such things as welders and blow torches make sure to do the work in well-ventilated areas outside buildings. If the work needs to be done inside farm buildings, ensure the area is well ventilated, remove all combustible materials, place non-combustible pads under the work area, and have a fire extinguisher readily accessible.5. Participate in a Risk Reduction Assessment with Insurance or Fire DepartmentsMany insurance companies and fire departments offer onsite reviews or risk reduction assessments for farms. Take advantage of these opportunities to help identify potential risks and get recommendations to address concerns.6. Prepare and Implement a Fire Safety PlanA fire safety plan can help ensure a farm operation is regularly maintaining safety equipment, avoiding or reducing high risk activities and is prepared to respond to a fire.7. Regularly Inspect and Maintain Fire Walls, Fire Separations and Attic Fire StopsFire walls, fire separations and attic fire stops can slow down the progression of a fire within a building and increase the time for people to escape.8. Regularly Maintain HeatersEnsure heaters are properly installed, regularly maintained, and suspended well above combustibles or where they cannot be damaged by livestock.9. Store and Maintain Motorized Equipment Away From LivestockMotorized equipment, such as tractors, produce significant amounts of heat, even after being turned off and stored. This heat can dry debris caught in the equipment and cause the material to ignite. In addition, motorized equipment can develop electrical/mechanical failures that provide additional sources of ignition.10. Store Combustibles in a Designated Location Away From LivestockCombustibles such as straw or oil provide the fuel to feed a fire. Isolating these materials in a separate area reduces the risk of a fire spreading throughout the barn.Visit Ontario.ca/preventfarmfires for more details on the top 10 ways to reduce the risk of barn fires or find out about the other resources provided by OMAFRA, including new videos on how to reduce the risk.
The Ontario government recently unveiled new resources to help farmers reduce the risk of barn fires this winter, the time when most barn fires occur.The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs released a series of new videos on ways to prevent barn fires. The videos are part of an ongoing effort with farmers and industry to develop different ways to reduce the potential loss of human and animal lives, injury and property damage from barn fires. Visit Ontario.ca\preventfarmfires to learn more about preventing barn fires, and to view these recently added resources: factsheet on the 10 ways to reduce the risk of barn fires video on good housekeeping practices in barns video on safety practices regarding electrical equipment video on safety practices when performing hotworks such as welding, grinding and torching Preparation and planning are also crucial in barn fire prevention: Have a contingency plan ready to deal with any emergency. Develop a preventative maintenance and housekeeping schedule. Have buildings inspected and maintained regularly by a licensed electrical contractor. Work with the local fire department and insurance company to identify any problem areas, and fix those problems. Train family and employees on what to do if there is a barn fire.
Canadian Bio-Systems Inc. (CBS Inc.) has launched a new yeast-based feed additive.Yeast Bioactives technology is designed for use as a feed supplement in diets for poultry, swine and ruminants.The company says it fits as an enhanced yeast and grain management option with advantages for all types of production systems, including those targeting reduction or replacement of antimicrobial use.It launched the product on December 1, the same date new antimicrobial use rules take effect in Canada, in several product lines as part of the company’s Feed Science Platforms portfolio.“The introduction of Yeast Bioactives technology is a major innovation for the global animal feed sector that comes at an important time of industry evolution,” says Rob Patterson, CBS Inc. Technical Director.“It represents a leap forward in consistency and efficacy compared to conventional yeast cell wall components used in animal feed. It offers a unique solution that addresses many of the current trends and needs of the industry.”The new Yeast Bioactives technology stems from multiple years of discovery research by CBS Inc. in partnership with the novel feed technology research program led by Dr. Bogdan Slominski at the University of Manitoba.Through that research it has reportedly shown properties and activities that help to mitigate a number of potential threats that can undermine feed quality, animal performance, animal health and food safety.It has also shown a high level of prebiotic activity that further supports an optimal environment for animal wellness, performance and related productivity, the company says.“Yeast Bioactives technology can be used consistently as an ongoing safeguard and support for optimal health, performance and productivity under a variety of production systems,” says Paul Garvey, CBS Inc. poultry sales manager.“It can also be used as a tool to support strategies for antimicrobial reduction or replacement. As a bio-based feed ingredient, it fits the type of solution favored not only on-farm but also by retail customers and consumers of animal-based food products.”
Enjoying large-scale popularity throughout Latin America, Aviagen's Ross 308 AP is now quickly gaining momentum in U.S. markets.Beyond the U.S. and Latin America, the bird – which Aviagen touts as "the complete package" – is currently being tested in other regions such as India.The Ross 308 AP’s high environmental tolerance makes it favorable for a variety of climates. Additionally, Latin American customers have seen two to three points in feed conversion improvements.Aviagen president of North America Kevin McDaniel commented on the bird's increasing popularity."The broiler and breeder performance advantages of the Ross 308 AP have helped promote the businesses of Latin American farmers, and these same benefits have led to a rapid growth in the US as well.”
Getting the flock off to the right start can help positively impact health and performance throughout the flock’s life. Issues such as the environment and management of the bird, barn, feed and water are just a few factors that need to be addressed and monitored during brooding.
As Canadian egg producers move towards alternative housing, they will need to prepare for new challenges. In Switzerland, where battery-caged production was banned outright in 1992, a group of researchers works to address those challenges, including nest box behaviour, piling and smothering issues, depopulation, ranging behaviour and keel bone damage. 
As ‘Raised Without Antibiotics’ (RWA) chicken production grows – and the elimination of antibiotics for growth promotion and health protection continues within Canada’s broiler industry – the need for alternatives also grows.
Nutrition company Jefo officially announced its plan to build a new 200 000 square feet production plant in Saint-Hyacinthe, Que.This new building, estimated at $30 million, will be located in the Théo-Phénix Industrial Park.The area, acquired in 2018, is strategic due to its proximity to the other Jefo Group facilities, which include a transportation company, a transshipment site, research centres for poultry nutrition, warehouses, the production plant and more."We aim to generate 1 billion dollars in revenue by 2025, so this project is necessary to support our current growth and ambitious goal," says Jean-François Fontaine, vice president of the Jefo Group."In addition to increasing our production capacity, the new production plant will reduce the risk of producing in a single facility."The first phase of the project consists of two production lines, with potential expansion to six lines, which translates to the creation of 20 new jobs in the near future and 60 in the long run.Jefo's current production plant features four production lines that generate more than 5,000 tons of animal feed additives annually.These products are marketed in more than 80 countries.
A replica of an Aviagen hatchery and delivery truck are currently on display in a 9-by-36-foot poultry industry diorama – a miniature model exhibited at the Georgia Poultry Lab in Gainesville since 2017. Aviagen is a sponsor of the diorama, and the hatchery shown is based on the company’s Sallisaw, Okla., facility.With an HO-scale electric train running through its landscape, the diorama depicts the entire poultry value chain – from a pullet farm, breeder farm, hatchery and broiler farm, to a processing plant, feed mill and commercial egg farm. The scene closes at the Port of Savannah, through which poultry is exported to other countries. A video walk-through of the entire diorama is available at www.gapoultrylab.org/poultry-diorama/.Promoting public awareness of poultry health and welfareThe diorama helps the lab fulfil its goal of educating the public on an industry that represents a major part of the economy in Georgia, which is the top producer of poultry and broilers in the U.S. Aviagen currently has one hatchery in Blairsville, Ga., and a new hatchery now under construction in Quitman, Ga., is slated to open in the spring of 2019.The Georgia Poultry Lab hosts regular public tours led by poultry health experts, who educate the public on the great care that is taken to keep the industry healthy. The diorama is located in the lab’s mezzanine, where groups can biosecurely view the lab activities below through large windows.“Aviagen is committed to the health, welfare and biosecurity of our poultry throughout the value chain, and this is a commitment we share with the Georgia Poultry Lab. We’re proud to sponsor the diorama exhibit, as it is part of the lab’s efforts to build public confidence in our industry,” explained Aviagen Vice President of Veterinary Services Dr. Eric Jensen.“The diorama gives us an opportunity to explain all aspects of the industry, from live production to exports, to groups that range from middle school kids to international delegations, without going to farms or plants,” added Dr. Louise Dufour-Zavala, executive director of the Georgia Poultry Lab. “It also helps children understand where their food is coming from!”
Egg Farmers of Canada is honoured to be named as one of Canada’s Top Employers for Young People for 2019. The award recognizes the best workplaces across Canada for young people starting their careers right out of university.“Young people are tremendously valuable in our workplace. They bring fresh, new ideas to the table, and are keen to develop and hone their skills,” says Tim Lambert, chief executive officer at Egg Farmers of Canada. “We want to provide the best developmental opportunities for all our employees, and we want to help guide and grow our young people to be successful in their careers.”Egg Farmers of Canada’s employee-centric culture and a commitment to giving back to the community are just some of the reasons why young people want to work there. Careers are enriched through professional development and specialized leadership training. Staff have a range of opportunities to grow in their role, take on a great deal of ownership towards their projects, and participate in activities that directly engage them in our commitment to giving back.This approach to human resources and employee engagement complements Egg Farmers of Canada’s mission to position the egg industry as a leader in Canada’s agricultural future, and their vision where everyone—whether it be due to want or need—can enjoy the immeasurable benefits of the humble egg.While this is the first time Egg Farmers of Canada has received this honour, they have been named as one of Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures by Waterstone Human Capital since 2014 and a National Capital Region’s Top Employer for six consecutive years. These recognitions demonstrate Egg Farmers of Canada’s commitment to their employees, and young people are no exception.
Maggie Van Camp is the new National Agricultural Practice Development Leader for BDO Canada, based out of the Guelph, Ont. office. Van Camp comes to BDO with decades of experience in agricultural publishing — most recently, 11 years as Senior Business Editor with Country Guide. She has developed a reputation for integrity, consistently sourcing practical business information for farmers and strategically identifying paramount issues for the agricultural industry."As Canadian farms and agri-businesses get more complex, they need better, more in-depth professional services and financial advice," says Van Camp. “BDO's accountants are smart, skilled, and passionate about agriculture. It's a perfect fit.""As National Agriculture Group Industry Leader, I am so excited about Maggie joining our team. Her vast agricultural knowledge and experience will enhance the level of service we are able to provide our agricultural clients,” says BDO Partner Mark Verwey. Van Camp is also CEO and owner of Redcrest Farms, a broiler farm near Blackstock, Ont. Prior to farming, she lived and worked in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Southwestern Ontario. Van Camp is a director for the Eastern Canadian Farm Writers Association. She was previously a 4-H leader and on the county board executive, and she has volunteered at her local fair and church.
Kemin Industries, a global ingredient manufacturer, is commemorating the first year of its expansion into Canada. In January 2018, Kemin acquired the assets of its longtime distributor, Agri-Marketing Corp., and has integrated this business into Kemin Animal Nutrition and Health, which has created more growth in the Canadian market.“With the new Canada location, we have increased our efforts to better serve our current customers, and we are continuing to explore new opportunities for Kemin products and services to improve the quality of life for people and animals across the country,” says Ferdie Nel, country manager – Canada, Kemin Animal Nutrition and Health – North America. “We’ve had great reception from Canadian producers and the agricultural industry, and we look forward to growing our business with these partners further.”As Kemin completes its first year of business in Canada, it’s preparing for future expansions and increasing product awareness with Canadian producers. Currently, the company offers more than 20 products in Canada, including organic trace minerals, mold inhibitors, antioxidants and acidifiers, among other categories of products.“While we will continue to bring new products to market in the future, we are very pleased with the diverse portfolio we currently offer. Our promise of quality and safety is embedded in everything Kemin does, and this is a great source of pride for us that we want to share with our Canadian customers,” Nel says.
CBC News has published a comprehensive update on the Polar Egg initiative in Hay River, N.W.T. Click here for Canadian Poultry's origional report on this project. | READ MORE
Water is one of the keys to maximizing the performing of your flock. This being the case, some producers go the extra mile to ensure their birds have access to a top quality drinking source. Here, we look at three producers and their unique approaches to water management.
Trevor MacDonald from Murray River, about 55 kilometres southeast of Charlottetown, proudly holds up one of his newest chickens — a silver spangled Hamburg that he hopes will be a contender in next year's poultry shows.This particular breed originated in northern Europe hundreds of years ago. "It was the first breed I had when I started as a kid and you kind of get attached," MacDonald said.MacDonald, who's a substitute teacher, has about 150 fancy chickens and 50 show pigeons in his coop. But it's the chickens that stole his heart long ago.He started showing them at local fairs 40 years ago. "I got into it as a kid. My dad had a few, a couple of great uncles that were into it at that time and some cousins."For the full story, CLICK HERE
On the evening of 7 August 2018, a KLM charter flight left Amsterdam, landing 11 hours later at Kilimanjaro airport in northern Tanzania. Its young occupants were nodded through immigration and driven 50 miles to their new home, close to some of Africa’s most famous game parks.These were no tourists hoping to see lions in the nearby Serengeti. The 2,320 little cockerels and 17,208 hens on the plane were a flock of European-bred pedigree Cobb 500 chickens, the world’s most popular breed. Their destination: a remote 200-hectare mega-farm under construction in the windy foothills of snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro.Here, where wildlife and nomadic tribes have always roamed, Tyson, the world’s second-largest food company, has set up with Irvine’s, Africa’s oldest industrial chicken producer. With the backing of a devout Christian businessman, Donnie Smith, the three partners aim to revolutionise food production in central Africa and “save” people from hunger by growing chickens on an American scale. The little chicks and hens are the expeditionary force of an army of Cobb 500s to follow.For the full story, CLICK HERE
A barn at the University of Alberta Poultry Research Centre in south Edmonton is home to more than 1,600 healthy, clucking chickens.But these fowl aren't ordinary, these are heritage chickens.The classic breeds include the 1957 random-bred Broiler line and the Barred Plymouth Rock, a breed that dates back to 1910.Frank Robinson, a professor of Agricultural Life and Environmental Sciences at the University of Alberta, said commercial farming has made these breeds extremely rare, and some might be extinct without the program.For the full story, CLICK HERE
The GVF group of companies recently announced the creation and launch of Farmers Pharmacy Rx Limited. This new livestock and poultry medicine dispensary has arrived in conjunction with the enactment of regulatory changes surrounding antibiotics that affect all livestock and poultry producers.Farmers Pharmacy Rx Limited is a 4,500 ft2 “lock and leave” pharmacy housed within the Farmers Farmacy facility located on Dobbie Drive in Cambridge, Ont.This pharmacy has been created to provide producers with ready, easy access to topical, water soluble, injectable and feed antibiotics and medications – all important tools for farmers raising and caring for livestock and poultry.In order to purchase livestock antibiotics through Farmers Pharmacy Rx Limited, a producer must first obtain a prescription from the veterinarian with whom they have an active “vet client patient relationship”. This prescription may be provided to Farmers Pharmacy Rx Limited by fax or email (contact information below) from a veterinary clinic or from a producer with veterinarian confirmation. Once received and dispensed by our licensed pharmacist, packaged goods (water soluble, injectable, topical) medications may be delivered by courier direct to farm. Courier deliveries within the province of Ontario will be received the next day. Prescriptions including (full bags) of feed medications will be dispensed in the same manner and may be delivered using the Grand Valley Fortifiers fleet of premix delivery vehicles. These vehicles follow strict bio-security protocols for all of their deliveries. All direct to farm deliveries will require a producer signature indicating that they have received their prescribed medication products. Of course, producers also have the option of picking up their prescription orders at the Farmers Farmacy facility during regular business hours.Medicated complete feed or premix will continue to be available through Grand Valley Fortifiers or the producer’s current feed supplier. A valid prescription however, will now be required to purchase medicated feed, nursery feeds and premixes.Initially, Farmers Pharmacy Rx Limited will carry inventory of historical “over the counter” (OTC) feed antibiotics, water soluble, injectable and topical medications. Over time, this product portfolio will expand to include more of the traditional prescription-only water soluble and injectable medications as the number prescriptions fulfilled by Farmers Pharmacy Rx Limited increases.
Over 400 people, including representatives of the turkey industry, local community members, and government officials, gathered to celebrate and tour the new Hendrix Genetics commercial turkey hatchery in Beresford, S.D. This new facility will hatch poults for commercial farmers throughout North America. This event was a rare opportunity to see inside a facility like this, as once in production, biosecurity policies will be in effect to support the high-health requirements of the Hendrix Genetics Turkey operations. A few of these policies were evident and experienced first-hand. Upon entry, all attendees were asked to sanitize their hands and wear special protective covers over their shoes to prevent the entry of contaminants from the outside.The hatchery represents one of the largest pieces for a project initiated in 2017. At this time, Hendrix Genetics announced they would establish their own turkey poult distribution network in the U.S. The objective: to ensure top quality and availability of Hybrid Turkeys products throughout the turkey value chain. This investment, estimated at approximately $70 million, includes new and updated breeding farms, two new hatcheries, and a new transportation fleet.After speeches and an official ribbon cutting ceremony, guests toured the hatchery to learn about the facility features.
More than half the food produced in Canada is wasted and the average kitchen tosses out hundreds of dollars worth of edibles every year, says a study researchers are calling the first of its kind.''It's a lot of food,'' said Lori Nikkel of Second Harvest, the Toronto-based group working to reduce food waste that commissioned the study.''We waste more food than we consume.''The study released Thursday is the world's first to measure food waste using data from industry and other sources instead of estimates, said Martin Gooch of Value Chain Management International, which conducted the study.Value Chain works with agriculture, aquaculture, marine and food industries to make them more profitable.''What we did was actually go to industry and (said), 'Give us primary data,''' Gooch said. ''This is the first time anywhere in the world that anyone's gone out and got primary data that connects production with consumers.''Results were checked with industry experts.''At every point in the process, we ground-truthed it,'' said Gooch. ''We're confident our results are conservative.''Previous work has suggested that Canadians waste almost 400 kilograms of food per person, one of the world's highest totals. The new work adds considerable detail to that figure.Apples rot in the grass for lack of harvest workers. Surplus milk is flushed. Thousands of hectares of produce are plowed after cancelled orders.The report, funded largely by the Walmart Foundation, concludes 58 per cent of Canadian food production is wasted.That includes unavoidable waste such as animal bones. But a solid one-third of the waste _ more than 11 million tonnes _ could be recovered.The report says the value of usable groceries that wind up in landfills or other disposal sites is almost $50 billion. That's more than half the amount Canadians spend on food every year and is enough to feed every Canadian for five months.As well, it says avoidable food waste in Canada produces more than 22 million tonnes of climate-changing carbon dioxide emissions.The report says processing and manufacturing are the largest sources of avoidable waste, accounting for 43 per cent of it. Produce that doesn't meet exacting grading standards, inaccurate market forecasts and inefficient processes are all part of the problem.So are date codes which remove perfectly healthy food from the market.''Best-before doesn't mean awful-after,'' said Nikkel.Canadian kitchens are also conspicuous wastrels, responsible for 21 per cent of avoidable waste. That's about $1,700 per household in a country in which four million people struggle for regular meals.Hospitals, restaurants and institutions contribute 13 per cent of avoidable food waste. Retail outlets are close behind at 12 per cent.Farmers waste only six per cent of the usable food they produce. Distributors waste even less at five per cent.The report details many ways waste could be cut. Better co-ordination between farmer and processor, changes to crop insurance, clearer date codes, improved safety assessments for donated food and liability reform could all help keep nutrition out of the garbage and on somebody's plate.Even avoiding bulk buys that result in excess being tossed away would help, said Nikkel.Canadians should change their attitude toward food, she added.''We've cheapened it so much that it doesn't have value any more. It would horrify our grandparents.''We need to go back to that valuing of food.''
It’s long been standard industry practice to remove the tip of a bird’s beak in an effort to minimize the severity of cannibalism in poultry flocks. For at least the last decade, many Canadian hatcheries have primarily been using an infrared beak treatment. While research has been conducted on the impacts on adult hens, there has been little focus on how it affects young pullets.
How do you measure a chicken’s happiness? Is it in the way it runs for food? How much time it spends preening?To size up what might make chickens happy in their brief lives, researchers at the University of Guelph putting 16 breeds through physical fitness and behavioural tests. They’re watching how well birds scramble over a barrier for food, how skittish they seem and whether they play with a fake worm.Chickens can’t say how they feel, but playing with a fake worm may be a sign of happiness.For the full story, CLICK HERE.
Global animal health and nutrition company Alltech has launched a new poultry feed additive it says aids in optimizing gut form and function.Called Viligen, the company says it contains a range of new, scientifically-backed ingredients to support gastrointestinal tissue growth and activity.It blends fatty acids, prebiotics and essential trace elements, which Alltech’s researchers say combine to promote beneficial bacteria in the gut and support natural defenses.“This product supports growth, intestinal integrity and the bird’s own natural immune defenses,” said Dr. Kayla Price, Canadian poultry technical manager at Alltech.“We believe that this product may help poultry producers in Canada knowing that better intestinal health leads to improved performance.”Viligen is a part of the Alltech Gut Health Management program as well as the Alltech Antibiotic-Free and Alltech Antibiotic Reduction programs.
SELEGGT, a joint venture between HatchTech, German supermarket chain REWE and the University of Leipzig, has developed a market-ready method for gender identification in hatching eggs.In Germany, supermarkets are already selling eggs from 'hens without brothers'.The eggs from which the laying hens are born have been checked on the genus during the incubation process.In the SELEGGT method, a laser burns a hole of no more than 0.3 millimetres into the hatching egg shell.Afterwards, a small amount of fluid is extracted through a non-invasive procedure. Hence the interior of the hatching egg is untouched and remains safe and sound.Through a change in colour, a marker will indicate whether the sex-specific hormone estrone sulphate can be detected in the hatching egg.If detected, a female chick is developing in the hatching egg. Consequently, only female chicks hatch on the 21st day of the incubation.No estrone sulphate indicates a male hatching egg, which is separated and processed into high-quality animal feed.The developers expect the method will prevent millions of male day-old chicks from being gassed.In Germany alone, around 45 million male chicks from laying hen breeds are killed every year.German Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture Julia Klöckner welcomed the news. “This is a great day for animal welfare in Germany!”Jan Kunath, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of REWE Group, adds, “Throughout next year, our customers will be able to buy the so called free-range respeggt-eggs gradually throughout Germany.”At the same time, SELEGGT is developing a business model to make the technology available to the industry as a cost-neutral service.The patented process will be available to the first hatcheries from 2020.Canadian researchers at McGill University, with support from Egg Farmers of Ontario, have been developing their own gender identification technology for several years.Called Hypereye, the patented scanning device is still being fine-tuned and recently received $844,000 in funding from the federal government to help get it to market.
The level of early chick mortality (ECM) is one of the crucial factors that determines the quality of chicken production and, hence, the economic return from a poultry production unit. Yolk sac infection (YSI) has been reported as the most frequent cause of ECM, and in recent years significant increase in ECM due to YSI has emerged as a threat to broiler operations in parts of Canada. 
Undercover video. Two words that will send shivers up the spine of anyone who works in agriculture and food. There have been well over 200 undercover videos in the U.S. and 16 in Canada since 2012 targeting agriculture from farms through to processing. While it’s human nature to hope one never focuses on you, your company, suppliers or customers – it’s always better to be prepared.
Research shows that under natural conditions, domestic fowl spend 70 per cent of their active time foraging by walking on the ground because their flight abilities are limited. When threatened or roosting, domestic hens seek elevated refuges. For roosting, birds fly up to the lowest branch of a tree and seek higher elevation by flying branch-to-branch, whereas they descend by flying directly to the ground. Hens use their wings only for brief escape flights.
A major challenge to controlling avian infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) is achieving protection against the numerous types of the virus circulating in commercial poultry.
There’s a new poultry ration ingredient available on the Canadian market. Insect meal from defatted black soldier fly larvae is high in protein and low in fat, making it a potentially attractive alternative to soy in poultry diets.
In a $1-million, first-of-its-kind study at the University of Guelph, upwards of 10,000 chickens – all wearing fitbit-like devices to track their activity levels – are being monitored in research to improve health and welfare of hundreds of millions of birds raised in North American poultry operations.The study, headed by animal welfare expert and U of G professor Tina Widowski, is expected to provide key information for ensuring that broiler chickens – the world’s most popular meat – are raised not just quickly and efficiently but ethically as well.“Animal welfare has become a big part of the notion of sustainability – how to improve welfare and create a healthy environment, and how to make it economically feasible,” Widowski says.About 23 billion broiler chickens are produced worldwide; Canada produced more than 700 million of the birds in 2017.Most North American broiler chickens are conventional, fast-growing birds that reach a market weight of 2.1 kilograms in about 35 days.Developed over the past half-century through a combination of selective breeding and genetics, better nutrition and improved husbandry practices, those growth speedsters also pack on proportionately more breast meat and less bone.But fast-growing modern broilers are susceptible to immune system and musculoskeletal problems, said Widowski, an animal biosciences professor and holder of the Egg Farmers of Canada Chair in Poultry Welfare and the Col. K.L. Campbell University Chair in Animal Welfare.Often, their legs are not strong enough to support their meaty bodies, making it difficult for the birds to walk. These sedentary chickens spend much of their time sitting and lying on litter in their free-run houses, which can lead to foot and skin problems, she said.“Animal welfare concerns for these fast-growing chickens have led to the development of new, slower-growing genotypes,” Widowski says.Slow-growing chickens take at least a week longer to reach market weight than conventional birds and are reported to have improved welfare and better meat, she added.Broiler chicken health and welfare is a focus of the Global Animal Partnership (GAP), an organization based in Austin, Texas. Over the past year, dozens of multinational restaurants, grocers and food service companies have pledged to source only broilers raised under GAP standards.However, conventional chicken producers argue that raising birds more slowly will add expense, particularly in extra feed, which accounts for about 70 per cent of producer costs. “It’s a very contentious issue,” Widowski says.What’s missing in the debate, she said, is research to back up those welfare standards and to determine optimum breeds and management methods. Looking for that information, GAP came to U of G for help.“There’s been no comprehensive look at health, welfare, nutrition, environment and meat characteristics,” Widowski says.Referring to the University’s strengths in poultry science and welfare, she adds, “Here at Guelph, we have the capacity to do that.”U of G researchers are now assessing 20 strains of conventional and slow-growing breeds. They’re tending about 1,000 birds at a time, hatched from eggs supplied by the world’s largest breeding companies.Three grad students and a post-doc researcher are tracking the birds with various instruments, including the “chicken fitbits.”By monitoring behaviour, physiology, health, production and meat quality, the team hopes to nail down welfare indicators for all strains.“This study will provide information people can use to make decisions,” says Stephanie Torrey, a senior research associate in the Department of Animal Biosciences.U of G received a total of about $1 million for the study from GAP, U of G’s Food from Thought project and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
Sometimes trends are not worth the hype. I’m sure we all have at least one picture lying around with an outfit we thought was classic but is now horribly outdated. In today’s age of ever-evolving food trends, from cronuts to charcoal ice cream, it can be hard to know what trends are fleeting and which ones will stand the test of time.
The federal government says it plans to spend $1.75 billion by March without having said what the money is for, though at least some of the cash is likely to go to farmers hurt by new trade deals.The government remains tight-lipped about how it will use the rest of the ''non-announced'' spending it allowed for in last week's fall economic statement.In all, the government has made room for $9.5 billion worth of still-to-be-unveiled commitments over the next six years.A government source says some of that will go to dairy, egg and poultry producers, whose protected domestic markets were opened up to more foreign competition under new North American and Pacific Rim trade deals. The source, who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly, spoke on condition of anonymity.The fall statement said the government is still talking with farmers and processors about compensation for the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and the recently ratified Asia-Pacific trade pact known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).The negotiations will determine the size of the final package and how the money will be rolled out over the coming years.In 2016, the Liberal government dedicated $350 million to help dairy producers deal with the impacts of Canada's trade agreement with the European Union. The amount included a five-year, $250-million fund for milk producers and a second program worth $100 million for cheese-makers.The Liberals also have outstanding mandate commitments they will be looking to address before the 2019 election campaign and, looking further ahead, Ottawa is facing litigation related to Indigenous issues, including land claims. Both could draw on some of the money.Most of the yet-to-be announced funding has been dedicated to the later years of the projection, with $2.1 billion set aside for 2021-22, $1.85 billion for 2022-23 and nearly $2.8 billion for 2023-24.One possible use for the cash: national pharmacare.The governing Liberals have put together a group of advisers to consult Canadians and to explore options for a national program. The council is due to report in 2019, when the topic of pharmacare is likely to become an issue during the election campaign.A spokesman for Finance Minister Bill Morneau argued the list of the government's funding commitments in the fall update is comprehensive.But Pierre-Olivier Herbert noted some measures cannot be disclosed yet due to cabinet confidentiality or because ministers have yet to make decisions. Issues of national security, commercial sensitivity, litigation or certain matters related to trade agreements must also be kept under wraps, he said.''The net fiscal impact of these confidential or sensitive measures is rolled up and presented at an aggregate level and will be detailed in due time,'' Herbert wrote in an email.Thanks to the stronger economy, Morneau had more than $20 billion in extra fiscal room over the coming years to work with, compared to the forecasts in last February's budget.He chose to announce new initiatives – including billions of dollars worth of tax incentives for corporate Canada – that will use up all that space and then some, contributing to slightly larger annual deficits beginning next year.The document contained Ottawa's long-awaited plan to help the country compete with the U.S. for investment dollars. It came in response to major American tax and regulatory reforms that many in the business community warn have eliminated Canada's edge as an investment destination.The package includes new write-offs that are expected to lower federal revenues by about $14 billion over the next half-decade all by themselves.Peter DeVries, a former senior Finance Department official, said Morneau has now made spending commitments of nearly $33 billion over six years since the February budget. In comparison, he said the budget itself contained $20.3 billion worth of new measures, although the initiatives were aimed at a much-broader range of issues.''There's some big numbers in there,'' said DeVries, who writes articles about government finances and recently examined the fall statement.The next budget will serve as the Liberals' election platform, but DeVries wonders how the party will finance it.''Where are you going to find the money for that platform, unless you go into deficit even more or unless you believe that you've put aside sufficient reserves in the framework to manage it?'' he said. ''It doesn't look like they've done that, except for that one line that says (non-announced measures).''The fall update also contains no timeline to eliminate the Liberals' shortfalls, which are now projected to be higher than $18 billion in each of the next couple of years.The opposition Conservatives and some economists have criticized the Liberals for not providing a date to balance the budget. There are warnings the government could face big fiscal challenges when the next economic downturn arrives.After the 2015 election, the Trudeau government abandoned vows to run yearly shortfalls of no more than $10 billion and to balance the books by 2019.Instead, it has focused on reducing the net debt-to-GDP ratio – a measure of how burdensome the national debt is – each year.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau isn't ruling out the possibility that Canada will ratify its new North American trade deal with the United States and Mexico even if U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum exports are still in place.In an interview with CNN, portions of which are airing as U.S. voters cast ballots in pivotal midterm elections, Trudeau says Canada still wants the tariffs lifted before the new version of NAFTA goes into effect.But when asked if he trusts U.S. President Donald Trump to honour the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, Trudeau says his father taught him to trust Canadians.He says it was Pierre Trudeau's way of telling him that he didn't have to scare or pander to voters in Canada, since they are capable of making intelligent, rational choices.Pressed on the question of whether he trusts Trump, Trudeau says he respects the fact that every leader has a different approach to the job of defending their country's interests.Trump is using national security grounds to justify tariffs of 10 per cent on aluminum produced outside the U.S. and 25 per cent on steel, and has not lifted his threat to impose a similar 25 per cent tariff on autos.''What my father taught me was to trust Canadians,'' Trudeau said when asked whether the elder Trudeau's advice to ''trust people'' would apply to the U.S. president.''It was a way of looking at the electorate as saying you don't have to dumb it down for them, you don't have to scare them into this or that - you can actually treat people like intelligent, rational actors and they will rise to the occasion.''Trudeau was pressed on whether he trusts Trump to stand by the terms of the USMCA.''Every leader has the job of sticking up for their own country, and they will do it in their own ways,'' he said.''I respect the fact that people have different approaches to it. My approach is to trust Canadians and deal in a way that is direct with other leaders.''
Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lawrence MacAulay, announced this week a new working group comprised of poultry and egg farmers and processors.While informal engagement has already begun with the poultry and egg sector, the working group brings together officials from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, representatives from national poultry and egg organizations and associations, as well as regional representatives.The working group will collaborate to develop strategies to fully and fairly support farmers and processors to help them adjust to the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).It will also discuss support to reflect the impact of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).In addition to discussing impacts of the trade agreements in the short term, the working group will also chart a path forward to help the poultry and egg sectors innovate and remain an important source of jobs and economic growth for future generations.Supporting expertise to the working group may also include academic leaders, as well as industry and financial experts, as necessary.The federal government will engage with provincial and territorial governments on an ongoing basis throughout the collaboration process.
Canadian Bio-Systems Inc. (CBS Inc.) has launched the main phase rollout of its new Feed Science Platforms, offering a comprehensive portfolio of advanced bio-based feed technology solutions to benefit swine, poultry, aquaculture and ruminant production.
At a time when the North American feed industry is undergoing a dramatic transformation driven by new rules, heightened market expectations and groundbreaking technology advances, a growing number of major farming operations are opting to take charge of their futures by embracing a stronger direct role in feed production and feed additive innovation.
Whole bird turkey sales in Canada have declined quite a bit over the last few years, especially during the last two. Still, the turkey sector in Canada and in the U.S. continues to find success building consumption of other products.
The International Egg Commission and its members support, and will promote, the responsible use of all antimicrobials to allow for the long-term safe production of eggs, safeguarding the availability of eggs and egg products for the world’s consumers.
Growing interest in the concept and practice of sustainable sourcing is redefining relationships and expectations in the agri-food landscape. Sustainable sourcing, simply put, refers to procurement of goods or services subject to their meeting a specified set of socio-economic, animal welfare and environmental sustainability criteria.
Canadian farmers are leaders in producing safe, high-quality agricultural and food products for Canadians and people around the world. The sector is a major driver in creating good, middle-class jobs, and is one of Canada's key growth industries.
As Costco is set to be the first U.S. retailer to integrate its meat supply to the farm level, a new report from CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange Division predicts that other food retailers and foodservice companies may be prompted to reevaluate their own supply chain integration opportunities.
I had the privilege of visiting numerous barns this summer, and lugged my video equipment with me to document my travels. I met many passionate farmers doing innovative things. People like Ryan Kuntze, a Stratford, Ont.-based broiler producer and self-described peat moss guinea pig.
As has been done periodically since it was created decades ago, the Canada Food Guide is being updated again, this time as part of a new Healthy Eating Strategy launched by Health Canada in the fall of 2016. Chicken Farmers of Canada (CFC) and some other groups and individuals have concerns over proposed updates to the guide that relate to a focus on plant-based proteins.

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