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.

Ventilating free-run layer barns

Ventilating free-run layer barns

Controlling ammonia and dust levels is important for birds and workers.

DATE: September 13, 2018 LOCATION: Stanislaus County, CaliforniaDETAILS: As part of the pre-slaughter testing and surveillance program for H5/H7 Avian Influenza, H7N3 low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) was detected in a commercial meat-type turkey flock in Stanislaus County, California. Partial HA /NA sequencing determined the H7 and N3 to be a low pathogenic virus of North American wild bird lineage. Further characterization is pending virus recovery. The affected flock of 26,258 birds was depopulated and the carcasses have been rendered.The USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) are conducting an epidemiological investigation of the event and have increased testing as a result of the detection. Ten additional commercial poultry premises located within the 10km zone are being tested for influenza virus.SOURCE:Feather Board Command Centre https://mailchi.mp/3cb23d3af043/low-path-ai-in-california-turkey-flock?e=b15fd0a70f
DATE: August 30, 2018LOCATION: Saint- Felix-de-Valois in Lanaudiere Region of QuebecDETAILS: On Aug 30, a ninth case of ILT was confirmed in the Saint- Felix-de-Valois in Lanaudiere Region of Quebec. This is the seventh case to occur in a commercial broiler chicken flock. Two broiler breeder flocks have also been infected. during this outbreak. All 135 poultry barns in the designated five km risk area are vaccinated except for flocks close to slaughter. All chicks placed in this area during A152 and A153 (until Dec 22) will be vaccinated at the hatchery. Enhanced biosecurity measures including manure heating and four days downtime with washing and disinfection between flocks is being recommended. The first confirmed case in this outbreak occurred on June 14, 2018.SOURCE: http://www.fbcc.ca/
As the world population continues to escalate, so too does the concern around air quality. So, what about in your barn? What is the air quality like in and around a poultry facility? Is there a risk to human health?
The best time to develop a relationship with all the professionals you need for the operation is when you start planning a facility or expansion. While every producer will develop a relationship with lawyers, bankers, accountants, contractors, processors and equipment suppliers, they often wait to get to know their nutritionist until the first feed order and their veterinarian after their first mortality or production event.
DATE: August 20LOCATION: KostromskayaDETAILS: Russian authorities have confirmed an outbreak of avian influenza on a 500,000-bird commercial farm in Kostromskaya, a region to the north-west of the country.According to the disease report, sequencing analysis showed the virus (H5N2) belonged to the Asian strain which has been detected in multiple wild bird and poultry cases across Asia, Africa and Europe since 2014.The latest outbreak of H5N2 HPAI is overlapped by three migration flyways - the Central Asian, the West Asian and the East Atlantic and it is this flyway which also brings wild migratory waterfowl to the UK.Therefore, as the autumn migration season approaches, the risk to the UK will start to increase. If wild birds are involved in the long-distance movement of the virus, poultry farms in north-east and north-west Europe may be at risk in the coming months.SOURCE:ProMED- Mail: http://www.promedmail.org/post/5978602
DATE: August 16LOCATION: Brock Township, Durham Region, OntarioDETAILS: The Feather Board Command Centre (FBCC) is issuing an ILT Biosecurity Advisory to all poultry industry service providers operating in and near Brock township in the Durham region.FBCC has been notified by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), that ILT has been diagnosed in a small dual-purpose chicken flock in Brock Township.OMAFRA reports that the veterinarian is vaccinating the remaining birds. No specific location information has been provided as this is an unregistered flock.Farmers and small flock growers in this area are being contacted and advised to enhance their biosecurity programs.Please reinforce your biosecurity protocols if working with flocks or travelling throughthis area.SOURCE:https://gallery.mailchimp.com/4baae7f69906e1771dd506b2b/files/71e80fd1-c1f1-4f59-92cd-f3efb0c5e22a/ILT_Brock_Durham_Region_August_2018_Industry_Advisory.pdf
DATE: August 10LOCATION: Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, CaliforniaDETAILS: The United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service confirmed 16 additional cases of virulent Newcastle disease [vND] in backyard exhibition chickens in Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, California.Over the past few weeks, the response team intensified its efforts and identified additional cases of vND within existing disease-control areas. Affected flocks are quickly being euthanized. Together, these actions will help prevent additional disease spread and eradicate the disease more quickly.SOURCE:ProMED- Mail: http://www.promedmail.org/post/5963560
DATE: August 6LOCATION: Kampung Kauluan, Tamparuli, Tuaran, SabahDETAILS: Information received on Aug. 6 from Dr. Quaza Nizamuddin Bin Hassan Nizam, deputy director general (veterinary health), Department of Veterinary Services, Division of Livestock Resources & Technology Development, Putrajaya, Malaysia, reported a reoccurance of a listed disease, H5N1.The report of high mortality of layer chickens was received by Sabah Department of Veterinary Services. Investigation and sampling were carried out on the same day. Movement of animals and animal products was banned on the same day. Upon confirmation of the laboratory of the samples positive for HPAI (H5N1), stamping out of the flock was carried out and the carcasses were officially disposed of. This is the first occurrence of HPAI in Sabah state. Sabah is a state of Malaysia located at East Malaysia, on the island of Borneo. Sabah and Peninsular Malaysia are separated by the South China Sea.SOURCE:ProMED- Mail: http://www.promedmail.org/post/5951109
DATE: August 3LOCATION: Dien Lien, Dien Chau, Nghe AnDETAILS: Information received on Aug. 3 from Dr. Dong Pham Van, director general, chief veterinary officer, Department of Animal Health, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Hanoi, Viet Nam, reported a recurrence of a listed disease, HPAI H5H6, in a backyard flock. The outbreak status remains ongoing.SOURCE:ProMED- Mail: http://www.promedmail.org/post/5948408
High stocking densities significantly impact the health, welfare and performance of tom turkeys. That’s according to newly completed research by Dr. Karen Schwean-Lardner and master’s student Kailyn Beaulac at the University of Saskatchewan’s department of animal and poultry science.
DATE: July 29, 2018LOCATION: Clark County, OhioDETAILS: A chicken died suddenly at the Clark County Fair as a result of a herpes virus, fair officials said."It's a herpes virus, highly contagious," said Clark County Fair veterinarian Dana King, who confirmed the diagnosis July 27. "We're going to have to inform every exhibitor that, unfortunately, we've had a contagious disease here. Fortunately, it's only in chickens and pheasants."King said the fair was contacted July 25 after a chicken suddenly died. After testing with the Ohio Department of Agriculture, it was determined the death was a result of the virus. King said the virus usually has a low mortality rate; however, officials are contacting everyone who had an animal on exhibit at the fair.SOURCE:https://www.fox23.com/news/trending-now/chicken-dies-of-herpes-outbreak-at-county-fair/799840308
DATE: July 23, 2018LOCATION: Various statesDETAILS: CDC and public health and regulatory officials in several states are investigating a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Reading infections linked to raw turkey products. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) is monitoring the outbreak.Public health investigators are using the PulseNet system to identify illnesses that may be part of this outbreak. PulseNet is the national subtyping network of public health and food regulatory agency laboratories coordinated by CDC.DNA fingerprinting is performed on Salmonella bacteria isolated from ill people by using techniques called pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and whole genome sequencing (WGS).CDC PulseNet manages a national database of these DNA fingerprints to identify possible outbreaks. WGS gives a more detailed DNA fingerprint than PFGE. WGS performed on Salmonella from ill people in this outbreak showed that they are closely related genetically. This means that the ill people are more likely to share a common source of infection.As of July 11, 90 people infected with the outbreak strain of S. Reading have been reported from 26 states.SOURCE:http://www.promedmail.org/post/5920197
Amy and Patrick Kitchen moved from B.C. to Ontario several years ago intent on buying a farm. They knew from the start they wanted to get into market gardening. Eventually, they decided on a mixed offering. “We wanted to add livestock to the equation to diversify our income and for the manure benefits,” Patrick says.
It’s the beginning of July and summer is truly here. Ontario is going through another heat wave and ideas on how to cool down barns start to gain importance in our every day discussions. While I have more experience in layer barns, this is a broiler feature, so I’ll do my best to focus on the meat side of the feather industry.
The poultry industry is harnessing the skills of University of Guelph computer scientists and their artificial intelligence expertise to get a better idea of when and where avian influenza might next emerge.
Sector: Layer breeding  
Chicken Farmers of Canada (CFC) has been developing an antimicrobial use reduction strategy policy, where the main goal is to eliminate the preventive use of medically important antibiotics in commercial broiler production.
Nesting behaviour in laying hens is complex, and according to poultry scientists such as Dr. Michelle Hunniford of the department of animal biosciences at the University of Guelph in Ontario, there’s a lot left to discover.
Researchers at the University of Iowa have developed a mobile system that can inactivate avian influenza virus. A significant issue for the poultry industry is the disposal of bird carcasses and manure when they are contaminated with avian influenza virus. According to the "Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Response Plan" developed by the USDA, there is a clear need for better disposal technology. One intriguing way forward is to heat the carcasses and manure in a mobile trailer to quickly react to outbreaks before they can spread. The trailer would hold multiple gasifiers, which would be used to heat up the trailer. From there, a conveyor system would take the carcasses and manure through the trailer until the virus is destroyed. The gasifiers use a solid fuel like seed corn or wood chips to provide the energy at very low cost and produce an in-situ charcoal bed that breaks down organic pollutants. The University of Iowa has more than four years of experience in operating an industrial scale gasifier based on these principles and uses it in conjunction with lab testing and computer modeling to understand and predict general gasification behavior. The focus of this research project was to study the issues involved in trailer gasification and avian influenza virus elimination.Project #BRU008: Analysis of Poultry Gasification Parameters for Elimination of Avian Flu Exposed Birds and Manure, was conducted by Dr. Albert Ratner, University of Iowa.The project was recently completed by Ratner and colleagues in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at the University. They developed the design for a mobile system to heat poultry carcasses and manure to inactivate avian influenza virus. This system could be utilized during an avian influenza outbreak to quickly help eliminate the virus from infected farms and better contain the spread of an outbreak.For more information, visit: http://www.uspoultry.org/To veiw the full research report, CLICK HERE
Considering the average carbon footprint of chicken around the world, Canadian chicken has one of the lowest carbon footprint of all.This is a key result coming from a recent Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) conducted by Groupe AGÉCO, a consultation firm specializing in corporate social responsibility and economic studies; the study was designed to measure the environmental and social performance of Canada's chicken sector, from hatching egg to processor.The Environmental Footprint – Key findings Since 1976, environmental performance significantly improved because of major productivity gains and significant improvements in feed conversion ratio. Per kilogram of protein, the carbon footprint of Canadian chicken is lower than that of other livestock commodities produced in North America based on FAO's assessment of global livestock emissions. In the last 40 years, the carbon footprint of the sector was reduced by 37 per cent. Water consumption has been reduced by 45 per cent in the same timeframe. 62% of the entire sector's total energy use comes from renewable sources, with chicken feed accounting for the bulk of renewable energy consumption. The Social PerformanceCanada's chicken farmers are committed to food safety & animal care: Canadian chicken farmers are certified on the mandatory Raised by a Canadian Farmer On-Farm Food Safety Program (OFFSP) and Animal Care Program (ACP), both of which are 3rd party audited.After eliminating Category I antibiotics (the most important for human medicine) on the farm, Canada's farmers have committed to eliminating the preventive use of Category II antibiotics by the end of 2018 and a goal had been set to eliminate the preventive use of Category III antibiotics by the end of 2020.Dedicated social license: Over 90 per cent of Canadian chicken farmers are engaged in their communities by providing free services to community members or by being engaged in municipal or regional organizations.Competitive working conditions: Over 90 per cent of Canadian chicken farmers pay their workers a salary over the provincial minimum wage and about 70 per cent offer their employees benefits such as insurance and bonuses in addition to other benefits in kind.A Pledge for Continual ImprovementFor Canadian chicken farmers, sustainability means protecting animal health and welfare, ensuring worker and community wellbeing, preserving the health of the land and of Canadian farms and contributing to the Canadian economy by providing affordable food to Canadians.Benoît Fontaine, Chair of Chicken Farmers of Canada affirms that, "Our sustainability journey is a process of continual improvement. We have come a long way with the implementation of on-farm programs, and with the growth in our industry which has contributed to the Canadian economy and helps support rural communities. But we'll always have more work to do and we will continually evolve to improve our practices and deliver on the expectations of Canadian consumers."BackgroundAn LCA is an internationally recognized approach to assess the impacts associated with all of the stages of a product's life – in this case chicken. There is a well-established protocol for LCA subject to an ISO standardized methodology. LCAs can help an industry determine which aspects of their production are most efficient, and where they can improve efficiencies, reduce environmental impacts, or improve social interactions along their entire value chains.The LCA provides the chicken industry with benchmarks for its impact on climate change, natural resources, biodiversity and ecosystem quality, and human health, while the social LCA provides a qualitative assessment of the industry's socioeconomic performance.Conducting an LCA is part of our strategy to support our industry's work in maintaining consumer and buyer confidence that supply chain risks are adequately addressed. It can also improve industry's social licence and assurance to consumers that chicken is safe, and produced in an efficient and responsible way.People care deeply about their food, about knowing where it comes from and that what they are 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.To find out more about our LCA results, check out this new infographic: https://www.chickenfarmers.ca/resources/sustainability-assessment-of-the-canadian-chicken-value-chain/
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.
Vast amounts of data are being collected on Canada’s farms through the advent of precision agriculture technology and the Internet of Things (IOT).Many types of tools, equipment and devices gather data on everything from crop yields to how many steps an animal takes in a day. However, much of that data is underutilized because it’s collected by systems that don’t or can’t communicate with each other.The need for better decision-making on farms through better data use resulted in Ontario Precision Agri-Food (OPAF), a partnership of agricultural organizations led by Ontario Agri-Food Technologies (OAFT) that’s developing an open agri-food innovation platform to connect and share data.The goal, according to lead director Dr. Karen Hand of Precision Strategic Solutions, is getting data, wherever it exists (both data repositories in industry or government and data generated by countless sensors) so it can be used to help advance important food production issues like food safety, traceability and plant and animal disease surveillance.For example, information about the prevalence and control of insect pests like cutworms that damage soybean crops lies with many different people and organizations, including university and government researchers, crop advisors, input suppliers and farmers.“There is no single spot where all of the information about a particular pest can be accessed in a robust, science-based system and used in decision-making and that’s where OPAF’s platform will help,” Hand says.Pilot projects are underway with Ontario’s grain, dairy and poultry producers to identify their needs in areas like crop protection, sustainability and food safety and how OPAF can provide data-driven solutions to benefit farmers.“We sit down with farmers, advisors, associations, government and researchers to find out what data they have, where they exist and if we were able to connect them, what value or benefit that would offer participants – either specific to the commodity they are producing or on larger food-related issues such as food safety or impact on trade,” she explains.And OPAF’s efforts are gaining global recognition. Earlier this year, Internet of Food and Farm 2020, a large project in the European Union exploring the potential of IOT technologies of European food and farming, recognized OPAF as one of three global projects to collaborate with.“This is going to be changing the face of data enablement in Canada and contributing globally,” says Tyler Whale of Ontario Agri-Food Technologies (OAFT). “We are creating a platform that is the base of something new, and although we are piloting this in Ontario, it will be available nationwide to those who want to use it.”OPAF partners include OAFT, University of Guelph, University of Waterloo, Niagara College, Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, Livestock Research Innovation Corporation, Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, Grain Farmers of Ontario, Ontario Federation of Agriculture, Farm Credit Canada, Ontario Agri-Business Association, Bioindustrial Innovation Canada, and Golden Horseshoe Farm and Food Alliance.This project was funded by Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. The Agricultural Adaptation Council assists with GF2 delivery in Ontario.
High ambient temperatures mean detrimental performance and reduced profits for producers. Extreme cases cause suffering and death in all poultry breeds. Phytogenic feed additives in poultry diets help alleviate the negative impacts of heat stress by exerting an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effect in birds.Poultry producers commonly face the challenge of heat stress either seasonally or year-round. Poultry farmed in hot and humid countries are genetically derived from strains originally bred in, and selected for, the cool climates of Europe and North America. Rearing birds outside of their thermal comfort zone could mean failing to achieve full genetic potential. Producers in warmer climates or those in cooler zones who adjust their shed temperatures to their own comfort levels, not to that of their birds, should consider the impact of heat stress on flocks. | READ MORE 
Consumers pressure restaurants and food companies to make the practice mandatory, but who will pay the extra costs?A steady stream of restaurant and food companies proclaim intentions to use eggs only from free-run operations in the future, but egg producers wonder who is willing to pay the cost of more expensive production methods.Some barns have already moved to systems with enriched housing, defined as larger cages with nesting areas, dust baths and room for each chicken to spread its wings and generally express normal behaviour. | For the full story, CLICK HERE
Backed by the stability and predictability offered by supply management, a green shift is happening across rural Canada. One such farmer at the cutting edge of this new wave is Manitoba’s Abe Loewen. He recently invested in solar panels to heat and cool the family home, alongside his entire barn – home to 12,600 hens.
After building a career in the electrical trade, Steve DeVries suddenly found himself returning to the family broiler farm. After the sudden passing of his father, the long-planned transfer of the family farm was quickly accelerated. “His passing pushed everything forward about 20 years,” he recalls.
Are you or do you know a Canadian poultry operation or industry member that prospers through diversification? Nominate them today to potentially have them recognized in our 2019 Who's Who issue!Canadian Poultry magazine’s Who’s Who issue is released every July with the goal of shining a light on stand-out members of the Canadian poultry industry.The theme for the 2019 Who’s Who issue is diversity. We’re searching across the country and in different parts of the poultry industry for people who have an interesting and broad mix of focuses. Make your nomination today!
Dr. Elijah Kiarie’s interest in farm animals originated from growing up on a small family farm in Kenya. He described obtaining a bachelor’s degree in agriculture, majoring in animal science, as the catalyst for fueling his interest in animal nutrition.
Six months after inaugurating its new French animal health headquarters in the heart of the Lyon-Gerland Biodistrict, Boehringer Ingelheim has confirmed its allegiance to the region by announcing that it is about to invest a further €65 million in the metropolitan area.The German group has laid the first stone of a 5,700 sq m building at its Lyon Porte-des-Alpes (LPA) site. Known as F2IVE (Formulation and Filling of Inactivated Vaccines Extension), this major project will comprise a three-storey building - including 1,000 sq m of clean room space – mainly for formulating and distributing avian vaccines.“As poultry consumption continues to rise around the world, there is an increasing demand for avian vaccines. This meant that our LPA production site in Saint-Priest was going to reach a saturation point by 2020. We had to do some forward planning and find additional production capacity”, explains Erick Lelouche, president of Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health France.The new building, which has an environmentally friendly design, will house two formulation lines, a multi-format bottle distribution line and a bag distribution area.42 new jobs to be created at the new site.Earthworks for the new high-tech building began in March 2018 with the first batches expected in spring 2020 for a range of avian vaccines destined for the world market, with the exception of the U.S.Fifteen months after the acquisition of Merial (a Sanofi company) in January 2017, this new investment will lead to the creation of 42 new jobs, primarily consisting of qualified operations staff (flow and maintenance managers, production technicians).“An investment such as this confirms the commitment made by Boehringer Ingelheim at the time of the acquisition to put France, and Lyon in particular, at the heart of its growth strategy in the animal health market”, Lelouche shares.Over the past 22 years, more than €350 million have been invested in the LPA site. This new investment will eventually result in a threefold increase in the site’s inactivated vaccine production capacity.
Poultry veterinarian Ben Schlegel’s resume reads more like that of someone who is on the brink of retirement, not someone who’s barely in his 30s.
Tim Lambert, CEO of the Egg Farmers of Canada (EFC) was recently honoured at the University of Guelph Alumni Awards of Excellence Gala.Lambert has an honours degree in animal and poultry science and is the longest-serving CEO of EFC. Lambert is a leader, advocate and change-agent in both the Canadian and global agricultural sectors. Well known for his pursuit of excellence in management, evidence-based decision-making, and organizational culture, Tim has spurred tremendous growth in production and sales for egg farmers in Canada.He was a driving force in establishing the International Egg Foundation (IEF), which helps develop local knowledge in remote locations around the world. The IEF builds expertise and entrepreneurial skills to increase the production and consumption of the high-quality protein found in eggs. Tim oversaw construction of a sustainable operation in Swaziland that now delivers thousands of eggs to orphaned children.Many successful programs and initiatives have taken shape under Lambert’s leadership at EFC— particularly, a unique multidisciplinary network of university research chairs, including one at the University of Guelph, that pairs the latest scientific evidence with innovation, sustainability and growth within the egg industry.Lambert is an esteemed alumnus whose outstanding accomplishments in the agricultural industry, along with his humanitarian efforts, bring great pride to the University of Guelph.
Researchers from the University of Saskatchewan are heading a chicken farming pilot project in Mozambique to improve public health by bolstering the economy.Project FranGO is designed to be a “self-sustaining Mozambican incubator project” that will train local residents to start and manage a chicken farm. The goal of the project is for 16 families per year to learn about raising chickens and running a farm business. | READ MORE
Have you ever seen the Scottish Highland Games and wondered what these people do for their day job? If you guessed that the burly, bearded guy in a kilt tossing a caber was a turkey geneticist, you would have been cheering on Owen Willems.
Chicken farming in Canada’s most eastern province is not without its challenges, but one young farmer is keen to tackle broiler production on the “Rock”.
As the new poultry industry development specialist at Manitoba Agriculture, Amy Johnston came to her position with both strong first-hand livestock experience and an in-depth knowledge of production through the eyes of a nutritionist.
Although Stephanie Nelson puts in long hours every day in a boardroom, this farm girl will always be most comfortable in jeans and boots, talking broiler breeder production with farmers.
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.
During the course of the past six decades, the poultry industry has achieved a remarkable increase in production efficiency, largely driven through intensive breeding programs. However, this is in part at the expense of a decrease in reproductive performance and altered immune function. Consequently, a major challenge for the poultry industry is in controlling disease outbreaks caused by infectious agents.  
Feedback from across Alberta’s livestock industry is helping to build a clear and comprehensive understanding of livestock welfare in the province, as part of the Livestock Welfare Engagement Project facilitated by Alberta Farm Animal Care (AFAC).An important online survey component of the project launched over the summer is already seeing strong participation across the industry. Those who haven’t yet participated in the survey are encouraged to do so as soon as possible, ahead of the Oct. 31 deadline. (Click here to complete the survey).“Broad industry feedback is critical to accurately represent the extensive work being done related to livestock care in Alberta today, and to help shape future priorities and direction around this increasingly high-profile component of livestock production,” says Annemarie Pedersen, executive director, AFAC.Next Phase“We have been very encouraged by the strong initial participation in the survey, which is open to anyone involved in animal agriculture in Alberta,” says Dr. Melissa Moggy, Livestock Welfare Engagement Project Lead.With the initial consultation completed and the survey underway, planning for the focus groups is in full swing. “Our first of five focus groups will be at Grande Prairie Regional College, Fairview Campus, on Sept 20th and we hope anyone involved in the industry will join us for an in-depth discussion of livestock welfare in Alberta,” says Moggy. The results will be a critical part of the final report to be shared with government in early 2019.Locations and details for these additional focus groups can be found below. Focus groups will be arranged by invitation, based on survey responses. However, those who are interested in participating in their area can register.Grande Prairie Regional College – Fairview, Alta. - Sept. 20 Lethbridge College – Lethbridge, Alta. - Sept. 25Olds College – Olds, Alta. - Oct. 2 University of Alberta – Edmonton, Alta. - Oct. 10Lakeland College – Vermillion, Alta. - TBA“We encourage all livestock sectors and industry partners to participate in the upcoming groups. We have planned them to be accessible to the majority of the province and hope to meet with a diverse cross section of our industry,” says Moggy.Information on the focus groups can be found at www.afac.ab.ca or contact Melissa Moggy at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  or 403-652-5111 to register.About the Livestock Welfare Engagement ProjectThe project was requested and is being funded by Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. The insights and information collected through this project will be presented in a final report, which will be shared with the Government of Alberta to support its understanding of the animal welfare landscape in the province from the livestock industry’s perspective.
What came first, the chicken or the lettuce?Iowa State University researchers are conducting experiments to determine what advantages may arise from integrating chickens into vegetable production systems. The researchers must balance a range of concerns, including environmental sustainability, costs and food and animal safety. But Ajay Nair, an associate professor of horticulture and a vegetable production specialist for ISU Extension and Outreach, said finding ways to integrate vegetable and animal production may lead to greater efficiency and healthier soils.The experiments, currently in their second year, take place at the ISU Horticulture Research Station just north of Ames. The researchers are testing what happens when a flock of broiler chickens lives on a vegetable field for part of the year. The chickens forage on the plant matter left behind after the vegetables are harvested and fertilize the soil with manure. This integrated approach could reduce off-farm inputs and also provide producers with sustainable crop rotation options.The researchers are testing three different systems on a half acre of land at the research farm. The first system involves a vegetable crop – one of several varieties of lettuce or broccoli – early in the growing season, followed by the chickens, which are then followed by a cover crop later in the year. The second system involves the vegetable crop, followed by two months of a cover crop, with the chickens foraging on the land later in the year. The third system is vegetables followed by cover crops, with no chickens.The experiment involves roughly 40 chickens, which live in four mobile coops that the researchers move every day. Moving the coops around ensures the chickens have access to fresh forage and keeps their manure from concentrating any particular part of the field. An electric fence surrounds the field to keep out predators.Moriah Bilenky, a graduate assistant in horticulture, checks on the chickens every morning to make sure they have food and water. She also weighs them periodically to collect data on how efficiently they convert food into body mass. The researchers designed the trial to uphold animal health, and Bilenky said she keeps a detailed log on how foraging in the fields impacts the birds’ health and performance.Nair said the researchers are looking at several facets associated with sustainability. Nitrogen and phosphorous deposited in the soil from the chicken manure could alleviate some of the need for fertilizer application, while working cover crops into the system can prevent the loss of nutrients into waterways. Economics must also factor into the research, he said.“We might come up with results that really help the soil, but if the system is not economically stable, I doubt growers will be willing to adopt it because it has to work for their bottom line as well,” he said.The trials also adhere to food safety regulations. For instance, all vegetables are harvested before the chickens are introduced to the fields, ensuring none of the produce is contaminated. The researchers consulted food safety and animal science experts at Iowa State while designing their experiments, and the work undergoes regular IACUC (Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee) inspection and documentation, he said.The trials remain ongoing, so the researchers aren’t drawing any conclusions yet about the success of their integrated system. The project is currently supported through a SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education) grant. Nair said he’s seeking additional funding to investigate the animal health and integrated pest management aspects of this research.So why did the chicken cross the road? It’s too early to tell, but maybe so it could get into the lettuce and pepper fields.
The Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO) for Canada and OIE Delegate for Canada, Dr. Jaspinder Komal, welcomes the evaluation of Canada's veterinary services that was published recently by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the global standard-setting body for animal health and welfare.The OIE has found Canada to be a top performing country and a leading example for meeting international veterinary service standards, with no major weaknesses. The full CVO's statement is available in its entirety on the CFIA's website.The evaluation, conducted at Canada's request, was coordinated by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and involved federal, provincial and territorial governments and representatives from the private veterinary sector, academia and veterinary regulators. The full Performance of Veterinary Services (PVS) Evaluation Report is available on the OIE's website.The CFIA will be working with federal, provincial and territorial partners as well as representatives from the veterinary sector and the animal industry to further strengthen veterinary services across the country.The CFIA continues to lead on other initiatives to improve animal health, veterinary public health and animal welfare in Canada."With the majority of Canada's veterinary services getting the top five out of five rating based on the OIE's international standards, and with the implementation of the OIE's recommendations, Canada will further strengthen its position as a global leader in promoting the health of animals and protecting the public from animal disease. This will also help strengthen international trade and economic opportunities," says, Jaspinder Komal, Chief Veterinary Officer and OIE Delegate for Canada.
Projects focused on livestock transportation emergencies, building a hazelnut industry in Ontario, and boosting innovation in floral greenhouses were in the spotlight at the Agricultural Adaptation Council’s (AAC) summer networking event in Hamilton in late-June.The Council also provided an update on its funding programs and activities and announced a new joint funding initiative.This past March, AAC wrapped up its successful delivery of Growing Forward 2 (GF2) to Ontario organizations and collaborations. Close to 400 projects received funding of $33.9 million through this program over the last five years.AAC is now responsible for delivering the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to Ontario organizations and collaborations. This federal-provincial-territorial initiative supports projects in three priority areas: Economic development, environmental stewardship, and protection and assurance.Research and innovation are the key focus across the Partnership’s 19 project categories. Funding is available for a range of activities including applied research, pilots, assessments, planning, and market development.“We want to encourage applications from Ontario organizations and collaborations across the sector to demonstrate that the need for the program is strong,” said AAC chair Kelly Duffy in her remarks.AAC also delivers two programs targeted at the Ontario greenhouse sector: the $1 million Greenhouse Renewable Energy Technologies (GRET) initiative for the Ministry of Environment and the $19 million Greenhouse Competitiveness and Innovation Initiative (GCII) for the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.How to better deal with livestock transportation emergencies, particularly truck rollovers, was behind a GF2 project Farm & Food Care Ontario (FFCO) completed in partnership with Beef Farmers of Ontario.A needs assessment of stakeholders from farmers and transporters to government, first responders and animal organizations resulted in one-on-one training for first responders in how to specifically address livestock transport emergencies. An emergency response manual for producers was also created.“The need to train emergency responders is huge and we appreciate the GF2 funding that helped us complete this project – this was a first step in helping address the issue of livestock transportation emergencies,” said FFCO Program Manager Bruce Kelly.\The evening wrapped up with an announcement of AAC’s joint initiative with Ontario Genomics. The Regional Priorities Partnership (RP3) Program, in partnership with Genome Canada, aims to promote the adoption of genomics-based technologies, tools and services within the Ontario agriculture and agri-food sector.RP3 program materials will be available this September with applications due January 2019.“I remain enthusiastic and optimistic about the Council’s future,” Duffy said in her closing remarks. “Opportunities for innovation are greater than ever and AAC can play an important role in assisting the industry as it moves forward.”
Alberta Farm Animal Care (AFAC) is involved in a new initiative called the Livestock Welfare Engagement Project. The goal of this project is a collaborative look at animal welfare in Alberta’s livestock industry, where AFAC will facilitate the collection of input from individuals and organizations across the sector.The insights and information collected through this project will be presented in a final report, which will be shared with the Government of Alberta to support its understanding of the animal welfare landscape in the province from the livestock industry’s perspective. The Livestock Welfare Engagement Project was requested and is being funded by Alberta Agriculture and Forestry.Your voice matters – Everyone encouraged to participate“Livestock welfare is important to all industry stakeholders, as well as the bodies that regulate the sector, and practices continue to change and evolve. This project will provide every stakeholder – from individual farmers and ranchers to producer association groups, veterinarians and all others – the opportunity to share their insight into what is happening in their sector today,” says Annemarie Pedersen, AFAC executive director. “These diverse insights will be critical in creating a clear picture of the extensive work being done related to animal welfare in Alberta today, and in providing direction for the future.”Industry input requiredOne of the most important parts of the project is the project survey. This survey is now online and is open to anyone in Alberta who is involved in animal agriculture in the province. Individuals and organizations of all kinds across the industry are invited and encouraged to participate. The survey is designed to incorporate four categories: 1) organizations, 2) abattoir & auction markets, 3) individuals (e.g. producers), and 4) students.Click here to complete the surveyThe survey is open until October 31st. Participants are encouraged to complete the survey as soon as possible. Any participants falling under more than one category are welcome to complete multiple surveys."Sharing and redistribution of this survey is requested. The more responses gathered, the clearer the final picture of Alberta’s livestock sector will be," says Pedersen. "Industry associations such as producer and commodity organizations are encouraged to circulate this information to their members and stakeholders and we encourage them to participate as well."Key components of the overall project include a preliminary engagement consultation session (completed in March), the online project survey (now underway), focus groups (to follow) and development of the final report. If you have questions on which survey version to complete or on other aspects of the project, please contact AFAC.
In 2014/2015 an outbreak of highly pathogenic Avian Influenza (AI) struck British Columbia. A total of 13 poultry farms were affected and approximately 240,000 birds died or were destroyed to control the outbreak. In addition, the disease was detected in the U.S. where more than 48 million birds were lost and the outbreak was estimated to have cost US$3.3 billion and resulted in shortages and price increases for certain poultry products.Wild waterfowl are known to be the reservoir for AI, and although wild bird AI surveillance programs were already in place in Canada and the U.S., it was limited to collecting and testing individual wild birds. To improve the surveillance to include environmental monitoring, in 2015 the BC Ministry of Agriculture, BC Centre for Disease Control Public Health Laboratory, and University of British Columbia joined forces to develop a new approach - a genomics-based test that identifies and characterizes AI viruses (AIV) in wetland sediments.This work, funded in part by Genome British Columbia (Genome BC) and led by Drs. Chelsea Himsworth, Jane Pritchard, William Hsiao, Natalie Prystajecky, and Agatha Jassem, successfully demonstrated that this novel approach worked, as AIV was detected in a significant proportion of sediment samples, compared to less than one percent rate of detection in the current Canadian national wild bird AI surveillance program. Additionally, the outbreak virus was found in wetlands throughout the Fraser Valley, information that could have been used to mitigate the outbreak had this technology been available.To further evaluate this novel surveillance approach, a new project, Genomic Analysis of Wetland Sediment as a Tool for Avian Influenza Surveillance and Prevention, represents a combined investment of over $2.5 million from funders and delivery partners including Genome BC, the BC Ministry of Agriculture, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC, and the Sustainable Poultry Farming Group. This phase follows on from previous work and is looking at what steps are required to move the technology from a successful proof-of-concept initiative to implementation. This includes scientific validation of technology, as well as its incorporation into Provincial and National Wild Waterfowl AI Surveillance Programs. It is anticipated that this innovative approach will be adopted nationally and internationally for surveillance of AI and/or other diseases associated with wildlife."This investment allows Dr. Himsworth and the team to refine and validate the AI sediment surveillance with genomics technologies, methodology and field approach," says Dr. Catalina Lopez-Correa, chief scientific officer and vice president, sectors, at Genome BC. "Most importantly it allows for the identification of the optimal combination of AI surveillance techniques for maximum efficiency and efficacy."
Auburn University's College of Agriculture, in conjunction with other schools around the nation, will conduct a study to ensure that poultry litter does not pollute surface waters with excessive amounts of phosphorous.The three-year study is being performed to combat the 1.8 million tons of waste produced annually in Alabama from its $15 billion poultry industry.Phosphorous-rich poultry litter is a big concern in Alabama and other states where the litter is used to fertilize fields. If the nutrient leaks into waterways, it can cause toxic algae blooms which can lead to deficient oxygen levels and destruction of life in the water.The study will look at the Sand Mountain region of North Alabama and a row-crop field in Wisconsin, two large agro-ecosystems that are currently having issues with managing their phosphorous levels. | For the full story, CLICK HERE.
A University of Guelph professor of poultry immunology is preparing to launch a new initiative devoted to reducing antimicrobial use in poultry through gut health.
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.
We know the ink has barely dried on this year’s Who’s Who edition – our previous issue where we profiled rising poultry stars from across the country. However, we’re already planning ahead for next year. And we once  again want your input.
The goal of Chicken Farmers of Canada's Young Farmers Program is to bring together young farmers from across the country to learn about how the Canadian chicken industry works, and to share their experiences and knowledge, as well as to identify new leaders in the industry.Young chicken farmers from family farms across the country will gain valuable experience to bolster their entry into the chicken industry, and reinforce the timeless values that are the backbone of rural Canada.The program will give them the tools and training to continue growing in the industry, with the long-term goal of having them play a larger role in promoting chicken farming in Canada.Sustainability Excellence is an important commitment within the Raised by a Canadian Farmer brand; helping and supporting new farmers as they enter the sector are critical elements to ensuring that they have the tools they need to succeed."Providing for the next generation of farmers and nurturing them as they get started are ways that we demonstrate the care and support we share throughout our industry," said Benoît Fontaine, chair of Chicken Farmers of Canada. "These young farmers will learn about issues beyond the farm gate, and how all of the stakeholders in our industry function and collaborate with each other."By the time the selected representatives complete 12 months of the 18-month program, they will be in a position to mentor the next group of selected representatives – ensuring that there is always carry over and knowledge transfer."We have created this program to make sure that we continue to have a sustainable system in place and to ensure that the next generation is ready to carry the torch and continue writing our Canadian success story," said Fontaine. "Embracing the innovation and change that youth can bring will also drive the ongoing evolution of our industry."The first participants will be chosen later this year and first crop of participants will meet in the spring of 2019.
La Coop fédérée, an agri-food cooperative with operations across Canada, and W-S Feed & Supplies Limited, recently announced that La Coop fédérée will purchase a 50 per cent stake in the animal nutrition company based in Tavistock, Ont. W-S Feeds operates two feed mills in Ontario, in Tavistock and Mount Forest. The new partnership will continue to manufacture a wide variety of feeds for dairy production, including organic, beef, swine and poultry production."This investment represents a strategic entry into the Ontario market, in the animal nutrition industry this time" says Ghislain Gervais, president of La Coop fédérée. "This partnership develops our portfolio of operations in the province and shows how important it is for us to provide farmers across the country with quality products and solutions for their animal feed," he adds.After recently gaining a foothold in the Prairie provinces for its animal feed activities with the acquisition of Standard Nutrition Canada, La Coop fédérée's Agri-business Division keeps extending this line of business which is already well established in Québec and the Maritimes. Earlier this year, the Agri-business Division also announced the acquisition of Cargill's crop input and grain assets in Ontario, a transaction pending the approval of Canada's Competition Bureau.The closing of the transaction following this agreement in principle remains subject to the fulfillment of certain conditions, which should be completed in the upcoming weeks. The terms of the transaction will not be disclosed."Over its 50 years of existence, W-S Feed & Supplies has thrived on its family-oriented legacy, by making sure that all its operations measured up against the highest quality standards in the industry and that management and sales teams remained dedicated to customer service and satisfaction every step of the way" explains Paul Wideman, president of W-S Feeds. "Building on this strong foundation, the new partnership with La Coop fédérée will bring new opportunities for our business and new expertise and value to the Ontario farmers that we serve," he added."W-S Feed & Supplies has all the qualities that we look for in a business partner: shared values that put the needs of customers at the heart of operations, great quality products, strong presence in Southern Ontario and steady growth in key livestock production markets" says Sébastien Léveillé, executive agri-business vice-president of La Coop fédérée. "With our world-class research program in animal nutrition and extensive supply network, we will deliver even more value and innovation to our customers," he adds.Establishments included in the sale are: Mount Forest Feed Mill swine and poultry feed, certified organic Tavistock Feed Mill multi-species The transition will be seamless for current W-S Feed & Supply customers as key management and sales teams will remain in position.
For Aviagen, advancing industry research and training the next generation of industry professionals are core values, and the company continually seeks out opportunities to support these priorities. Aviagen has contributed to the Canadian Poultry Research Council (CPRC) since 2012. This year for the first time, a portion of its donation will be earmarked for the 'Aviagen/CPRC Post-Graduate Scholarship in Poultry Genetics.'Continuing its long-term commitment to the CPRC and the Canadian poultry market, this year Aviagen will contribute $25,000 U.S. dollars (more than $32,000 Canadian dollars) to the CPRC’s Research Sponsorship Program. Of this donation, $5,000 will go to an Aviagen/CPRC graduate scholarship in Poultry Genetics, andAviagen will play a role in the recipient selection process.In addition to its support for the CPRC, Aviagen further demonstrates its commitment to Canadian poultry by supporting the country’s university research activities. Advancing the future of the Canadian poultry industry“Aviagen cares about people in the communities where we have a presence, and supporting the CPRC scholarship and sponsorship program is one way we can demonstrate our commitment to them," says Scott Gillingham, Canadian regional business consultant for Aviagen. "We are honored to be a long-time sponsor of the CPRC, as their research is of considerable importance to the success of the Canadian market. This research benefits numerous stakeholders in the poultry value chain, and ultimately consumers of poultry. We’re extremely excited that the Aviagen graduate student scholarship, in cooperation with the CPRC, will now help to further the education of an aspiring Poultry Genetics professional.”“Aviagen’s support throughout the years has helped us fund many research projects addressing critical issues such as poultry health and welfare, antibiotic-free production, food safety and environmental sustainability. In addition to the funding, Aviagen supports us by offering ongoing advice on these and other research topics and issues facing our industry,” adds Dr. Bruce Roberts, executive director of the CPRC. “By designating part of its contribution for education, Aviagen further demonstrates its dedication to the advancement of the current and future Canadian poultry industry.”Call for submissionsThe field of poultry genetics offers exciting career opportunities. Aviagen would like to encourage interested students to apply for the 'Aviagen/CPRC Post-Graduate Scholarship in Poultry Genetics' at http://cp-rc.ca/funding/scholarships/aviagen/ before the deadline of Nov. 15.
Kemin Industries, a global leader in developing feed ingredients for animal nutrition and health, recently announced the approval for use of chromium propionate in beef and broiler diets in Canada, effective immediately. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) approved this use based on extensive research conducted by Kemin, which offers this essential trace mineral as KemTRACE Chromium out of its Canadian headquarters in Mont-Saint-Hilaire, Québec.KemTRACE Chromium is the only CFIA-reviewed source of chromium propionate. KemTRACE Chromium is currently used in dairy, beef, poultry and swine diets in more than 30 countries, including the United States and Mexico.Kemin has invested more than 20 years and millions of dollars toward scientific research validating the benefits of chromium propionate, while bringing the essential trace mineral to millions of animals around the globe. As the world's largest producer of chromium propionate, Kemin has conducted more than 50 chromium animal research trials to add further assurances regarding product safety, efficacy and traceability."We are committed to registering vital trace minerals, which help support increased efficiency and profitability for the livestock and poultry industry. The work behind our recent Canadian regulatory approval represents that," said Dr. Chris Nelson, president and CEO, Kemin Industries. "This approval from the CFIA is significant. Canadian producers are seeking safe, trusted ingredients to help meet today's growing demand for protein, and KemTRACE Chromium supplementation is one of the many ways Kemin is an industry leader in advancing animal nutrition and health through innovation and science."More than a dozen peer-reviewed journal publications support the use of KemTRACE Chromium – a highly bioavailable, organic source of chromium – as an essential trace mineral needed to advance animal nutrition. Offering this nutrient to the Canadian market for swine, dairy cattle and, now, beef cattle and broiler diets allows producers to meet the growing consumer demand for protein via increased productivity, improved animal health and boosted profitability.For more information on KemTRACE Chromium, visit kemin.com/ktchromium.
Did you know that September is National Chicken Month? Each year, Chicken Farmers of Canada has celebrated chicken farming throughout the whole month of September and this year we are as excited as ever.
If you think you’ve noticed more chicken than ever on restaurant menus and being served at family gatherings – let alone at your own dinner table – you would be right.
As the poultry industry across Canada enters a period of unprecedented modern-era change with the convergence of several big issues and targets for improvement, a major advantage is emerging in the form of innovation-focused veterinary companies that are embracing a progressive mindset and expanded role to help producers and their industry meet the challenge.“We are at the forefront of a new era of poultry production – no question,” says Dr. Tom Inglis, a leading poultry veterinarian who is also founder and managing partner at Poultry Health Services. “The industry is rapidly evolving. As veterinarians, we too must embrace new models and new ways of thinking to help the industry adapt and succeed.”The perfect storm of key issues and rising expectations coming together includes the need to address antimicrobial stewardship, animal care and sustainability excellence, along with overall profitability, while meeting the increasingly specific requirements of customers and consumers spanning a broadened range of diversified marketing opportunities.Aligning health strategies to broader game planThe role of veterinarians in diagnosing and treating health issues has never been more important. However, they must increasingly do so with an eye to these additional requirements, pressures, demands and opportunities. They must align poultry health strategies within a broader game plan for success tailored to the specific needs and objectives of each operation.The emphasis of veterinary approaches is expanding more strongly from simply ‘diagnose and treat’ to prevention and surveillance. Among the most progressive veterinary services providers, it is also shifting to a more central strategic advisory role, invested in the overall management and success of poultry production.Integrated approach pays dividends“Rather than simply a strict health focus, there is a rising need for veterinarians to adopt bigger picture viewpoints and to contribute to broader strategies involving collaboration and coordination with additional areas of expertise,” Inglis says. “Health approaches and considerations ultimately touch all aspects a poultry operation. We can have a stronger central role in overall strategy and helping producers reconcile and align various pressures and needs. This is an approach we have embraced with our own practice. We see it as the way of the future.”Poultry Health Services is a leading example of a veterinary company embracing the concept of integration, including prominently through its participation in Poultry Partners. Poultry Partners is an in innovative model started by Poultry Health Services, which provides veterinary and health management services, in collaboration with Nutrition Partners, which offers nutrition options and formulations. The combined initiative offers an integrated approach to animal health, nutrition, on-farm management and business development services.Key examples: Three top areas of changeThree major areas of change stand out for poultry operations for the remainder of 2018 and into 2019, says Inglis. All are areas where veterinarians have a critical role to play in contributing to integrated approaches – and where a progressive model such as Poultry Partners has unique advantages.Antimicrobial stewardship. The first is antimicrobial stewardship. New restrictions and tighter oversight are becoming the new normal not only in poultry production but across animal agriculture. In the U.S., the new Veterinary Feed Directive has been implemented over the past 24 months, combining with retailer demands to drive a dramatic shift away from reliance on antimicrobials as a production tool. Canada is advancing in a parallel direction and has set the end of December 2018 as the deadline for moving all use of antimicrobials in agriculture to prescription only.Animal care. The second is animal care. Customers and consumers continue to demand enhanced transparency and verification demonstrating high standards of care and welfare. This is one factor among several that have fueled the development of updated codes of practice across the industry. Associations such as Chicken Farmers of Canada have built upon this further by introducing branded, auditable raised with care programs.Sustainability excellence. A third key area – one with broad components – is sustainability excellence. In addition to antimicrobial stewardship and animal care, this ever-broadening category also encompasses varied components such as housing, biosecurity, environment, quality, food safety, carbon footprint and water & waste management.Boosting overall profitabilityProgress in all three areas ties into overall profitability, with health strategies being a central connection point, observes Inglis. For example, Poultry Partners has found that many farms have 10 to 30 per cent untapped profit potential tied to the combination of health, nutrition and management approaches.For veterinary companies serving poultry operations, an important focus in helping to address these challenges is to serve as a valued knowledge source keeping up to date with the latest expectations, trends and opportunities. In addition, the key to success today is increasingly to apply more holistic integrated thinking that considers how various aspects of production inter-relate and influence one another.Dynamic approaches to address today's needs“Production systems are very dynamic,” says Inglis. “The strategies we apply must be dynamic as well. We are more effective when we look not just at one or two needs or desired outcomes but rather the system as a whole and the needs and opportunities as a whole. All aspects of production – whether it be health, nutrition, management, environment or another component – all influence one another. Strategies that take a broader view and encompass more of these considerations have a better opportunity to optimize results. The ability to do this well is becoming a defining characteristic of the most successful operations.”Over the past year Poultry Health Services, based in Airdrie, Alberta, has expanded its office base into Ontario via partnership with South West Ontario Veterinary Services located in Stratford. Poultry Health Services and Poultry Partners clients are supported from the new location. “With Poultry Partners, we have a collaborative effort between veterinarians, nutritionists and industry experts, designed to support the success of poultry operations through custom programs and services tailored to individual needs” says Inglis. “It’s about teamwork . . . but more important it’s about results.”Further insights from Inglis are available in a “Q&A: Inside the new world of poultry health” on the Poultry Partners website, www.poultrypartners.ca.
Across Canada, breakfast sandwich sales are exploding. And Canadians’ love for eggs is booming right along with it.More and more restaurant chains across the country are offering all-day breakfast menu items, and Canadians are getting inspired in the kitchen with their own creations. And the results are amazing.After implementing all-day breakfast, the sale of egg meals at McDonald’s rose 25 per cent in the first year...that’s over 35 million more eggs!Breakfast sandwiches are one part of an incredible trend—more and more Canadians are eating and enjoying the nutritional benefits of eggs. We’ve seen consistent sales growth in eggs over the past 11 years. In fact, in 2017 alone, egg sales increased by 4.1 per cent across the country. | READ MORE
Getting rid of supply management and regulating abortion are just two of the more than six dozen policy resolutions that will be on the agenda at the federal Conservative party's biennial convention in Halifax later this month.The gathering marks the first such policy convention since Andrew Scheer became leader, and will set the stage for the party's bid to wrest power away from the governing Liberals in 2019.The resolution to phase out the supply management system for dairy, eggs and poultry comes from riding associations in Ottawa and Red Deer, Alta., not from renegade Quebec MP and former leadership contender Maxime Bernier, an ardent opponent of the mechanism.It seeks to replace the current party policy of supporting supply management, which allows producer marketing boards to set quotas and regulate prices for dairy and poultry production.It appears the party has ranked the resolution so low on the order of precedence it may never actually make it to the floor for debate.Two other resolutions seek to break the party's silence on abortion, including one calling for a ''pre-born child policy'' that would declare protection for unborn children ''a perfectly valid legislative objective'' for the Conservatives.The party has approved 74 resolutions for consideration at the convention and grouped them into three lists to be debated first by smaller groups of delegates in workshops. Only about 10 from each workshop will be considered by the entire membership.The supply management resolution is 26th in a list of 26 resolutions on the list for one of the three workshops.Supply management has become a tinderbox within Conservative ranks, thanks in large part to Bernier's very visible, vocal disdain for the policy - and his razor-thin loss to Scheer in last year's leadership race.In an unpublished book about his political ideals, Bernier wrote that Scheer only won because ''fake Conservatives'' in Quebec who wanted to save supply management joined the party in order to keep the Beauce MP from winning.Bernier's efforts to promote the book ultimately cost him his role as a critic in Scheer's shadow cabinet.The Campaign Life Coalition is trying to get 1,000 members registered to attend the convention to help support the abortion resolutions, which are listed second and seventh on one workshop list, giving them a decent chance of being fully debated.The coalition says its membership was so well represented at the 2016 convention, it helped pass a ''conscience rights'' resolution to protect health care providers from prosecution if they do not want to perform abortions or play a role in a medically assisted suicide.A resolution on the table this month calls for that right to be extended to faith-based institutions.The convention is scheduled to take place Aug. 23-25.
Maple Leaf Foods recently announced it is investing approximately $28 million to transition its Edmonton poultry processing facility to world-class controlled atmosphere stunning (CAS) technology, reflecting its commitment to building on its leadership in animal care, the poultry sector and value-added branded fresh chicken.Maple Leaf will convert its transportation, lairage and receiving area and handling systems to optimize rest-time and create a climate-controlled environment as it implements this technology. The new lairage system will enhance lighting, air quality and temperature control, allowing chickens to rest comfortably and significantly reducing stress. The CAS technology selected is a very humane system that will ensure birds are fully insensible prior to processing. The conversion will result in a 26,000-square foot expansion at the Edmonton facility, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2019."We are on a journey to become the most sustainable protein company on earth and being a leader in animal care is a cornerstone of this vision," said Michael McCain, president and CEO, Maple Leaf Foods. "We are deploying world-class technologies and best practices that support our goal to eliminate stress and pain and provide humane treatment of animals in our care, while enhancing employee health and safety and food quality. With Canada's leading poultry brands, we are advancing many dimensions of sustainability, from eliminating antibiotics, to best practices in animal care and dramatic reductions in our environmental footprint.""CAS provides many advantages to animal welfare, ensuring chickens are fully unconscious and humanely euthanized, while greatly reducing stress," according to Dr. Greg Douglas, vice-president, animal care. "This technology, which we have also installed at our pork processing facility in Manitoba, is acknowledged as a best practice around the world," Douglas added.Maple Leaf Foods is also installing Remote Video Auditing at this facility, a powerful training and auditing tool that supports rigorous monitoring and compliance to best practices of animal care. This will be the ninth implementation as part of Maple Leaf's commitment to incorporate Remote Video Auditing across its network.Poultry is the most consumed protein in Canada and Maple Leaf Foods has the leading national brands and market position in value-added poultry, which continues to experience significant growth. To support its leadership, Maple Leaf has added a second shift at this facility to keep pace with demand and recently invested approximately $16 million to expand capacity at its hatchery operations in Wetaskiwin, Alberta. Maple Leaf has additionally reached an agreement to acquire two poultry processing facilities and related supply, with significant value-added capabilities, from Cericola Farms.
Maple Leaf Foods recently announced that Gary Maksymetz, who has held the role of chief operating officer (COO) since 2014 and has almost four decades of experience in the food industry, mostly with Maple Leaf, has made a personal decision to retire at the end of September.During his tenure, Gary has led a wide range of functions at Maple Leaf and successfully driven major strategic initiatives that have resulted in significant, structural long-term value creation. He will provide ongoing strategic counsel to support the transition of his responsibilities and more broadly to the Senior Leadership Team, who will continue to benefit from his expertise and deep industry knowledge.Curtis Frank, who has held the position of senior vice president, retail since 2014, will assume the role of COO, effective October 1, 2018. In this capacity, he will have overall executive responsibility for the Company's prepared meats, fresh pork and poultry operations, and commercial activities, and a lead role in the development and implementation of strategic business initiatives that advance Maple Leaf's profitable growth and vision to be the most sustainable protein company on earth."Gary has made a profound contribution to Maple Leaf and I am deeply grateful for his astute leadership, intellect and counsel over our many years together," said Michael H. McCain, president and CEO. "One of our organizational priorities is to establish effective succession planning that delivers continuity of leadership and experience, while providing career opportunities for our next generation of leaders who bring new ideas and capabilities to leading Maple Leaf into the future. Curtis is an intensely results-oriented, strategic and progressive executive who is deeply committed to advancing our vision, growth and profitability."Frank has over 18 years of experience at Maple Leaf in progressively senior roles where he has demonstrated exemplary people and leadership skills and results. In his capacity as senior vice president retail, he has led a high performance North American sales organization and the successful commercial execution of several strategic initiatives, including the company's recent brand renovation and U.S. sales expansion. He is a member of the Maple Leaf senior leadership team and serves as a director for the Maple Leaf Centre for Action on Food Security. He brings extensive knowledge of Maple Leaf, the marketplace and managing large and complex businesses to the role of COO.

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