Most of us who watched have already forgotten the winners at the 85th Academy Awards, which were held in Hollywood last month. Apart from the fact that this magazine is 15 years older than Oscar, I do remember that during the program, I was impressed that in just nine decades, the film industry has undergone a revolution. Remarkably, it has progressed from silent to surround-sound, from black and white to high-definition colour and from primitive Chroma-Key scenes to computer-generated imagery. That’s an astounding example of progress. Back in the infancy of movies, audiences were amazed by Buster Keaton’s falling house stunt in the movie Steamboat Bill, Jr. During the making of the picture, accounts say that Keaton drove a nail into the ground to mark where he should stand while the 4,000 pound house facade fell around him. An open window, which conveniently prevented his on-screen demise, was just big enough to give him two inches of clearance on either side. Five decades later, Canadian agriculture pulled off an incredible feat of its own – the advent of supply management for certain sectors. The transformation was perhaps not as dramatic as those that moviegoers had witnessed on the big screen by this time, but words like “profitable” and “competitive” could be used in the same breath as “Canadian poultry production.” The system still has its critics today, but as with the Oscars, there are people who are very happy with the outcome, people who think it’s not fair and people who couldn’t care less. Some people still wonder how Keaton built up the nerve to attempt his 1928 stunt. Let’s not forget – he didn’t know it was going to turn out all right. He could have been seriously hurt, which may have delayed shooting and impacted the film’s revenue, or worse, he could have died. Likewise, the pioneers of the poultry industry didn’t know what lay ahead as they sat around boardroom tables met with government ad infinitum and laboured towards a system that could work for producers – again, in the pursuit of profit. The risk in this case wasn’t individual injury but the breakdown of an entire sector. Today, supply management is under greater threat than ever of ending up on the cutting room floor. But, whether you are a fan or not, it should not filter your respect for those who determinedly fought to create it. The poultry industry doesn’t have its own version of the Academy Awards, but it does have its Keatons . . . and countless other heroes and heroines who, over the years, have helped to shape the industry we have today. Funnily enough, Buster Keaton later said, “I was mad at the time or I would never have done the thing,” when asked about his falling house. With retrospect like that, it’s a good thing he was never a leader in Canada’s agricultural industry. We hope you enjoy this special anniversary edition of Canadian Poultry magazine as much as we’ve enjoyed 100 years of covering the industry’s red-carpet moments, stunts and stars.
An Ontario poultry farmer calls in his vet. He has lost 15 to 20 per cent of his birds over the last couple of days. The vet arrives, and after examining the flock suspects a contagious reportable disease. By law, the vet contacts the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to alert them to the problem. A CFIA vet arrives at the farm and comes to the same conclusion as the vet. Tests are sent away to confirm the presence of a disease. But, based on suspicion, CFIA places the farm under quarantine. So, there has been early detection and the vets can now take the necessary steps to prevent the possible spread of disease. They can talk with area farmers and explain what precautions they need to take – or can they? Surprisingly, the answer is no. This scenario was outlined at the last meeting on disease preparedness held at the Poultry Industry Council in mid-July in Guelph. It surprised most there when CFIA vets and the private poultry vets explained that their problem could only just be starting. It is at this stage – the farm is under quarantine and tests have been sent away – that vets lose control of the situation. Attendees learned that until the disease is confirmed vets can’t talk with anyone (including other vets) off-farm about the disease without the permission of the farmer or they risk being sued. Because of confidentiality, the farmer can bring early detection to a screeching halt and keep it that way for approximately 14 days which is the length of time needed to obtain a confirmatory positive of the disease from the federal laboratory. Vets suspect that most farmers will cooperate and freely agree to release information to surrounding farmers but one uncooperative farmer can give an infectious disease a big advantage. Another surprise was that I was hearing words such as fear, guilt and blame being used during the meeting in conjunction with disease reporting. It’s this line of thinking that has to change if we are to achieve success in infectious disease control. Infectious disease reporting should be tackled the same way as tackling an apartment building fire. One unit in the high-rise building fills with smoke. The owner suspects a fire. He doesn’t wait to see flames for confirmation of a fire but instead immediately calls the fire department. He alerts the other residents in the building so they can take the appropriate actions to secure their safety. If it’s a false alarm, everyone goes about their business, but if it’s the real thing, the fire is limited to one or two units due to the quick response of the owner in the first unit. There is no finger-pointing or blame but congratulations on saving the rest of the building. Replace the word “unit” with “farm” and “building” with “industry” and utilize the same line of thinking for foreign animal diseases. Our attitudes have to change so that reporting a disease is accepted and encouraged. It’s just substituting one emergency with another. This has happened in North Carolina. Since their experience with avian influenza in 2002, hundreds of “suspect” cases have been reported with farms placed under quarantine. Starting with the first day of quarantine, information is distributed to the industry and biosecurity and traffic control measures are beefed up. The state vet does all this. The key is that it is done prior to disease confirmation. If tests come back negative, it’s a bonus and farmers go about their business – no stigma, no repercussions. Farmers are satisfied that they did everything to stop the disease. Their attitudes changed after suffering the financial losses, which resulted from missing early detection. So what’s the solution to the confidentiality/privacy problem the vets are dealing with? The same question was asked of members at the meeting in Guelph and there weren’t any simple solutions forthcoming. They did conclude that our industry should be the ones to drive the solutions. This law needs to be changed or amended and the poultry industry needs to give government direction to do so. Yes, we’ve heard it before – we need a Health of Animals Act. Industry needs to give our vets the power to deal with potentially dangerous diseases quickly. Should a disease hit – we’ve seen with Walkerton, SARS and BSE – the public doesn’t want excuses. They want action from the appropriate people and they want it done in a timely manner. Without it, they lose confidence and some then get involved. The direction they push the government can be rife with emotion and may not be the direction the poultry industry wants to go.
Four million commercial birds have been destroyed and the numbers continue to climb as new cases are diagnosed daily. Barns are being thoroughly cleaned of their built-up litter and everything is being disinfected. Farm personnel are being detained, sometimes for days until quarantines can be lifted. All in an attempt to control the spread of the disease – Avian Influenza (AI) has hit the northeastern U.S. after a respite of nearly 20 years. Virginia has been trying to control the disease, without success, since March 12. Even now, no one knows how it started but migratory waterfowl are the likely suspects. Wild birds can act as reservoirs for the virus without showing any signs themselves but pass it on to more sensitive domestic poultry. One gram of fecal material from an infected wild bird can contain enough AI virus to infect one million birds. Officials have been unable to determine how the disease is being spread, making it difficult to break the cycle of infection and bring the disease under control. And it is continuing – on May 10, it showed up in the more northern state of West Virginia, where nearly 13,000 chicken breeders had to be destroyed. A state of emergency was quickly declared in an attempt to contain the disease. This particular AI is not killing the birds – people are. This disease has the potential to get much worse and it has everyone reacting. It’s a low pathogenic form of AI (LPAI) that is neither fatal to chickens and turkeys nor does it cause any problems in humans. It causes a number of production-decreasing symptoms including soft-shelled eggs and decreased hatchability. The problem is that this LPAI has the ability to mutate or change into a highly pathogenic (HPAI) form and do it fairly quickly, resulting in a much more dangerous disease. This happened in 1983/4 in the northeastern U.S. and resulted in the destruction of 17 million birds at a cost of almost $70 million. It happened more recently in Hong Kong in 1997 where it took an additional twist and, for the first (and only) time, jumped to humans infecting 18 of whom six died. With this, the stakes got higher. Hence the industry and government concern over LPAI and its eradication. The U.S. has been expecting AI to strike again and has been preparing for such an occurrence. Even so, the disease continues to spread and the longer it remains uncontrolled, the greater the risk of it becoming an HPAI. Canada must pay close attention to what is happening is the U.S. CFIA is monitoring the U.S. situation on a daily basis and continues with a “wait and see” position. As long as it remains an LPAI or unless the U.S. federal government declares an emergency, its policy won’t change. Canada closed the borders to U.S. imports in 1983/4 with the outbreak of HPAI but does not place any restrictions for an LPAI. No additional preventative measures are in place at our borders even though AI can be carried on footwear and clothing and by vehicular traffic. Some hatcheries are taking extra preventative measures by testing incoming U.S. breeder chicks for AI antigens. With shrinking government support staff and diagnostic lab closures, I think the Canadian farmer and the veterinarians will be key in reducing the risk of an AI outbreak. The same migratory pathway for waterfowl that comes up through Virginia/West Virginia also extends over Ontario en route to the Canadian north. Birds, in transit, could leave AI virus behind in their fecals. The virus is well protected by organic matter and can survive in manure for up to 105 days. On-farm biosecurity becomes very important in preventing wild birds, trucks and people from inadvertently bringing it onto the farm. Farmers should talk to their poultry veterinarian and know what to do if they suspect AI. As the bird flies, the area involved in the U.S. is a mere 500 miles – a one-day drive from one of Ontario’s most densely populated poultry areas. Whether it’s spreading by waterfowl, people, wind, etc., the virus is jumping state lines and causing huge economic losses in the U.S. We need to be prepared to minimize the effects should it come here. While Canadians might like to make distinctions between states and provinces, AI doesn’t.
This is an exciting issue for our magazine. As you have probably seen by now, our April issue looks different. After months of discussions, both with the magazine staff and our readers, “Canada Poultryman” has been renamed “Canadian Poultry.” It’s a subtle change but one that we feel better reflects our Canadian poultry industry as it progresses into the 21st century. I wonder how many of our readers know the history behind the magazine. I must admit that I knew the magazine has been around for awhile but it came as a complete surprise to me to learn that it is no spring chicken — the first issues date back to as early as 1909. I thought its story was worthy of telling. Last year, Tim Muise, our publisher, and I were asked by the organizers of the International Poultry Exhibition to put together an historical overview of the magazine — a “Covering the Poultry Industry With Pride” promotion. This display was then placed, front and centre, at the IPE in Atlanta this past January. A similar display will be on view at the London Show, April 10-11. Putting this display together was a fascinating experience. Searching the archives was like opening a time capsule containing information on many important events in Canadian poultry history. Articles on genetic breakthroughs, the discovery of anticoccidials, advances in equipment, the first fast food poultry in Canada, the creation of our marketing boards, on-farm food safety and on and on. The industry has come a long way and so has the magazine! We also discovered that this is not the first name change the magazine has experienced. Initially it was called the “Successful Poultryman,” but quickly progressed through “Poultry, Pigeons and Petstock Journal” (I shudder at the biosecurity implications of this combination in today’s industry), “Canadian Poultry World” and finally to “Canada Poultryman” by 1912. Ninety years later, we celebrate its anniversary by becoming “Canadian Poultry.” Throughout nearly a century of publishing, the farmer has been the reason behind this magazine. Its mandate has been to provide the most up-to-date information and be a useful tool in helping the farmer be a successful poultry producer. That still continues today. The role of the farmer, however, has changed significantly over a century of poultry production. In the first half of the century, the poultryman was literally on his own. There was very little support to rear what few birds he could. By the late 40s and early 50s, commercially reared poultry became feasible due largely to the discovery of anticoccidials. This discovery allowed larger numbers of poultry, both chicken and turkey, to be confined and reared successfully. Science and industry were now playing increasingly more important roles in assisting the farmer in rearing his poultry. This is even more evident today. Farmers have developed a huge network of industry-related people to help them take their poultry products from gate to plate. It’s no longer just the poultryman who looks after the birds while they are housed on his farm. Poultry production has become a partnership with other members of the Canadian industry acting with the farmer to place, rear and market safe poultry products for the Canadian consumer. The Canadian poultry industry has become a complex, multi-faceted, multi-billion dollar industry and, as our new name implies, we want to be there to cover all of it and get as much accurate information as possible out to our “Canadian Poultry” readers. This was a brief trip down memory lane and I welcome you to come and see our historical display at the London Show. If you can, drop by our booth and talk to us. But if you are unable to attend the show, please call or drop me a line so we can discuss not only the past, but the present and the future of “Canadian Poultry.”
What is being done for the industry is a query often heard when poultrymen meet. What the industry is doing for itself is much more to the point. A new organization, the Poultry Products Institute of Canada Inc., has come into being and its function is to publicize the products the poultryman, from one end of Canada to the other, produces. Directed at the consumers end, a great deal of work will be done with the Canadian Restaurant Association, hotels and retails stores.Fashioned after the Poultry and Egg National Board of the United States, it will receive support from every poultry association in Canada, from the packing industry, from the feed industry and from those long-sighted individuals in the industry who realize that producing goods is of little use if the selling end is neglected.Spearheaded first by the effort British Columbia made a year and a half ago to stimulate egg consumption by advertising to the consumer, followed up by a committee from the Canadian Poultry Council which actually gave birth to this Institute, the movement is now being heralded by the industry as the necessary go-between from the producer to the consumer.A budget of thirty thousand dollars is being raised for the first year. While this will not allow for any national or magazine advertising it will be sufficient to pay a part-time secretary-manager, do a lot of the groundwork, and print and distribute a number of excellent pamphlets. Already the first of these is being distributed. It is entitled "Frying Chicken – 4 Methods" and is adaptable to hotels, restaurants and institutions where large quantities of chicken are prepared. Twelve hundred of these have gone forward to that number of members of the Canadian Restaurant Association, and it is the duty of the directors of the Institute to find ways and means of distributing many more where they will do the most good.The next piece of literature will be "Cutting Turkey for Parts" to be ready shortly. It is being debated whether stuffers are of real value in cartoned eggs giving recipes to the housewife of additional uses for eggs. Large distributors are being canvassed on this now.The Institute will find a hundred and one ways of promoting sales of chicken, turkey and eggs. With most products we are in short supply at the moment but with the attractive prices this situation will not last long, and the Institute to be in readiness for what will come on the market a year hence is a source of satisfaction to those of us who have had a hand in promoting such a body.Much of the material already produced by the PENB is available to our own Institute. Not only that, but the experiences of the U.S. body – which has operated so successfully for ten years – were freely offered the president and secretary-manager when they visited the head office in Chicago recently."The PENB articles, photographs and press releases are distributed through existing channels among which are: Syndicated Foods Columns servicing thousands of newspapers, 910 newspaper and magazine editors, 14,254 Home Economics Teachers, 2038 Home Service Directors, 353 Librarians, 406 Public Health Workers, 1059 Radio and TV Food Programme Directors, 1548 Home Demonstration Agents, 2264 Dietitians and Nutritionists and 463 Chefs and Managers of Institutions."Never before has out Canadian poultry industry has this sort of promotion of its products. The result, if it can continue and grow, will inevitably be a larger, more prosperous industry. It is entirely industry-financed, which is as it should be.If you do not belong to any organization that is helping with the finances of the Institute, your personal contribution will be most welcome if sent direct to the Poultry Products Institute of Canada Inc., 432 Eastern Avenue, Toronto, Ont.
It can be stated quite frankly that good will come out of the present ruinous egg prices. As long as prices are fairly good it has been found to be impossible to interest all the various parts of the poultry industry in any concerted action. Only when we are faced with a condition that MUST be remedied – such as is with us today – will the organized groups within the industry come together nationally and work for the common good. On thing is certain. We cannot rely on any government to put our house in order. We can expect assistance, just as is received by other industries in distress, but the planning must be done, and the major part of the work must be done, by the industry itself. Rightly so. Plans for the salvation of the industry are going around two for a penny. They include compulsory reduction of flocks, the invoking of provincial marketing acts, subsidies on feeds, floor prices, reduction in chick prices, gifts of our surplus eggs to Britain, and various proposals for advertising our products to consumers. Meanwhile the buying public is taking home eggs each week at far below comparable prices of other essential foods and no doubt wondering what sort of people poultrymen are to sell their product at below cost! And meanwhile, too, producers are holding off ordering their 1950 baby chicks, thus creating a future scarcity of eggs that will become apparent by the end of next May. Out of this chaotic condition we are convinced the poultry industry will emerge infinitely stronger than it has ever been. It will settle on a plan, or a number of plans, that will stabilize prices. It will come to a recognition that the consumer is a very important person and has to be catered to. It will come to a realization that by combining forces it has powers far above those it might obtain through any provincial or federal legislation. The producers of eggs will get over their present fallacy that all others connected with the industry are parasites, just waiting to take them for a ride. And the other component parts of the industry will be ready to do their parts to keep the entire industry on an even keel in the realization that their well-being depends on the prosperity of the whole. Inter-provincially we have achieved very little co-ordination to date. Whether closer correlation can be achieved through committees working on advertising programs, as has been suggested, is something that has to be found out. Certainly if each province was working under a marketing board one could expect a better understanding of one another's problems. British Columbia, through its Poultry Industries Council, has commenced an advertising campaign. Ten thousand colored transfers depicting eggs and bacon in a most appetizing way are being prepared for display in restaurants, grocery stores, etc. They will be very effective when displays on every truck and car owned by persons in the poultry industry, and producers are being asked to do just that. Inserts have already been put into egg cartons to the tune of 200,000 and now newspaper advertising has been placed with the Vancouver Dailies. There is to be an EGG WEEK commencing January 30th with the full co-operation of the department and chain stores, and a competition for window displays throughout the City of Vancouver. The whole program will cost around six thousand dollars, and the money has been put up by member associations of the P.I.C. Thus a start has been made for the industry to help itself. The B.C. Council hopes it will be possible for representatives to meet the P.I.C. in Alberta, to discuss a combined campaign. This is necessary because a percentage of the eggs marketed in B.C. will be from Alberta. Advertising can do a quick job of stimulating egg consumption but it is only one method in the stabilization of the industry. Elsewhere in this issue is a plan present to the industry by the Manitoba Division of the Western Canada Produce Association. We suggest every reader make a point to go over it carefully, understand its implications and be ready to support it, or a modification of it, through his or her association. It is going to cost us something to merchandise our eggs and poultry in the future. But it will cost us far less to do that than to let prices get all out of hand as they are at present. Poultrymen are literally losing millions of dollars right now by allowing eggs to be sold at below cost of production. It was by no demand of the public that eggs went "dirt cheap." The situation has come upon us simply because we were not ready with a workable marketing plan at the expiration of the British contract. We relied upon the Government to solve our troubles whereas we should have been ready to help ourselves first and seek some assistance from the Government. There is a big difference in those two things. Some people are crying that the poultry industry is ruined. Of course that is not so except in its narrowest sense as applying to the individual. We are taking a licking, alright. We've taken them before, and if we're hit hard enough this time we'll get down t brass tacks and find ways and means to stabilize our industry.
Jan. 10, 2014 - In 2013, Canadian Poultry celebrated our 100th anniversary, which was a significant year for us – and an important year for these top newsmakers. From eggs used in antidepressant drugs and houseflies used to recycle poultry manure, to border openings and even a Presidential pardon, there was always something interesting going on in Canada's poultry industry. Join us as we take a look back at some of our top stories of 2013! Adding Sunshine to Eggs Agri-entrepreneur Bill Vanderkooi of Vitala Foods in Abbotsford, B.C. launched Vita D sunshine eggs, the world's first caged layer white eggs to provide people with 100 per cent of the daily recommended value of vitamin D in a single egg. He launched the new line of specialty eggs in downtown Vancouver by having the Vita D sunshine crew give people their daily dose of "sunshine" through free Vita D sunshine breakfast burritos. Managing Supply As Canadian Poultry magazine celebrated 100 years, Jim Knisely took a look back at the long road to achieve the system we operate under – supply management. While many people understand the benefits of orderly marketing, few understand the work that went into achieving and implementing it. Rocket Man With more and more legislation about environmental stewardship, handling of manure is becoming even more regulated. In this interview with entrepreneur Ivan Milin, Canadian Poultry learns about his prototype technology that would industrialize the processing of manure – using the larvae of common houseflies. Food Safety Excellence A long time in the making, Chicken Farmers of Canada was recognized in 2013 for its On-Farm Food Safety Assurance Program, known as OFFSAP. CFC became the first commodity organization in Canada to be recognized by Agriculture and Agri-food Canada for effective and consistent implementation of a food safety program. Health Secret Inside Eggs At its 2013 annual general meeting, Egg Farmers of Ontario announced that it would fund research being done by United Paragon Associates (UPA), an Ontario-based privately-held pharmaceutical developer. UPA is undertaking clinical trials for a new antidepressant drug, named Rellidep, which could help millions of people, worldwide who suffer from Major Depressive Disorder. Speaking from Experience B.C.'s four poultry marketing boards and commissions used their regulatory authority to make the industry-developed biosecurity program mandatory, but received little negative reaction because producers were keenly aware of the economic and mental devastation caused by the avian influenza outbreak in the Fraser Valley in 2004. Ray Nickel, a chicken, turkey and egg producer with multiple farms, felt the trauma personally as his layer farm was one of those infected. Pushing for Pullet Growers The Pullet Growers of Canada (PGC) has been working hard to achieve marketing board status in order to give pullet growers a clear voice in the industry. At its annual general meeting in March 2013, Andy DeWeerd, chairman of the organization and a farmer in Perth County, Ont., told the Nova Scotia Egg Producers that the PGC have been working with pullet farmers and provincial egg marketing agencies to develop a business plan for the proposed marketing board. More than Connecting Dots The Poultry Health Research Network aims to provide a forum for collaboration and co-operation not only among researchers within the University of Guelph, but also between Guelph and other Canadian campuses. It will also, hopefully, reduce duplication where applicable. Professorship in Poultry Nutrition In September 2013, the University of Guelph received a $1 million gift to help fund a professorship in the Department of Animal and Poultry Science at the Ontario Agricultural College. The generous donation from James and Brenda McIntosh will help improve poultry nutrition research, training and outreach. Standing Proud Each year, the President of the United States pardons a turkey as part of a decades-long tradition. In 2013, the bird chosen for the honour could be traced back, genetically, to Kitchener-Waterloo. Keeping Track Full traceability is not yet mandatory in Canada, but the benefits to the agricultural industry as a whole are many. Whether it involves ready-to-cook seasoned poultry pieces, tomatoes or grain, it is all about safeguarding our health in times when food safety incidents occur – and presenting an image of Canada's agricultural industry as responsible and responsive. Consumer Perceptions of Food and Farming Concern over jobs, health care, the economy and the environment are most consistently keeping people up at night. As the results for the Farm Issues Survey, done by Ipsos Marketing, these issues constantly change and reflect the changing times.
1913-1925 Trends The B.C government raised alarm over the large volume of unmarked foreign eggs entering and disrupting the market in April 1915, so calls were made for immediate and mandatory Country of Origin Labelling. Outdoor lamp brooding had had its day and indoor room brooding was the way of the future in March 1918. The key to success in the egg business in 1918 was that good hens will yield a lot of eggs and a positive financial return while poor hens will cost more to feed than they will return in eggs. In June 1919, getting rid of “surplus” males was advised for farmers who wanted a healthier, more productive flock. “If our readers have not already eaten or sold their suplus male breeders they should do so at once; the hens will lay as well, if not better, without a male bothering them.” Poultry in the 1920 United States was one of the country’s biggest industries, but few people have much invested in it and even fewer focused solely on poultry, according to Geo Rommel, chief of the animal husbandry division of the U.S. Bureau of Animal Industry. To get the best breeding results, farmers were told, to know the background of each individual in the mating.” This would guarantee the pedigree. “Poultry molted well will breed well, lay well and look well and pay well” – Canadian Poultry World, August 1921. In 1921, the greatest concern was the importation of eggs from Washington State that were sold below the cost of production. Despite this, B.C. egg producers were investing in “splendid new buildings of the best known type.” Highly productive laying hens were elusive, according to a January 1924 editorial. Fewer than one per cent of hens produced 300 or more eggs in a year. Imports of rail car loads of surplus U.S. eggs in December 1923 caused B.C. egg prices to fall from 55 cents to 42 cents a dozen in a matter of days. Federal Record of Performance standards for Canadian poultry were becoming tighter and tighter in late 1924. Designed to maintain the standards of breed integrity and high productivity, ROP (Record of Performance) standards were advancing the quality of Canadian poultry on both fronts. A three-year study of confinement versus range for laying hens ended in March 1925 and found that range birds produced more eggs and consumed less feed per egg produced. It also found that “chickens bred from hens confined lacked vitality, perhaps the biggest factor in egg production.” Better birds, better prices and egg gradingWhen 1925 came to an end, egg producers were enjoying the best of times, according to Prof. E.A. Lloyd. Egg prices were up, farms were profitable and the birds had been mightily improved, breaking laying records year after year. But he cautioned that the newfound prosperity might not last. U.S. eggs were re-entering the Canadian market, undercutting prices in Eastern and Central Canada. Canadian production was rebounding, adding pressure. He also advised producers to remember that the current prosperity was built on boneyards of broken dreams. “Our comparatively high prosperity this year is due, however, to the losses and retirement of many poultrymen of previous years.” He also reminded egg farmers that at least some of their prosperity was built on a solid foundation of consumer confidence that came from nationwide egg grading. “Canada’s egg grading laws are the envy of the U.S. and of practically every other country in the world.” In addition, he warned against allowing the “propaganda” peddled by merchants and some politicians to abolish “these modern, advanced and helpful regulations.” Firsts Regulations respecting the grading and marketing of egg were established in 1918 under the Livestock and Livestock Products Act. These applied to eggs that were exported or moved interprovincially, and they were the first set of national regulations established in any country in the world. Also in 1918, the ROP programs were introduced, which gave rise to today’s quality breeding stock. Canada was the first country in the world to establish a government-supervised poultry improvement plan. The publication of the first edition of Moose Jaw-based “The Western Hen” was welcomed by W. Miller Higgs, editor of Poultry Pigeons & Petstock Journal in March 1918. With the strain the First World War was putting on food supplies in 1918, urban dwellers were urged to keep small flocks of chickens in their backyards. W. Miller Higgs, editor of Poultry Pigeons & Petstock Journal announced he was headed to the front lines in the First World War “to do his bit” in July 1918. The production of the journal was left in the hands of his wife. Starting with the November 1918 edition, Thos. Edwards, W.H. Willins and H.D. Reid acquired ownership of Poultry Pigeons & Petstock Journal from Mrs. Miller Higgs, who had been managing the magazine while her husband was serving with the Canadian army in Europe. After lengthy consideration in July 1921, the editor and ownership decided to change the name of the journal from Poultry Pigeons & Petstock Journal to Canadian Poultry World – a “far more appropriate name.” Mrs. Wilmer Steele of Oceanview, Del., is considered the pioneer of the commercial broiler industry. In 1923, she raised a flock of 500 chicks intended to be sold for meat. Her little business was so profitable that, by 1926, Mrs. Steele was able to build a broiler house with a capacity of 10,000 birds. A co-op aimed at collecting B.C. eggs and wholesaling them collapsed and Chas. Golding wrote that he believed he knew why. The price of eggs in Vancouver was determined by the Seattle price for surplus eggs. He wrote in August 1924 that “we have absolutely no protection in our own markets for outside powerful competition.” 1926-1935 Trends In 1926, there were significant drops in egg prices: Canadian duty was three cents per dozen, compared to a duty of eight cents for eggs entering from the United States. Egg production in 1927 increased by over 100 million dozen, or 70 per cent, since 1920 due to increasing technology, husbandry and larger flock sizes. Raising turkeys gained in popularity in the late 1920s. In April 1931, the poultry population in Canada increased by one million between 1929 and 1930 due to the improvement in egg production, marketing and grading. The use of wax in the poultry industry for help in plucking the bird was attracting attention, so the process was profiled in September 1935. The Calm Before the StormIn the late 1920s, there was a lot of focus on the perils of declining egg prices and the dominant presence of U.S. eggs in Canadian markets, known as “egg dumping.” An editorial from 1926 said that American eggs receive a duty of three cents per dozen, but local eggs sent to the U.S. are burdened with an eight cent tariff. While plenty of options were discussed throughout the following years, the issue was never completely resolved. In 1929, the B.C. Egg Pool and Poultry Association was formed to monitor, candle and distribute co-operatively up to 1,000 cases of eggs per day, valued at $9,000. In June of that year, 76 carloads (or 1,031,737 dozen eggs) were sold in 36 days. Chick sexing was also a hotly discussed topic in 1934, with numerous articles explaining the process involved, and its potential use and value within the industry, which all culminated in a series of articles written by Rolfe M. Forsyth. The articles, which ran in July, August, September and October 1934, discussed every avenue of the process, including a step-by-step description of the process and the pros and cons associated with it. This decade was also a time of change for Canadian Poultry World (renamed Canada Poultryman in 1928), with not only a title change but also many layout and design alterations along the way. The most significant occurred in May 1930 with the sponsorship of the International Egg Laying Contest by Canada Poultryman and the disasters that followed and resulted in the demolishment of Western Trade Publishing Co. Ltd., the company that owned and published the magazine. In total, the design of the magazine changed four times, while ownership of Canada Poultryman shifted twice: from Pacific Coast Motorist Ltd. in May 1930 to Farm Papers Limited in February 1935. Technologies The April 1933 issue featured a Fire Torch from North Coast Welding Co. Ltd. to disinfect and sanitize your barn is a “positive way to destroy disease germs.” Chick sexing using the Japanese method was first described in September 1933. B.C. Electric Railway Company released a forced air draft electric brooder in early 1934. In mid-1934, a connection was found between the number of eggs a hen produces and the amount of oyster shell (a popular source of lime) the bird consumes because of calcium requirements. Chick sexing was demonstrated in a series of articles: July, August, September and October 1934. Ventilation strategies for your barn, from R.V. Wilcox, B.S.A., described in September 1934, included using hinged windows as well as air intake and outlet shafts to take advantage of natural air movements. Firsts Egg grading helped to increase both production and consumption of Canadian eggs (from 142 million dozen to 249 million and 16.8 dozen per capita to 26.8). The Poultry Producers’ Association of British Columbia was formed in March 1926. R.H. Storer and W.B.M. Miller purchased The Canadian Poultry World in December 1926. Adding oyster shell to feeds became mainstream in mid-1927. 1,080,000 eggs were shipped to Great Britain from the Pacific Coast for the first time in 1927. The magazine was renamed Canada Poultryman in 1928. National Poultry Council was formed in January 1929. In February 1929, the B.C. Egg Pool (the first step in co-operative marketing) was introduced. Canada Poultryman opened office in Saskatchewan in 1930. The magazine was taken over by Canada Poultryman Publishing Co. Ltd. from Western Trade Publishing Co. Ltd. due to losses sustained conducting the International Egg Laying Contest in April 1930. Pacific Coast Motorist Ltd. purchased the magazine in May 1930. In December 1930, magazine released the first Annual and Breeders Directory. In 1933, tried and true “Canada Poultryman Feeds” within the magazine were published to help farmers. Chick sexing was discussed in the September 1933 issue for the first time. Farm Papers Limited purchased Canada Poultryman in February 1935. Douglas Thornhill, a well-known Alberta poultry farmer, began writing his article “Practical Paragraphs by a Prairie Poultryman.” The “Albertan” poultry breed was officially recognized as a new Standard variety in 1935. Issues The controversy of importing chicks from the United States continued in 1926. Bacillary white diarrhea was the most discussed problem affecting B.C. poultrymen in 1928. Price disagreements within the B.C. Egg Pool plagued the organization after its founding in early 1929. In early 1930, the use of artificial heat in poultry houses was gaining steam, but was not recommended by a committee of B.C. poultry officials. Egg prices reached below 35 cents per dozen in B.C. in the first half of 1931, and dipped even lower in the Prairies (21 cents), the lowest in 20 years. In 1933, it was decided that Grade A1 eggs are to be candled, graded and packed by the producer (a grade available only to the producer) by the Live Stock Branch of the Dominion Department of Agriculture. With chick sexing becoming more common in the early 1930s, farmers were interested in acquiring the skills, but lacked the confidence to master the procedure. The Poultry Marketing Scheme for British Columbia (part of the Natural Products Marketing Act) was outlined in detail in April 1935, with its problems discussed in the May 1935 issue. The Beginner’s A.B.C.January 1929 Always interest yourself in your stock. Breed always from the best of stock. Careful attention commands success. Dirt is the most virulent conveyance of disease. Eggs should be removed from the nest as often as convenient. Fresh water is compulsory. Good frit, flint and oyster shells should never be absent. Hatch no more than your ground will carry – save chance of loss. Insides of houses, etc., must be kept spotless. Join and support the associations that are working for the betterment of the industry. Keep well up in poultry matters – read the Canada Poultryman. Look out for the first signs of disease – a stitch in time saves ninety-nine. Make a spare pen; it’s bound to come in handy for hospital, new purchases or training. Nests must be roomy, comfortable and clean. Overfeeding is the cause of many disappointments, such as scarcity of eggs, etc. Perches should be movable so that they may be often and easily cleaned. Query columns of Canada Poultryman are a mine of information. Raise chickens only from the best stock. Successful poultry-keeping is the result of careful study. Turn every useless fowl into cash, or it will quickly eat your profit. Utility points must be maintained by pedigree record-nest strains. Vegetables and green stuff are a necessity. Water and waterpots must be fresh. X’s should be cut down as much as possible. Years and seasons are not all alike – do not expect the same success every time. Zeal – and plenty of it. 1936-1945 Trends Debate continues throughout the decade, especially in Western provinces, regarding the import of U.S. eggs into an already satiated Canadian market. In May 1936, the Dominion Budget imposed a duty of 10 cents per dozen on eggs and four cents on baby chicks coming from the United States. Per-capita egg consumption had decreased from 356 eggs in 1926 to 260 eggs in 1936. In October 1940, 20,000 cases of eggs were shipped from British Columbia to Great Britain to help the British during thewar effort. From Oct. 1 to Nov. 30, 1940, the editors of Canada Poultryman donated every cent from subscribers to the Canadian government to assist in thewar effort. War Impacts the IndustryDuring the last half of the 1930s, genetics took the forefront, with a major discussion in 1936 focusing on the differences between breeds. Producers were concerned about the emergence of the New Hampshire breed (similar to the Rhode Island Red) and its effect on the industry. Additional breeds were thoroughly discussed throughout the year as well, including the Buff Minorcas, Light Sussex, Barnevelders, Welsummers and more. Different methods of production were also discussed, namely the dramatic rise of the laying battery system. So much so that many articles and editorials were devoted to the explanation of how the new cages allow greater sanitation, bird control, cleaner eggs and ease in bird management. The issue of U.S. imports continued to worry producers with a tariff imposed on eggs and baby chicks (10 and four cents, respectively), so the domestic and home markets were protected. Despite that, prices were still so low that in the April 1937 editorial, editor Fred W. Beeson advised producers to “set aside one case of eggs that would ordinarily go to market” and store it yourself to decrease the market saturation and drive up prices. There was no indication his idea worked, but in December 1937 and January 1938, both editorials highlighted the need for a different method to increase both prices and demand – advertising. This led to the development of a petition to the minster of agriculture, conducted through Canada Poultryman, for the creation and funding of a national advertising campaign for the purpose of raising egg consumption in Canada. In June 1938, in which the minister promised to take some sort of action. Instead, a “Buy by Grade” campaign was delivered in the fall, which showed little improvement to the industry. Industry prospects improved the following year in mid-November 1939 with a campaign to foster the increased consumption of poultry and turkey meat on the domestic level through “magazine and newspaper ads, radio talks and moving pictures.” All other debates and developments, however, got placed to the side briefly when the Second World War broke out in 1939. Countless articles were written on Canada’s involvement, specifically with regards to its commitment to provide Britain with eggs and how the war would impact the poultry industry as individuals left Canadian shores to fight. While other issues popped up, such as the drive towards battery cages and the advantages of blood testing for Pullorum, until its end the war continued to draw headlines regarding its impact on the industry. Technologies In June 1936, the Slatted Floor House from England is introduced to rear pullets and make sure that every bird has fresh air within the house. FIRPLY, an “ideal lining for brooder houses, laying pens” that is made from four-foot by eight-foot sheets of Douglas Fir plywood, is shown in the July 1936 issue. The B.C. Electric Company’s new system of circulating preheated air under barn floors to eliminate condensation during the winter was featured in late 1936. Two articles, in September and October 1938, described ways to take advantage of the loans available through the Home Improvement Plan (H.I.P) to improve various aspects of a farm. In April 1939, the electric brooder was profiled because it began to gain usage across Canada. Due to war restrictions, producers were encouraged by the magazine in March 1943 to build their own breeders. In May 1943, the egg-drying process for shipment overseas was explained in detail, so producers could fully understand what was happening to their product Firsts Breeders and hatcherymen organize in Alberta and British Columbia to create Western Canada Baby Chick Association in 1936. In March 1937, electrocution (or electric stunning) is thought to take the place of other killing methods, based on studies by the National Research Council. In January 1938, Canada Poultryman began a multi-month petition to the Hon. James G. Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture) to create and fund a $100,000 national advertising campaign for eggs. In July 1938, a delegation met with the minister of agriculture on June 16 and received active support and a promise of action. October 1939: With the Second World War in full swing, Canada helped to feed Great Britain and her allies with eggs and other poultry goods. July/August 1943: Rail grading of poultry was introduced in Canada. The R.O.P breeding policy was redone with regards to pullet pedigrees and egg grading in January 1944. The R.O.P Breeders of British Columbia formed a new association – the R.O.P Poultry Association of B.C. in November 1944. Issues With a shortage of chick sexers in Canada in early 1936, workers from Japan came over to do the job, but numbers still fell short. B.C. poultrymen protested Dominion government regulations requiring compulsory blood testing for pullets not intended for breeding in mid-1936. The debate between laying or battery cages for layers still raged in December 1936. October 1939: An article on how the war will affect the Canadian poultry industry from Canadian poultry marketing authorities (John I. Brown, W.A. Landreth and W.A. Brown) was published. Wartime Prices and Trade Board announced that wholesale prices will be fixed beginning on Feb. 12, 1941, for fish meal and animal products to be used in feed. A National Poultry Conference was held in January 1944 to discuss conduct during and after the war for the entire industry. At the National Poultry Conference, cross-bred chicks were looked upon with disfavour, and it was recommended that shipments be prohibited, at each province’s discretion. 1946-1955 Trends Canadian chick production in 1945 was 43.4 million, down seven million from 1944. Following the Second World War, competition for egg and poultry markets increased in late 1945 and Canadian producers were told to focus on efficiency. The campaign to sell victory bonds didn’t let up with the end of the war. In the October 1945 edition of Canada Poultryman, it shifted to a call for farmers to buy bonds to ensure “a victorious peace.” During the Second World War, Britian became a dominant market for Canadian eggs, taking up to half of surging production, but by January 1949, it had changed. Canada Poultryman wrote, “we shall do well to look after our domestic market which is, and always has been our most profitable outlet for eggs and poultry.” Total confinement rearing of turkeys gained popularity on the Prairies in early 1949. However, “where good, clean range land is available and where the danger of predators is not too great, it is felt that the range rearing system has many advantages and should be followed wherever practicable” – R.M. Blakely, Dominion Experimental Station, Swift Current, Sask. Modernization Takes RootThere is no doubt the average poultry farm is far too small. Attempting to make a living comparable from those in other industries or occupations with a thousand layers just can’t be done anymore. For one thing. the possible profit per bird is not likely to increase as the years go by, and for another, the complexities of modern living bear little relationship to a couple of decades ago. That is another way of saying that our living today is far more expensive because of our greater “quantities of essentials than ever it has been in the past. Those who in past years made a living from 160 acres of land did so on mighty few dollars a week, but they made a living or figured they did. No one farming today has any desire to go back to the hardships endured by earlier settlers, and so, if we are to expect an income that will cover present day living costs, we have to raise our sights. Therein comes the rub. The cost of constructing the necessary buildings for additional stock is so steep as to make one hesitate at the attempt. It is safe to say, though, that those who are able to do this will reap a worthwhile harvest because their number will be comparatively few for a long time to come. With labour saving equipment, a man today is said to be able to look after several thousand layers with less work than his father encountered with a few hundred. From now on, the watchword is going to be economical production and that means maintaining the greatest number of productive birds with the least labour.” Canada Poultryman, November, 1948 – Written by Fred Beeson Technologies Beginning in late 1966, the use of artificial lighting was found to be beneficial to egg production. “In turkey production I see a change coming. In fact, the most spectacular development that is likely to take place in the next few years in the poultry industry of Canada will be the commercialization of turkey poults,” wrote W.J. Rae, professor of Poultry Husbandry, University of Saskatchewan, in November 1946. “One of the newest and most advanced pieces of equipment is the moving feed carrier which is now in operation in some plants and which may be regulated to operate with absolute regularity as the operator may desire.” – Canada Poultryman September 1949. Firsts The war in the Netherlands officially ended when German General Johannes Blaskowitz surrended to Canadian General Charles Foulkes on May 5, 1945, at Wageningen. The war in Europe ended with Germany’s unconditional surrender on May 8, 1945. The Empire of Japan surrendered on Aug. 15, 1945, ending the war in Asia. The Vancouver Island Poultry Co-operative Association was formed in 1945 to operate a killing, chilling and egg-grading station and to supply wholesale and consumer markets. In 1946, Ontario passed the Farm Products Marketing Act, which, with numerous amendments, remains in effect today. Vitamin B12 was identified in 1948, the last traditional vitamin. Shortly thereafter, it was found that animals such as poultry require the vitamin. In January 1948, Newcastle Disease was first identified in Canada. By late 1948, six cases had been identified, including one in Saskatchewan, three in Ontario, one in Quebec and one in Nova Scotia. The Australian Egg Board was established in January 1948 to buy and sell eggs and egg products intended for export. In the March 1948, a new machine – The Automatic Egg Washer – was introduced, which washed eggs in a “sanitary manner” with water hot enough to kill common bacteria, and was gentle enough not to damage the eggs. The B.C. Poultry Producers’ Association applied to the minister of agriculture in February 1948 for the establishment of a poultry marketing scheme. In 1950, W. Murray Clark of Caledonia, Ontario, established a business to sell production equipment to local poultry and egg farmers. 1956-1965 Trends In February 1960, the Canadian egg industry became free of support prices (for the first time since 1941). Debeaking of poultry was claimed to be the best way to prevent cannibalism in 1960 by Herb Gasperdone of the B.C. Department of Agriculture. New Canadians’ preference of ducks and geese to regular poultry allowed the waterfowl market to expand in the early 1960s. The Fraser Valley, in mid-1962, had more layers in cages than conventional floor-type houses, turning egg production into a more factory-style operation. A new disease known as transmissible enteritis appeared in turkey poults in Alberta in late 1963. A.D. Davey of the Poultry Division of CDA said in December 1963 that consumption of poultry products could rise by 190 per cent for meat and 85 per cent for eggs by 1980. Vital GrowthFrom the December 1961 Fred Beeson editorial regarding an address by W.A. Landreth at the 1961 Poultry Conference:“Now, to return to Mr. Landreth’s ideas. He suggests that each province form an Egg Producers Council, a Broiler Growers Council, a Turkey Producers Council. Taking eggs first, he suggests this Council should, in conjunction with the “Trade”, establish the prices of eggs for the coming week. The spread in price for grading and cartoning eggs should have added to it one half cent per dozen which would finance the council. Through its provincial board of directors, working closely with the egg wholesalers, be they co-ops or privately owned, Mr. Landreth stresses that stability can result from studying trends and putting in voluntary production controls. He suggests similar procedures for broilers and turkeys. His views are interesting, particularly since the B.C. Broiler Growers Association has gone on record as favoring Production Control by a Compulsory Quota. They made an attempt at a voluntary cut-back, failed, and then decided that the only way to achieve a quota system was to come in under the Natural Products Marketing Act. Even with this Act they cannot control how many broilers a man grows but they think, and hope, that they can enforce their powers under the Act to regulate how many broilers from any one grower can be processed. The achievement of their goal may be attainable. It may not. Time alone will tell … We have given this matter a great deal of thought. We do not think Mr. Landreth’s ideas are likely to be taken up by the industry in each province, on an entirely voluntary basis. We further are of the opinion that the Natural Products Marketing Act, so sweeping in its powers, is not the vehicle the industry needs. We agree with Mr. Landreth that the Councils should be voluntary, but we’d like to see national legislation put into effect that a producer group, representing say, 75 per cent of the product within its boundaries, could establish, under Law, Production Quotas, to be set in consultation with the first receivers – the egg wholesalers and grading stations, the poultry meat processors, the feed manufacturers and the hatcheries. Each of these parts of the industry are vital to the continuing welfare of the industry.” Issues The U.S. banned diethylstilbestrol for the caponizing of poultry in the early 1960s. Fraser Valley, B.C., in 1960 began talks to utilize the Compulsory Egg Marketing Board, which would allow producers to set prices Early in 1961, a referendum took place to bring in compulsory marketing in the Fraser Valley, but it was defeated by a vote of nearly three to one. The former president and general manager of Canadian Poultry Sales Ltd. proposed in 1962 that each province form an Egg Producers Council, a Broiler Growers Council and a Turkey Producers Council, and establish quotas. Fred Beeson’s August 1962 editorial discussed the danger the poultry industry is facing by losing the small and independent producer and being controlled by a few very large firms or corporations. He also introduced the idea of using “sales quotas.” The London Poultry Show building, the Western Fair Manufacturers Building, burned down on June 20, 1963 (the final day of the sixth annual Poultry Conference and Exhibition). Firsts In early 1960, a University of California vet scientist found a new virus that affects the respiratory system of chickens and may be related to Newcastle disease. At the 1960 Poultry Conference in London, Ont., re-formation of the Canadian Poultry Council was suggested to help promote Canadian poultry products, but no action was taken. Five hundred egg producers were in favour of forming the B.C. Egg Producers’ Association at a meeting in Abbotsford, B.C., during the mid-1960s to help voice the views of the producers, and help them solve price and surplus problems. However, the motion for a marketing board from the B.C. Egg Producers’ Association was defeated at a subsequent meeting. Technologies The Insect-O-Cutor, a bug zapper, became available in Canada in 1962 and could be used to control flies and other flying insects in barns. By feeding layers increased corn, alfalfa meal and cereal-grass, it was shown in late 1962 that eggs were produced with a much darker yolk, but with no difference in flavour. Dr. Salsbury’s Laboratories marketed a vaccine sprayer in the early 1960s that could vaccinate 5,000 chickens or turkeys in 12 minutes Researchers at J. Bibby and Sons of London, U.K., developed a new feed during the 1960s known as “Peckets,” designed to keep laying birds from becoming bored and from developing vices. A new technique for measuring the success of fumigation and sanitary measures was outlined in the October 1963 issue – examining fluff (or downy) shed from newly hatched birds for microbes before and after the measures were implemented. In the mid-1960s, lagoon disposal systems for poultry manure were gaining popularity across the Western and Prairie provinces. In late summer 1962, a mild vaccine tocontrol Avian Encephalomyelitis (Epidemic Tremors) became available in British Columbia and Ontario. 1966-1975 Trends Dr. R.V. Hemsley of K-Vet Laboratories, Hespeler, Ont., in the January 1968 issue of Canada Poultryman stresses that the keys to disease prevention are often good management; a good, well-ventilated, well-maintained barn; and clean equipment. In a series of articles in 1968, Ross Milne of the farm sales department of Ontario Hydro emphasized the need for proper poultry barn planning, as well as lighting, ventilation and wiring. Concern was growing over the increases of disease and mortality in broiler breeders in early 1969, as the new superfast growing strains of broilers were more susceptible to disease. To meet the needs of modern turkey production, breeding companies adopted strain cross programs and breed tomes for a variety of traits to increase potential profitability in mid-1969. To preserve egg quality, the Canadian Department of Agriculture reported in March 1970 that proper cooling is essential. The ads in Canada Poultryman from 1965 to 1975 tell a unique story of an industry on the move with new technologies being unveiled all the time. The Rough Ride to Supply ManagementFrom the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s, Canada’s poultry industries lurched from crisis to profitability and back to crisis. This culminated in the so-called chicken-and-egg war with provinces dumping surplus production into other provinces and dealing with the commercial, regulatory and legislative reactions and fallout. Throughout this period, producers and provincial governments sought answers and stability by forming provincial marketing boards. Often they worked to stabilize production and prices, but just as often they buckled under the pressure of dumped products from other provinces, and in later years, the United States. It was a stressful, high-pressure time. Sometimes the pressure came from within the industry applied by producers and processors wedded to free enterprise and sometimes it came from consumer groups and commercial interests, which benefited from bouts of chronically low prices and chaotic markets. This didn’t end with the formation of CEMA (Canadian Egg Marketing Agency) in 1972. The agency struggled. Its member provincial marketing boards agreed with the necessity of a co-ordinated national program, but disagreed mightily on such details as provincial shares of national production, quotas, traditional markets and even how to measure production. Then in 1974 and 1975, an even larger threat appeared in the form of eggs coming in from the U.S. The imported eggs combined with the failure to control surplus production within Canada resulted in near panic. Agriculture Minister Eugene Whelan, long a strong supporter of marketing boards, stepped in with an ultimatum and a solution. The ultimatum was to tell CEMA and the provincial boards that they first had to devise strict, enforceable rules to control overproduction and once that was done the federal government would deal with the U.S. imports. “CEMA is not the success that producers want it to be. Nor is it the success I want it to be. …The final verdict will come in the next few months. If the provincial boards live up to their agreements, our chief egg marketing problems will end. If they don’t, the next press conference I call on CEMA will be the last.” The squabbling and squawking came to a quick end and the federal government imposed import quotas in mid-1975. However, Canada’s import quotas were challenged by the U.S. under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (now the WTO). The U.S. challenge was dismissed when the international panel ruled that Canada’s quotas were in compliance with international trade law. Firsts In April 1967, most employees of farms, ranches, nurseries and greenhouses became eligible for unemployment insurance. In early 1967, William (Bill) Stewart officially opened Shaver Poultry’s new hatchery in Galt, Ont. The Saskatchewan Turkey Marketing Board was approved by the provincial government and set to begin operations Aug. 1, 1967. In early 1967, Ontario broiler producers voted 92 per cent in favour of giving their board the responsibility of setting live prices and of setting terms and conditions of sale. However, Bruce MacNamara, former chair of the broiler board, cautioned that some form of national marketing control was still necessary. In 1968, for an unprecedented third consecutive time, the Shaver Starcross 288 walked off with the USDA-ARS two-year sample test with the highest net income. The Canadian Department of Agriculture received a major international award for development of a process for a new form of frozen eggs in early 1970. Using liquid nitrogen, egg mélange is frozen into droplets that can be packaged in varying sizes. Previously, frozen eggs came only in 40-pound lots and smaller portions were unavailable. On Apr. 18, 1975, the Farm Products Marketing Amendment Act was signed into law. It gave the Ontario Egg Producers’ Marketing Board, for the first time, authority to establish regulations to carry out effective production control utilizing quotas and providing for the inspection of premises (without a warrant) when it is believed the regulations are not being followed. On Sept. 5, 1975, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food poultry research centre at Arkell, outside of Guelph, officially opened, consisting of six buildings designed to meet the research demands of the entire industry. The centre is operated by the University of Guelph under the Department of Animal and Poultry Science. Technologies In a series of articles in 1968, Ross Milne of the farm sales department of Ontario Hydro emphasized the need for proper poultry barn planning, as well as lighting, ventilation and wiring. A vaccine against Marek’s disease was introduced in 1970 and the scientist credited with its development is Dr. Ben Roy Burmester. Before that, Marek’s disease caused substantial loss in poultry industries estimated at up to $20 million in increased mortality in Canada. Approval to release the vaccine for sale in Canada was given Nov. 11, 1970. In 1975, the University of Saskatchewan received a $2.2-million grant from the Devonian Foundation for a new laboratory to study infectious diseases of food-producing animals. The new laboratory will be operated by VIDO (the Veterinary Infectious Diseases Organization) and will develop new vaccines aimed at combating a wide range of animal diseases. 1976-1985 Trends Nov. 15, 1976: CEMA dropped egg prices by two cents per dozen for A Large in response to a reduction in costs established by the production pricing formula. Agriculture Canada revised regulations in late 1976 to allow Canadian plants to sell egg products to the U.S. or do custom processing. In January 1977, CEMA launched a second national advertising campaign to increase egg consumption: it marked the creation and first-time usage of the “Get Cracking” and “Faites vos oeufs” slogans. The use of broiler cages, instead of housing on the floor, began to take off in late 1977 with the ACA Co-op acquiring a Lohmann Broilermatic in Berwick, N.S., the first commercial installation in North America. At a meeting at the end of January 1979, CEMA increased egg quotas by three per cent due to increasing demand. With the election of Joe Clark’s Progressive Conservative government in 1979, the minister of agriculture, Eugene Whelan, was replaced by John Wise. Due to a shortage of large eggs in Ontario in late 1979, the Ontario Egg Board increased demand for medium eggs and increased the price spread between medium and large eggs to 10 cents. The Honeymoon PeriodIn the mid-1970s, supply management was already in full swing and enjoying a fairly productive time. However, without a national agency to control production of broilers, the product was susceptible to market pressures and imports from the U.S. That said, not everyone was happy with supply management, as evidenced by some speakers of the 1978 National Poultry Seminar exclaiming that they want a return to the “good old days.” The debate continued throughout the decade, with no sign of slowing down. Additionally, in February 1976, the Consumers’ Association of Canada told the Canadian Broiler Council (CBC) that the egg industry was overcharging consumers a million dollars a week (or 15 cents per dozen). Industry leaders and professionals were quick to state that the claim was untrue and unsupported. However, the damage was done and resulted in many individuals and professionals questioning the methods used. Add that to CEMA’s difficulties in managing the market supply and adjusting the prices of eggs based on a formula from outside consultants, and it is no surprise that many articles were written throughout the decade on how exactly egg pricing is determined and possible alternatives. However, when the minister of agriculture threatened to disband CEMA, the agency improved its standing and producer co-operation. In response to criticism, the National Farm Products Marketing Council conducted hearings into the egg industry (requested by the Consumers’ Association of Canada). The full hearings were published and summarized in the November 1978 issue of Canada Poultryman,and will be featured on our 100th website. In May 1977, Bill C-42 was introduced and criticisms of it from farmers arose almost immediately with the proposed creation of a Competition Policy Advocate. This position would be able to challenge the rulings of national marketing boards and take them to court if it was believed not enough market competition was present. However, a few months later in August, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture said in a statement that marketing boards should be exempt from Bill C-42. In the end, the bill did not pass through Second Reading of the legislature and disappeared from discussion. There were also numerous reports on the effects of eggs on cholesterol; with articles and news briefs written to the effect that egg yolks run the gamut from having a significant effect, to a minimal, to none at all. The U.S. Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs in January 1978 stated that people should drastically decrease cholesterol consumption, especially in regards to eggs. In response, CEMA planned (in the fall 1978) an extensive public advertising and promotion campaign to raise awareness of the health issue. After the 1979 election of Joe Clark’s Progressive Conservative government, John Wise replaced Eugene Whelan as minister of agriculture. Editor Fred Beeson wrote a farewell editorial for Mr. Whelan in July 1979; however, the change did not last long – as the re-election of the Trudeau Liberal government led to Whelan’s reinstatement until 1984. A great change in Canada Poultryman occurred in July 1980, as Beeson retired as editor, a position he had held since the mid-1930s. Firsts The Hon. William G. Newman was appointed minster of agriculture for Ontario in January 1976. The Poultry Industry Council of Canada formed in mid-1976. In November 1976, British United Turkeys of England and Hybrid Turkeys Limited of Canada announced an agreement giving Hybrid exclusive rights to breed and market the B.U.T. 6 Large White turkey in North America, Central America and South America. CEMA was awarded the I.E.C. Annual Marketing Award for egg promotion in June 1978. The Canadian Chicken Marketing Agency commenced operations on Feb. 5, 1979. Canfarm moved ownership from Agriculture Canada to its new company, Canfarm Co-operative Services, on March 30, 1979. The B.C. interior’s first processing plant, Colonial Farms Ltd., opened in Armstrong, B.C., in mid-1979. Poultry weights changed to metric from the more customary imperial units (foot, yard, pound, etc…) on Jan. 1, 1980. Fred W. Beeson retired as editor of Canada Poultryman in July 1980. Issues In 1976, imports of broilers from the U.S. were on the rise because there was no national agency to control production and utilize supply management of broilers. Consumption of eggs in Canada was declining in the late 1970s. In April 1976, the Consumers’ Association of Canada said that in February the egg industry had overcharged consumers a million dollars a week (or 15 cents per dozen). In late 1976, the Canadian Egg Marketing Agency (CEMA), which is in charge of operating the supply-management program, refused to import and subsidize any more eggs. Also in 1976, the Canadian Egg Producers Council signed new agreement with CEMA to be its public relations and political arm while remaining a member of CEMA’s consultative committee. In the late 1960s, imports of U.S. chicken were hurting retail sales, so in the 1970s, provincial marketing boards sought protection under a national broiler chicken marketing plan. Competition Bill C-42, described in May 1977, aimed to establish a Competition Policy Advocate that could challenge national marketing boards rulings. In June 1977, Poultry Industry Council provisional chairman, Edward R. Hoover, wrote that Council operations should be shelved after strong opposition from one particular segment of the poultry industry and its coercive methods. In Nov. 1977, the Standing Committee on Agriculture in B.C. ruled in favour of forming the Canadian Chicken Marketing Agency Alberta Turkey Growers Marketing Board officially withdrew from the CTMA on in January 1978 because of high U.S. imports. The Alberta Turkey Growers Marketing Board sought readmission to the CTMA in April 1979 April 1980: A report from the Committee on Antibiotics in Agriculture was released and recommended as much reduction of antibiotic use in food-producing animals as possible. Maplewood Processors Ltd., a major poultry processor in B.C., closed down in June 1980, allowing Cargill an almost complete monopoly on the B.C. processing industry. Technologies DEKALB AgResearch introduced the XL-Link, a “high performance” white egg layer bred for “high egg numbers and high peaks, excellent livability and good egg size” in 1976. The “Long Egg” was introduced to Canadians in Copenhagen by the SANOVO Engineering Company in July 1976. A study from the University of Maine in 1975, detailed in August 1976, investigated the effects of heat stress on caged layers. It found that older birds suffer more, that they take longer to recover and that this problem requires constant management and maintenance. The use of ultraviolet light versus chlorine treatments to sterilize the water for poultry was debated in March 1977. 1986-1995 Trends R.J. Morris forecast that changes in consumer eating habits would benefit poultry in early 1985, as the steady and increasing demand would require producers to adopt “disciplined financial management” as the main priority. In the March 1985 editorial, Tony Greaves wrote: “Phew! We came through 1984 with our agencies intact. But only just. I’m aware of at least one provincial government that is actively promoting the withdrawal of a board from its agency. And I hear rumours that there may be others.” Cuddy Food Products of London, Ont., in April 1985 was processing 66,000 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken meat daily to produce 4,568 chicken nuggets per minute to supply all McDonald’s restaurants in Canada. The arrival of computers and computer spreadsheets in April 1985 on the farm was eliminating the need for copious paper records and made putting together information significantly easier. CEMA cautioned the new Progressive Conservative government in Ottawa in mid-1985 against deregulating the egg industry. A full-blown free trade deal with the U.S. would wipe out 80 per cent of the poultry production on the Prairies, according to a study by Deloitte, Haskins and Sells in May 1986. The dramatic growth in the market for processed eggs presented new prospects for the industry but was creating major problems for CEMA in May 1986. Mould and mycotoxins in poultry feed were found to be a source of significant economic loss in late 1994. Dr. Peter Hunton of the Ontario Egg Producers’ Marketing Board described in early 1995 how computers and the wide range of information now available online will be an “invaluable tool.” Lost YearsThe poultry industry went through over half a decade of uncertainty as NAFTA, CUSTA and the Uruguay Round of GATT negotiations went on and on and on … Those five years of uncertainty may have delayed the day of reckoning, but they did not allow the industry to start its reactive process. The result was delayed construction and renovation and the development of a siege mentality that interfered with normal industry relations. So instead of improving efficiency the delays in renovations have actually set us further behind just when we should be racing to improve our level of competitiveness.” From an editorial by Tony Greaves in Canada Poultryman December 1995. Firsts Free trade with the U.S. was put on the front burner once again and poultry producers worried that it would threaten supply management. The Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was reached by negotiators for Canada and the United States on Oct. 4, 1987, and signed on Jan. 2, 1988. Supply management was protected. The leaders of Canada, the United States and Mexico met in San Antonio, Texas, on Dec. 17, 1992, and signed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The agreement then went on to be ratified by legislative or parliamentary branches. NAFTA involved Canada, Mexico and the United States. It came into force on Jan. 1, 1994, and superseded the Canada–U.S. FTA. Tariffication under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), signed April 15, came into effect July 1, 1995, replacing import quotas that had protected Canada’s supply-managed industries. In 1995, Lyle Vanclief, chairman of the federal-provincial task force on orderly marketing, said that Canada was only allowed to maintain high tariffs because of the national supply-management system. 1996-2005 Trends CFO and AOCP agreed on supply-determination procedure. The new system addressed differences between small and large processors. In late 1990s start to see more articles on poultry heat stress management and fly and beetle control. October 2004 – Omega-3 eggs started to become a popular consumer choice. In June 2005, biosecurity continued to emerge as a trend. and producers were encouraged to continue to keep it top of mind. Keeping the Wolves at BayAs in the previous decade, supply management was still the target of much criticism internationally. At the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, supply management was left virtually untouched, but the World Trade Organization talks were a more serious threat, with globalization of all goods, including agriculture and food, a hot topic. Tony Greaves in his June 1998 editorial compared the world oil cartel, and its cutback of production, to orderly marketing in agriculture. “When oil is sold at below the cost of production, the working people bear the brunt of the recession.” AAC Minister Lyle Vanclief pointed out that there was a Canadian dichotomy where some sectors want protection and some wanted liberalization of trade – which made it look as if Canada was talking out of both sides of its mouth at the WTO level. Through the late 1990s and 2000s, food safety was a common topic in the magazine, taking on many acronyms such as OFFSAP (On-Farm Food Safety Program) in Ontario chicken circles. This was related to another issue that rose up ... that of crisis and emergency management planning. In the early 2000s, succession planning and farming as a family business started to be covered in the magazine as lack of planning became an issue for producers across Canada. In the mid-2000s, however, the most common article topic was biosecurity – spurred by the low pathogenic avian influenza outbreak in British Columbia, highly pathogenic AI in Asia and Eastern Europe, an infectious laryngotracheitis (ILT) outbreak in Ontario, and the previous AI outbreaks in North Carolina and Virginia. Even advertisements showed the concern. Issues In February 1996, Canada Poultryman reported that major outbreaks of Marek’s disease had recently occurred in vaccinated flocks of chickens throughout North America. The symptoms and lesions differed from what had been normally seen prior to the advent of vaccination. June 1996: The SAGE agreement was established wherein producers formally establish a new national marketing arrangement. January 1998: Transgenic animals are here to stay, declared Dr. Ann Gibbons of the University of Guelph. The Ontario Chicken Marketing Board became Chicken Farmers of Ontario on March 24, 1997. The magazine published several articles on integration and how family farms need to look at doing this if they plan to survive in the rapidly changing livestock industry. The new Poultry Program Team (PPT) was formed, with representatives from the Poultry Industry Council, the University of Guelph and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (memorandum of understanding). The idea behind it was to support sustainable production, health and welfare for poultry and speak to environmental and economical issues that producers may face. January 1999: Articles on disease resistance, food safety and antimicrobial resistance appeared in the magazine. Mid-1999: The Alberta Chicken Producers Poultry Technology Centre opened in Edmonton. In July 2000, the magazine suggested succession planning is often overlooked until it is too late but producers need to give this a serious think. In December 2000, a feature about Larry Martin of the George Morris Centre talked about globalization and its impacts on the poultry industry, saying success is derived from meeting customer needs and not dumping surplus product. In February 2002, Canadian Poultry printed part one (excerpts) of the report into the Walkerton Tragedy, by Justice Dennis O’Connor. O’Connor concluded that the incident was not the fault of the owner of the cattle farm involved, but rather a result of lack of chlorine monitoring in the water supply. Improper operating practices were implicated. Firsts The first Poultry Meat Outlook Conference was held in Ottawa in June 1996. It was jointly organized by national chicken and turkey marketing agencies, CPEPC, further poultry processors and national farm products council. In September 1997, Hybrid Turkeys hosted an open house at the recently completed Mapleglen Pedigree Complex near Ayr, Ont. In June 1996, Agricorp is created under the Agri-Food and Rural Business Bill, passed in June of 1996. Agricorp will deliver crop insurance and safety net programs. Spring 1997 saw heavy flooding in Manitoba and producers banded together to provide storage space and growing premises. Flocks shipped early in unaffected areas so that birds in flooded areas could be relocated. July 1997: FPVQ lobbied the provinces and CFC, saying that the national supply management system had broken up into individual provincial systems at the expense of the nationally co-ordinated agreement In September 1997, the Poultry Industry Council was created by merging the Poultry Industry Centre for Research and Eductation and the Ontario Poultry Council. We started to see talk of “technology transfer” and its importance in the industry – that is, sharing of knowledge, research results and technology that can better the industry as a whole. May 1998: New co-op legislation in Canada was seen as potentially increasing farmers’ share of the consumer dollar, but work needed to be done on how to use the U.S. models. In 1998, a national allocation agreement was signed for Canada (by each of the 10 production boards). In March 1999, FightBAC was launched by the Canadian Partnership for Consumer Food Safety and Education, a collation of 48 of Canada’s major stakeholders in the food sector. The campaign sought to motivate Canadians to fight harmful bacteria by practising critical safety steps when preparing food in their homes. In January 2000, Canada Poultryman reported that Ontario’s small processors have formed an organization called the Ontario Independent Poultry Processors Association to, in its words, fulfil a need to serve new and growing markets. April 2002: Magazine name changes to Canadian Poultry April 2002: B.C. chicken farmer Clint Heppell built a barn 88 feet wide to maximize the limited real estate available to him. On May 29, 2002 (reported July 2002), the Canadian Poultry Research Council opened its doors – CPRC had and continues to have administrative capacity to provide a focal point for poultry research in Canada. October 2002: The Krahn Brothers in B.C. were first to install an A-frame cage system for layers. In March 2003, Clark Poultry Ltd. near Hamilton, Ont., built state-of-the-art broiler barns using latest designs and materials. Spring 2005: Alberta Chicken Producers approved a new market development policy that would allow producers to grow additional chicken for market development when a processor requests the same. August 2005 marked the first Merial Avian Veterinary Partnership Conference. January 2006: Ontario Livestock and Poultry Council broke ground in its first year. It was formed to focus on animal health and risk mitigation. Technologies In mid-1995, Alltech Inc. of Nicholasville, Ky., introduced Allzyme VegPro, which was designed to improve the digestibility of vegetable proteins in soybean meal, peas, beans and full-fat canola. The idea of being able to sex chicks before hatch started to show up in research – this was seen as a benefit that would reduce hatch space and animal welfare concerns around disposal of the chicks. In 1998, the magazine featured an article on ozone treatment of hatching eggs to improve egg hatchability and improve sterilization. In September 1999, the magazine featured Tina Widowski at the University of Guelph and her research on the effects of new, energy-efficient lighting (high-pressure sodium lights) on chicken performance. In fall 2000, a new state-of-the-art broiler barn was constructed by Mehrle Farms Ltd. of Manitou, Man. Unique to Western Canada, it was built with self-supporting ribbed, composite polyurethane panelling that had no steel or wood frame. In March 2002, the Arch McKinlay I-Conveyor was featured. The system was unique in that it moved eggs in a continuous flow without transfer points and also around 90-degree corners. September 2003: Quebec poultry producers experimented with alternative biological waste disposal methods. A stacked moving belt allowed maximum heat exposure for speeding up the dehydration process. January 2006: Canadian Poultry explored a solar heating system installation on Ray Heyink’s broiler barn in Ontario meant to curb energy prices. A government program offset the cost of the installation by 25 per cent. 2006-2013 The Customer is Always RightIn the late 2000s and early 2010s “traceability” became a key word as food safety rose to the fore in the minds of agriculture’s governing agencies. Consumers became increasingly aware of where their food comes from and began to want to support local producers as much as possible. Government programs to support this cause started to pop up across Canada, including the Canadian Integrated Traceability Program (CITP), which was worth $1.7 million in 2006. The development of ethanol-based fuels also quickly created a dilemma in agriculture. Corn, otherwise used as feed, started to be diverted for use in ethanol production – thus driving up the cost of corn and hitting producers’ pocketbooks very hard. The magazine featured articles about how to save energy in poultry production, and touched on wind energy, proper insulation weather-stripping and proper ventilation. Animal welfare during transport was also increasingly an issue. Firsts In October 2006, British Colombia introduced specialty egg quota for organic, free-range and free-run production.New research showed that poultry is not as tolerant to mycotoxins as previously thought. Results showed that certain mycotoxins could reduce immune response and result in depressed growth rates, productivity and feed consumption. The Atlantic Poultry Research Centre opened in July 2007; at the time it was Canada’s most advanced research facility.The British Columbia Poultry/Biosecurity Emergency response initiative promotes adoption of biosecurity practices and emergency response protocols for the poultry industry. In late 2008, the Quebec egg producers’ marketing board offered a start-up program to people wanting to get into the industry that didn’t require they buy quota right way. Certain criteria had to be met, however. A new pathobiology lab for the University of Guelph was completed and was expected to help improve the health of people, animals and the environment. In November 2010, the first enriched housing system was installed in Manitoba. Issues There were some heat stress troubles in early summer of 2007 and producers were encouraged to be more prepared to deal with extreme heat in their barns, for example, by having back-up generators in place. To this point, post-traumatic stress was often ignored after producers suffered great loss of animal life. Animal disease has a human toll that was slowly being acknowledged and talked about. Recent consolidation among primary breeders (of layers, turkeys and most broilers) in the world meant that most genetics seemed to originate from two companies by the mid-2000s, and this was causing pricing and supply issues for those buying genetics. This concentration of global poultry genetics resources also had researchers at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada concerned. In the last 65 years, the world had gone from 300 breeders down to just two, a situation that compromised genetic diversity. In early 2008, grain prices seemed to be on the rise. World demand had exceeded production for five of the last seven years and supplies were expected to remain tight. This was a foreboding outlook for livestock producers. Industry groups in Ontario began working together in 2010 to make the workplace safer for chicken catchers and haulers. Farmers and other members of the agriculture industry were encouraged to be prepared to handle the media effectively and get the right messages out to consumers. Farm succession planning started to become an issue in agriculture. Family dynamics were predicted to change going forward and there were likely to be different issues and concerns for future generations. Families were encouraged to sit down and talk about plans for their farms. Food irradiation was introduced in the United States, but consumer acceptance was seen as the stumbling block in Canada, even though it had been deemed an effective tool for removing pathogens. In 2011, a newly coined phrase, “biosecurity fatigue,” became an issue as producers began to tire of hearing about biosecurity. Based again on ethanol, cost of feed becomes a rising concern in North America, to the point that it is brought to the attention of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture. In 2012, new educational materials were released to help producers and catchers answer the question “should this bird be loaded?” Trends By May 2007, the realization had hit agriculture that there needed to be better preparation for emergencies and highway traffic accidents where animals were being transported. First responders were generally untrained in this area and focus needed to be put on ensuring they know what to do, as these situations were often very public. In June 2007, British Columbia launched a new mandatory producer biosecurity program. On-farm windpower became more common to help reduce energy costs and produce a more “environmentally sustainable” product. Demand for antibiotic-free chicken was growing, so St. Huberts restaurants wanted to serve it – but could growers supply the demand? Consumer needs were evolving and placing demands on retailers to differentiate products. Industry had a role to play in helping retailers ensure this demand is met. After years of “shop ‘til you drop,” consumers were now looking for value, which was good news for poultry and egg producers. Farmers needed to operate in a way that was consistent with consumers’ ideas. An increasing global population and a growing global middle class meant more opportunities for Canada’s poultry farmers but accessing these markets would be complex. In early 2012, results of a United States survey showed that price was playing a greater role in the meat purchasing decision process. In the fall of 2012, animal welfare specialist Temple Grandin said that farmers needed to be more observant of the animals in their care and truly understand them. Jayson Lusk of Oklahoma State University proposed that animal welfare could be improved by having consumers purchase “animal well-being units” via their food choices. Technologies A new Chore-Time Modular Manure Belt cage system had implications for reduced aromas and easier breathing in layer barns. PDA devices allowed producers to control their poultry houses from anywhere, at any time. A German poultry farmer built a layer barn with a layer of amorphous silicon solar cells on top of the regular roof to help offset energy costs. Composting started to go high-tech. The new BIOvator is an enclosed composting system composed of a long, hollow steel cylinder with steel paddles mounted on the inside walls, which both mix and slowly move material forward. Deadstock comes out as compost. In November 2007, a story in the magazine reports the “crackless egg,” with a real-time wireless sensor, provides instant identification of trouble spots that cause cracking on egg farms. Ciemme Apollo catching machines from Italy will allow birds to be caught using a crew of as few as three people, which can alleviate some of the stresses around of the most labour-intensive parts of chicken farming. In February 2009, an article ran about a new flooring system that could help to curb ammonia, according to researchers at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore campus. The system consisted of interlocking squares, and air funnelling through the holes in the flooring help to keep fecal matter dry. Food business data management became crucial when an incident such as a food recall happened. It was essential to have the ability so see clearly into product systems and to be able to coordinate data and communicate effectively between levels in the supply chain. In February 2011, the magazine reports a new vaccine for Newcastle Disease developed by the USDA. Insta-panel insulation for floors of poultry barns ensured drier floors, and more comfortable and healthier birds. Live, in-barn cameras allowed producers to view what was going on in their barns from a computer or smartphone device. LEDs, seen as the lighting of the future, have the potential to cut energy costs significantly and to have greater durability. In January 2012, new Canadian bio-tech know-how could help to reduce deadly pathogens in raw and prepared meats and poultry products. The Sentinel Bioactive Paper network developed a system whereby phages attached to packaging paper could attack pathogens such as Listeria. University of Manitoba researchers evaluated the efficacy of a new DNA vaccine for highly pathogenic avian influenza. The Zephyr stun gun could provide a humane way to euthanize birds. A non-penetrative captive bolt stunner, it is driven by compressed air. Vital Foods launched the Vita D “sunshine” egg, which provides 100 per cent of a daily dose of vitamin D via a proprietary, all-natural, plant-based feed additive rich in the vitamin.
My association with Canadian poultry breeding began early in 1967, when I moved from an academic position at Wye College – then the agricultural school of England’s London University – to working at Shaver Poultry Breeding Farms Ltd., as research coordinator. At that time, the breeding industry was evolving rapidly from relatively humble beginnings into an international business. The forces underlying the evolution of the industry were several: firstly, there was the capacity of breeders to harness the science of genetics for the improvement of commercial poultry. Additionally, the rapid expansion of both the egg and poultry meat fields transformed from relatively unimportant, disorganized, segments of agriculture into financially viable and successful consumer-oriented industries. During the period from 1912 until the late 1960s, breeding had undergone significant changes and developments. With the emergence of Mendel’s pioneering studies of plant genetics (first reported in the 1850s and rediscovered in 1905), scientists began to investigate whether the same principles applied to animals, especially chickens, since they were plentiful and easy to work with. Commercial breeding can be said to have begun when some farmers decided to make choices among the birds available for reproducing. These choices were, in the early days, almost exclusively based on appearance; physical characteristics could be emphasized and to some extent, modified so that a degree of uniformity could be established, thus differentiating individual farmers’ stocks. With the invention of the trap nest, it became possible to obtain individual performance records, although these were not widely used until the 1930s and ’40s. Geneticists had found that variation in physical traits such as comb type, plumage and skin colour, could be explained using Mendel’s work, but they had difficulty explaining traits such as body weight, egg production and mortality, which were not divided into discrete classes, but varied on a continuous basis. However, the serious breeders developed progeny testing to a fine art, and were able to make significant improvements in egg production and other commercial traits. By the outbreak of the Second World War, many breeders, including Donald Shaver (aged 19 at the time), had established themselves locally as sources of baby chicks, and most sold hatching eggs, breeding pairs or trios, to other breeders. Across Canada, every small town or village would have had one or two hatcheries, some just using internal sources of hatching eggs, and others purchasing improved stock from outside sources. The process was labour-intensive and most of the hatcheries were small, inefficient and only operated on a seasonal basis. Customers were small, too, with few owning more than 100 birds. In the late 1940s, the breeding industry began to develop more rapidly. When Donald Shaver returned from war service, although his original stocks were lost in a fire, he quickly re-established himself in the breeding business in Galt (now part of Cambridge), Ont. There were many similar breeders across Canada, and in most of the developed countries of the world, but developments were delayed in Europe due to the war, but serious breeding companies emerged in the United States. Prof. Goodale developed the Mount Hope strain of White Leghorn, which was widely sold and probably still contributes to some of today’s hybrids. Kimber Farms in California employed its first professional geneticist, Dr. W.F. Lamoreux, in 1943. By the 1950s, geneticists were beginning to understand how genetics worked with commercial traits, but the resources necessary for the useful application of this knowledge to a professional breeding operation were not cheap. They were quite beyond the capability of the average small-town breeder, and those who developed the complex breeding infrastructure knew that they needed more than local markets to support such an investment. Thus, the system of franchise, or distributor, hatcheries was born, in which the local hatchery obtained male and female parent breeders from a primary breeder, grew and mated them, and used the resulting hatching eggs for the production of commercial chicks. In 1967, Shaver Poultry Breeding Farms Ltd. had at least seven hatchery distributors in Ontario alone, plus others in most Canadian provinces and large ranges of franchised distributors were also spread across the United States. Many had originally had their own breeding programs, but chose to become distributors instead – one of these, Demler Farms in Orange County, Calif., was one of Shaver’s larger franchise hatcheries. It eventually merged with an egg production company and changed its name to Dairy Fresh, which in turn became part of Cal-Maine Foods, currently one of the United States’ largest egg companies. Of course, competing breeders had similar distribution systems to support their ever-growing research and development programs. By the early 1970s, commercial poultry meat and egg production breeding in North America was dominated by approximately 20 primary breeders that initially specialized in one or two products. Shaver gained commercial prominence with its Starcross 288 breed, a White Leghorn cross. The company quickly expanded to both brown-egg layers and broilers, since the same sales force could, it was believed, support these different products. Many primary breeders specialized only in broiler stocks, and some bred exclusively either male or female strains. Although meat stocks were selected primarily based on growth, conformation and feed conversion, egg layer stocks had to be subject to highly complex selection programs involving full pedigree breeding, individual identification, trap nesting and so on. The exact selection criteria and breeding methods became closely guarded secrets. No longer were breeders willing to sell each other stocks, and in fact went to great lengths to prevent competitors from acquiring their pure lines. When commercial stocks consist of two-way crosses, risk of strain piracy is high. Thus, the use of three-way or four-way crosses became common. The 1960s were also the time when long distance air travel became economical, so that not only passengers, but also day-old chicks, could be transported halfway around the world in 24 to 36 hours, thus opening international markets to those breeders willing to go after them. Shaver was the only Canadian breeder to thoroughly exploit international markets: at their height in the late 1970s they were selling in more than 90 countries, and had company-owned (or joint-venture) breeding farms in the United States, England, France, Germany, Pakistan and Barbados. Both domestic and international sales were still supported by technical and veterinary expertise from their headquarters in Cambridge. These were the days when most breeding companies produced detailed, printed management guides for all of their products. Until the 1960s most breeding companies were privately owned, but as capital demands expanded, there was a greater need for external funding sources. Shaver sold a part-interest in his company to Cargill Inc. in the early 60s and the balance when he retired in 1985. Other breeders, particularly in the United States, tended to sell out to larger companies to help facilitate their expansion. In the 1970s, a number were sold to pharmaceutical companies (Pfizer, Merck, Upjohn and others), but whatever synergies were expected failed to materialize and most of these relationships were later abandoned. In this process, the number of primary breeders continued to shrink, through erosion or mergers. And the slow shift back to poultry-oriented companies having control of the breeding process began. The franchise system also gradually broke down, as breeder-owned or joint-venture hatcheries replaced them, although this did not happen in Canada, largely due to the system of supply management, which keeps commercial flock sizes lower than, for example, the United States. In terms of Canadian activity, the Institute de Selectionne Animale (ISA) has a strong presence in the former Shaver facilities in Cambridge, Ont., where research and development continues on white-egg stocks, and from where grandparents and parents are shipped to the United States and other overseas markets. Lohmann has a grandparent farm and hatchery in Brantford, Ont., also the source of parent stock for Canada, the United States and other markets. Hybrid Turkeys continues to operate primary breeding and distribution facilities in and around Kitchener, Ont. Multiplication and distribution of commercial stocks continue to evolve. Since the 1970s most integrated broiler businesses have established their own breeding farms and hatcheries. This is less so in the egg industry although several of the largest companies in the United States have their own hatcheries. More common is the establishment of breeder-owned or joint venture hatcheries, which have largely replaced the franchise hatcheries as the primary distribution method for egg-type chicks. Distribution systems for egg stocks in Canada have remained mostly as franchised hatcheries, as stated previously, due to relatively small commercial flock sizes resulting from supply management. Broiler hatcheries in Canada vary: some are independent; some, such as integrated production companies, own others. Thus, in the past 100 years, poultry breeding in Canada has evolved from hundreds (or perhaps thousands) of small, independent farms that did very little in the way of selective breeding, to the point at which most breeding work is done by a handful of multinational companies whose products are distributed and multiplied on an international basis. Canada has both contributed to, and benefited from, this exciting evolution. By the first decade of the 21st century, ownership of primary breeding poultry organizations had diminished to the point at which breeding work is controlled by very few companies, listed in the following table.
The chronology of supply management in Canada’s poultry industries seems straightforward and linear, but disguised are the challenges, controversy, drama and crises that set the clock in motion. The legislative chronology began when the Farm Products Marketing Agencies Act was passed in December 1971, and given Royal Assent on Jan. 12, 1972. The Act provided an essentially parallel structure at the federal level, which was intended to dovetail with existing provincial plans. In conjunction with provincial legislation, the federal act enabled poultry producers to establish national marketing boards and utilize supply management. The Egg Farmers of Canada were first off the mark in December 1972 and began operations in June 1973, while the Turkey Farmers of Canada (TFC) followed in 1974 with the Canadian Turkey Marketing Agency (CTMA). The Canadian Chicken Marketing Agency commenced operations a few years later in 1979 and in 1986 the Canadian Broiler Hatching Egg Marketing Agency (CBHEMA) began operating under a supply-management system. Canadian pullet growers are still working today to establish their own agency. The journey to supply management in Canada’s poultry industry involved interprovincial wrangling, constitutional challenges, the collapse of markets post- war, internal confrontations and a series of false starts and dead ends. It was a journey in which Britain and the United States played significant parts. Fred Beeson, then editor and publisher of Canada Poultryman (now Canadian Poultry), played a key role throughout the early years in defining the need for change, promoting (and perhaps originating) the idea of supply management and providing coverage of the long, strange quarter-century trip. From the export-led boom of the war years, through the struggles to retain international markets, to the interprovincial confrontations and court and constitutional challenges, Beeson and his magazine were there. Prior to the Second World War and during the Great Depression, the Canadian poultry industry was hardly an industry. Beeson once said that, “During the depression, ’30’s agricultural production costs were hardly considered. It was enough, the producer was told, that he could scrape up sufficient food for his family and keep off relief.” Producing eggs and chickens was for the most part a secondary industry on most farms. Small flocks were kept in small poultry houses and the eggs and birds were sold locally to generate some cash for the farm. But when the war happened, it all changed. Struggling for survival, Britain went all in to the war and needed food – a lot of food. Canada rallied to the cause, not only sending its sons and daughters, but also organizing itself to supply food, with eggs being a key component. After the United States entered the war, it also found the need for imported food (particularly chicken). Responding to the dire needs, the Canadian government set up a top-down apparatus to stimulate food production and delivery. And it worked. There was a dramatic shift from food grains to feed grain. Prices were stabilized, production surged and exports boomed. In 1945, Britain took almost three million cases of eggs from Canada. Then, the war ended, and no one was certain what would come next. Some argued that the egg export industry would be a permanent feature of the Canadian economy. Others insisted that the exports were a wartime bubble that would pop. In January 1946, Beeson wrote: “With the war over, poultry producers find themselves at the crossroads. Will subsidies be maintained, will the overseas market continue and what price will it net producers?” Later that year, Beeson penned that the shape of the crossroads was becoming clearer. Denmark, Canada was told, had begun to sell eggs to Britain at 14 shillings less per 30 dozen cases than Canada. He wrote in June 1946, “How then can Canada continue to hold her position in the British market when other European countries are getting into production also?” It was a critical question because half of Canada’s total egg production was being exported to Britain. S.C. Barry, associate chief of the Dominion Marketing Service, said at the hatchery services convention in October 1946 that the British market was the key to prosperity. He said that Canada “must hold a substantial portion of that market, that it is the main force which will influence the barometer of prosperity in the industry.” The stresses and strains of emerging from a long wartime economy were also being felt across agriculture. In February 1947, the Canadian Federation of Agriculture met with the federal cabinet and its brief said, “We believe it is highly desirable to have order and system in our production and marketing programs all the way through from the farm to the world market.” But calling for order was far easier than achieving it. Change was in the wind. Many economists, businessmen, financiers and politicians wanted a quick return to the prewar-free enterprise system with the removal of controls and subsidies. For example, in May 1947, Beeson wrote of the prospect of the removal of feed subsidies and higher prices for grain without the possibility of higher prices for eggs or chicken. “To maintain production it is absolutely necessary to continue a stabilized price relationship between costs and selling prices.” He continued, “Removing subsidies on grain will crumble the poultry industry as surely as the stabilized price has built it up these last few years.” A year later, the situation had deteriorated to the point that the B.C. Poultry Industries Council called for national action and Beeson called for the passage of a national Natural Products Marketing Act that would work in conjunction with provincial marketing legislation. This would allow the establishment of a national board so that “the industry can regulate and control its own future.” While Canada dawdled its way to a national board, Australia acted. It faced a similar situation in terms of both the British export market and its legislative framework – there were state marketing boards, but no national body. But, in January 1949, the Australian government established the Australian Egg Board to co-ordinate with the state agencies and buy and sell eggs and egg products intended for export. The board was to have 10 members, six of whom were producers. In June of that year, Beeson called for the formation of a national export board to handle surplus production. But with the decline and collapse of the British egg market and the re-emergence of the U.S. as an agricultural power and exporter, the 1950s and 1960s were marked by unstable prices, uncertain supplies, and fluctuating producer and processor revenues. The instability came at a time when, building on its wartime need for production and efficiency, poultry emerged as an industry utilizing scientific and industrial developments in husbandry, feed, housing, lighting and animal health. As Beeson wrote, the days of the barnyard flock and poultry as a secondary enterprise aimed at generating a few extra dollars for the farm were over. Poultry producers’ flocks now numbered in the thousands or tens of thousands and poultry was no longer a sideline for thousands of farmers. Key in all this was rural electrification. This was a singular goal of provincial governments and agencies following the war and changed everything for farmers. For poultry producers it enabled the construction of modern barns with lighting, feed and ventilation systems that dramatically raised productivity. The economist Paul Krugman wrote recently in the New York Times that “electrification, for example, was a much bigger deal than the Internet.” It was a singular force in driving economic growth deep into the 20th century, he said. Despite all the advances, the Canadian poultry industry remained unstable. In 1961, the B.C. broiler industry was facing overproduction and shipping its surpluses to Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Beeson wrote that none of the provinces wanted the products either, as it helped break their prices. In January 1962, British Columbia formed a broiler board to rein in production and stabilize prices. It was the first and only poultry board operating in Canada at the time. “Here we were with no surplus broilers in B.C., none in the neighbouring provinces and a rising price,” Beeson wrote after the board’s establishment. Beeson argued in April 1964 that the industry needed more than the marketing control allowed under some provincial laws. The editorial said, “One cannot help but feel that it is not marketing control that is needed, but production control. Our feeling is that it is this form of control that all other poultry groups need to ensure a continuing healthy marketing setup.” “If an industry has a surplus,” the editorial continued, “there is no known method of maintaining a satisfactory price with or without a board short of destroying the surplus.” In November 1964, with turmoil continuing and emotions at their peak, Beeson weighed in again in his editorial and pulled no punches: “Hoping the other fellow will go broke is a poor way of evaluating the profit prospects of a business. That’s the present state of affairs, let’s face it.” He continued: “Don’t let us waste time pointing fingers at one another. Far better to face the fact we are not living in a period of scarcity anymore. We can, in any one season, quite easily double our production across Canada. In fact that’s the way we have been heading for several years; not making it because too many go broke each year. “It may well seem that we harp on this problem of overproduction and consequent low prices eternally in these editorials. We don’t apologize because this is the number one problem of the industry.” Through the 1960s, other provinces joined B.C. in forming provincial boards including Quebec and Ontario in 1965, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia in 1966, and Manitoba in 1968. The boards had authority to regulate pricing and production through marketing quotas but only within the province – often they faced cheaper product from other provinces or from the United States. This culminated in 1970, with Ontario and Manitoba shipping large volumes of eggs to Quebec. In response, the Quebec government allowed the provincial egg marketing board to restrict the imports. In retaliation, the other provinces restricted the movement of Quebec chicken into their provinces, and the result was known as the “Chicken and Egg War.” However, Manitoba devised a brilliant legal tactic to deal with the situation. Since it could not refer the Quebec legislation to a Manitoba court, it enacted identical legislation of its own, and then referred that legislation to its own Court of Appeal, where the legislation was struck down. This decision made it clear there were limits to what provincial boards and legislation could accomplish without co-ordination by both the provinces and the federal government. A brief history of supply management on Agriculture Canada’s website says that Bill C-197 was introduced shortly thereafter. The bill “would have enabled a national marketing agency to control production through a quota system and allocated a portion of the national market to each province. It would have prohibited surpluses in one province from being sold in another province and set the price paid producers according to production costs.” But that legislation died on the order paper. It was reintroduced as Bill C-176 and was passed and enacted in January 1972, but only after substantial debate. From that, the National Farm Products Marketing Council was established and it paved the way for the creation of the Canadian Egg Marketing Agency, with the forming of the CTMA following shortly thereafter. Chicken took longer because of interprovincial disputes over shares of national production and quotas. The establishment of a national agency should have put an end to the disputes, but the debates continued. In a February 1980 editorial, Beeson criticized chicken agency members for “jockeying for position in the pecking order,” adding, “…probably it will again take the Minister of Agriculture to put his foot down, heavily, really heavily.” Beeson added: “If it hadn’t been for such provincial bickering four or five years ago the Agency would have come into existence and annual imports would not have averaged more than 5 million pounds instead of fifty million plus a year as of now.” In a 1975 debate in the B.C. Legislature, D.E. Lewis said: “I have to say quite openly that I feel that the Canadian Egg Marketing Agency is a disaster . . . . I don’t think that CEMA has been beneficial to B.C. or the farmers or the producers.” “If the present CEMA system is allowed to continue, I can see nothing but chaos in the province,” Lewis said. Similar debates were held and opinions aired across the country. Surprisingly, the federal Agriculture Minister, the late Eugene Whelan, long a strong supporter of marketing boards, agreed. “CEMA is not the success that producers want it to be. Nor is it the success I want it to be,” said Whelan. “The final verdict will come in the next few months. If the provincial boards live up to their agreements, our chief egg marketing problems will end. If they don’t, the next press conference I call on CEMA will be the last.” Basically, the problems stemmed from overproduction and the reluctance or inability of provinces and the provincial boards to control it. Compounding the difficulties was a continued rise in U.S. imports. It got to a point where Whelan told the provinces that if they instituted tough, enforceable provincial regulations and agreements to deal with domestic overproduction, he would deal with the Americans. An example of tough new provincial rules came on April 18, 1975, when the Ontario Farm Products Marketing Amendment Act was signed into law. It gave the Ontario Egg Producers’ Marketing Board, for the first time, authority to establish regulations to carry out effective production control utilizing quotas and providing for the inspection of premises (without a warrant) when it was believed the regulations were not being followed. With provincial regulation in place, the federal government did its part by imposing strict import quotas for eggs and other supply-managed poultry and poultry products. The U.S. challenged these import quotas at the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, but they were upheld. In 1978, the Supreme Court of Canada was called into the fray. The Court was asked by the Attorney General of Ontario for a ruling on the constitutionality of the provincial and federal rules and regulations, as well as the agreement between the provinces and the federal government. In its ruling, the court said: “The provincial regulations in question were not aimed at such extraprovincial trade and in so far as it affects this trade it is only complementary to the federal regulations. This is perfectly legitimate, otherwise federal-provincial cooperative action in regulating a commodity in both intraprovincial and extraprovincial trade would be impossible.” Chief Justice Bora Laskin, writing for the majority, wrote that the federal-provincial agreements establishing supply management were lawful, “even if it be an awkward way of overcoming a want of federal authority to regulate through an agency of its own the marketing of eggs throughout and beyond Canada, including local marketing.” Taking that the Supreme Court settled the legal argument for supply management, William Stewart, Ontario’s Progressive Conservative minister of agriculture from 1961 to 1975, described the social and economic necessity of egg production as “a disaster course” at the London Poultry Conference in June 1972. And Eugene Whelan described the politics of the time, saying: “I went through hell to make sure you had supply management.”
Michael McCain, head of Canada’s largest food company, Maple Leaf Foods, said Canada has a strong reputation around the world for food safety. This is a strength that the country should build on, he told the 53rd annual Canadian Poultry and Egg Processors Council convention in Halifax on June 9. “Canada has a pristine image,” he said. But Canada can’t afford to rest on its laurels. “We need to be world leaders,” he said. “We need to do not just a good job, but a great job.” Doing a great job will pay dividends because “consumers today care about food safety more than anything else.” He also cautioned the audience that “Food safety is not about great science all the time. It’s about consumer confidence. Consumer confidence doesn’t come in a scientific bucket, it comes from what they believe in their hearts.” For example, Maple Leaf has removed bone meal from pork diets because its Japanese customers demanded it be done. It wasn’t a science-based decision, Maple Leaf could have refused, but the Japanese customers would have quickly found another supplier who would meet the requirements of that market. In the pork market, Maple Leaf works diligently to differentiate itself from its American competitors. It does this because it has to. While Maple Leaf looms large in Canada and is this country’s largest food company, McCain said “We consider ourselves the little guy – we are the 10th largest in North America.” “In the global arena, size matters,” he said. But in the poultry business Maple Leaf doesn’t have a global view. “We have no global view in poultry because the system won’t let us,” he said. But he accepts that and believes supply management should be supported. It is a system that can provide fair returns to all stakeholders provided it does its job, he said. He also said he believes supply management is a social policy and that “it’s not my job to deal with that.” But that doesn’t mean the system is working perfectly – far from it. “We feel the current system is not working properly,” he said. The company, which has built its Canadian poultry operations to service a supply-managed industry, wants to help fix what’s wrong. “Our first choice is to shore up the system and make supply management actually work,” he said. A critical current problem is oversupply. “We don’t want to face a downturn of this magnitude again,” he said. He also said “supply management shouldn’t transfer price risk from one link in the supply chain to another link in the supply chain.” It doesn’t serve the industry well when processors are squeezed by over-supply and wholesale prices collapse. It undermines the basic goal of supply management, which is stability. “We feel the existing system is not working properly and needs change. We need to make those changes together collaboratively as an industry,” he said. “Stability and profitability is critical for us all and the health of the system,” he said. Maple Leaf is committed to working constructively with all industry stakeholders to further improve and strengthen the effectiveness of Canadian supply management, he said. He said the problems facing supply management include domestic over-supply and the lack of credible (real-time) data, reactive versus proactive market response, and provincial boundaries. “Canada is a national market. Canada is small enough as a national entity let alone trying to subdivide it into regional fiefdoms,” he said. All of these problems can be fixed if the industry works together, he said. But he doesn’t think trying to employ free market measures in a supply-managed industry can work. “The whole supply system could implode.” “In or out is our belief,” he said. McCain said that while Maple Leaf is prepared for any outcome it would prefer to make the existing system work. “If supply management went away we would survive and thrive. But that is not, I reiterate not, our first choice.” Returning to animal health issues, McCain said the recent case of BSE in Alberta shows just how vulnerable an industry can be. He also cautioned the poultry industry about complacency. “You might think we’re protected from this by our supply management comfort zone in poultry; you cannot count on that.” The keys are prevention through measures such as: HACCP; preparedness because “no matter what we can do we can never eliminate the possibility of food safety breeches”; and proof – we have to be able to prove we’re doing what we say we’re doing.
The World Trade Organization (WTO) proposals released Feb. 12 must be rejected, Phil Boyd, executive director of the CTMA, told the Ontario Turkey Producers’ Marketing Board annual meeting March 7 in London, Ont. The draft proposals perpetuate the imbalances that came out of the Uruguay Round by proposing less than satisfactory changes to all forms of domestic support. They also call for the elimination of export subsidies over nine years, the reduction of over-quota tariffs by 40 to 60 per cent, no reduction of in-quota tariffs and increased access to 10 per cent of current consumption. The proposal doesn’t benefit Canadian farm exporters, but does real damage to supply-managed industries. It does “little to open markets but will do serious damage to supply management,” he said. It increases access to our market, Boyd said, by 13 million kg and will result in prices that reflect the U.S. market. Since 1988, Canadian live turkey prices have ranged from 25 cents to 50 cents per kilogram higher than U.S. prices. Art Roder, chairman of the Ontario Turkey Producers’ Marketing Board, also said the WTO negotiations are worrisome. “The current direction of the WTO negotiations are of great concern for Canadian supply-managed com?modities,” he said. Boyd said every country has something to be unhappy about with the WTO proposals. Canada had tabled proposals aimed at levelling the international trade playing field. These included: lower regular tariffs, minimum access of five per cent, in-quota tariffs set at zero and effective over-quota tariffs. Meanwhile, the U.S. called for a maximum tariff of 25 per cent after five years (compared to Canada’s current 154 per cent over-quota tariff). The U.S. is also calling for an increase of 20 per cent of current access levels. For turkey, that would represent an increase of about one million kilograms a year. If tariffs are reduced to the level proposed by the U.S., imports could land in Canada at 50 cents a kilogram below the current Canadian market. Boyd said in his presentation that this is “not acceptable.” The E.U. has called for average tariff reductions of 36 per cent with a minimum reduction of 15 per cent. Under the E.U. proposal, Canadian tariffs would be reduced to 98 to 139 per cent. Imports would be a threat depending upon market conditions and changes in currency values, Boyd said. The E.U. proposal is also “not acceptable,” he said.
Unless I’m distracted, when I step on an “up” escalator, I think about The Honourable Eugene Whelan. If I do, you can bet that a wry smile crosses my face. As editor of a magazine focused on an industry that operates under supply management, it would be shameful not to acknowledge that Mr. Whelan, the father of our very marketing system passed last month. But, as a writer, how does one pen an original column that the audience hasn’t read or heard a hundred times before in the many tributes that have been used as introductions, the biographical profiles that have been printed in agricultural journals, and the countless interviews Mr. Whelan himself gave during his lifetime? How do you do that if you weren’t even born when Mr. Whelan was fighting on behalf of producers and you didn’t really “know” him? Ah, but I did encounter him. Twice. And I felt and saw first-hand the effect he had on people. A student at the University of Guelph, I met him initially in Leamington on a tour of a canning plant. I’d heard so much about him that his Stetson might well be a halo. What could I have said to him that he didn’t already know? Not much.I went with unoriginal. “Hello, Sir. It’s an honour to meet you.” “Don’t call me Sir. Call me Gene.” “Yes, Sir.” That went well, I thought, afterwards. Years later, in March of 2005, at the Chicken Farmers of Ontario (CFO) Annual General Meeting, it was announced that former federal Agriculture Ministers, Mr. Whelan and his former colleague, The Honourable John Wise, had agreed to serve as Honourary Co-Chairs of FarmGate5 in support of Ontario’s dairy and poultry farmers.* My job, as an employee of CFO, was to make sure that Mr. Whelan was in the ballroom after lunch, so that when he was introduced, he was waiting in the wings. Easy peasy. Anyone who has been to a convention at the DoubleTree hotel near Toronto airport, knows the layout. The main conference Plaza ballrooms are separated from the guest room block by a long, narrow breezeway. It’s only about 300 feet long, but it is a good haul when you’re in a rush. I was in a rush. Mr. Whelan was in a dining room at the opposite end of that breezeway and I had just less than seven minutes to track him and get him to where we needed him. So, I ran. Finding him wasn’t the issue. The green Stetson was easy to locate. The problem was, a sea of faces surrounded it, and all of them were alight with smiles and laughter. Mr. Whelan was in the middle of what looked to be a good story. That was definitely not helpful. I stood watching for a few seconds and then thought “I have to,” so I barged up to everyone and broke up the revelry.“Excuse me, Mr. Whelan, Sir. I need you to come with me.” That look…oh yes. The look you give when someone has just done something so nervy that they don’t even realize how nervy it was. I wasn’t quite sure which way this was going to go. But then, quite companionably, he looped his arm through mine and told me to lead the way. Like I said … easy. But, did I really know who I had on my arm? Did I realize at the time that Mr. Whelan had served as the Liberal MP for Essex-Windsor in southwestern Ontario from 1962 until 1984? Yes, I knew that. Or that he served as Agriculture Minister under then-Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau from 1972 through 1984, except for nine months in 1979-80 when the Conservatives took office? Sure I did. Did I know he was so popular? Nope! Trying to get Mr. Whelan to that room three furlongs away was akin to getting water back into a faucet. No sooner had he told me to lead the way, than a producer delegate stopped him, wanting to shake his hand and chat for a while. I fended that person off, only to get another few feet before yet another glad-hander stopped us again. And so it went. In the space of that cursed mile of carpet, I would bet that Mr. Whelan was stopped at least twenty times. Frankly, I had never seen anything like it with any politician and probably won’t again. At one point in the segmented journey, still arm-in-arm, he looked down at me and said, “Are you going to be in trouble?” I replied “No, Sir. But at this moment in time, it is highly inconvenient that you are so popular.” And he chuckled. The only thing left now was to navigate the small escalator that would take us up one floor to the plaza foyer. The escalator at the hotel is narrow, single-file only, and it only goes one way – up or down. It was moving up so I chose to use it and stood aside to let Mr. Whelan on. “No, ladies first,” he insisted. So I stepped on, a few feet behind someone. And then I turned around to talk to him – but there was just a great fat clump of air where he should have been standing, on the stair below me. Instead, he was still at the bottom, talking to another delegate who wanted a few moments with him. The escalator carried me upwards and away from him and I watched helplessly as he fell into easy conversation with this new devotee. In blind panic I started trying to step back down the escalator until someone stepped on and blocked my way. I gave up then, and resignedly let the thing take me to the top. I had to laugh. What else was there to do? The minute I stepped off that escalator, though, I ran around to the stairs, down the zigzags (what was wrong with a simple straight staircase anyway and who designed them?) and finally, caught up with Mr. Whelan, still engrossed in spirited conversation with a congregation who, at that precise moment, were Public Enemy #1 through #9, as far as I was concerned. Reunited, we set off again, only to be confronted again by more fans at the top of the escalator. Alas, by this time, we were close enough that more escorts materialized to help me and eventually, Mr. Whelan did make it into the room…fashionably late. But as I surrendered him to higher-ranked handlers, I stopped in the doorway and thought about what had just happened. Even as he was led to the stage, people in the room were stopping him to shake his hand, slap him on the back and have their one-minute audience. I was astounded. How does a politician get to be that popular? In agriculture? The fact is, The Honourable Eugene Whelan was a farmer’s advocate – and farmers knew it. His reputation preceded him, and time spent with him was a privilege. As a rookie, on that day in March of 2005, I realized a lot about the man under that legendary green hat and just how much farmers appreciated his efforts. His legacy lives on in the form of supply management, but the personal memories he left with people will also be treasured. What an extraordinary man. How fortunate I am to have been able to take a leisurely afternoon stroll with him. *For more on this, see The Back Page, by Roy Maxwell.
Few details are available on editors from 1913-1932, but see page 32 for snippets. Fred Beeson (1932-1980)Fred Beeson was born in England in 1901 and his love of poultry started when he was 15, during the First World War, when, no doubt, his family produced food to supplement the limited rations available. By 1925, Beeson was in Canada, working for the Alberta Poultry Branch until he moved to British Columbia in 1928. There he bought and lost money operating a breeder farm on Vancouver Island, then worked for a mainland-B.C. leghorn breeder for a year. He joined the staff of Canada Poultryman in 1931 as an advertising salesman, then bought the magazine for $1 and took over as editor in 1932, rather than let the magazine fold during the Depression. During that time he often used the dollar taken for a new subscription to pay for his expenses on the road. He lived on a one-acre lot in what is now an upscale neighbourhood in Burnaby and produced the magazine from the basement. The April 1932 issue grossed $236.04 with a full-page ad costing $30. He and his wife, Page, were married in 1933, and from then on, she was in charge of bookkeeping and magazine production, with some part-time help. They also operated a breeder operation of between 1,000 and 2,000 birds, producing breeds that didn’t compete with Canada Poultryman advertisers, ending with a Brown Leghorn-Light Sussex cross, which could be colour sexed. Without Beeson’s vigorous campaign in 1951 to get Ottawa to approve a Newcastle Disease vaccine, it is likely the entire Fraser Valley population of chickens – spread among 3,000 small flock owners – would have been destroyed to control the epidemic. Likewise, his championing of a national supply-management system was instrumental in persuading producers to work together to get approval for provincial marketing boards, which later developed into national agencies for eggs, turkey, chicken and hatching eggs. Beeson’s support of supply management and marketing boards brought him into direct conflict with the allied trades who were then firmly in the driver’s seat. This cost the husband-and-wife team many ad dollars, and sometimes an issue of Canada Poultryman was pasted up, ready to go to the printers, but publication was delayed until sufficient ad income could be achieved, because his bank overdraft was at its upper limit. Fred wrote his last editorial for the July 1980 issue of Canada Poultryman. He died while on holiday in Maui on Mar. 7, 1982 at the age of 80. Tony Greaves (1980-1998) Tony Greaves had a banner year in 1996. He received not just the Ontario Poultry Council’s Award of Merit but also the Max Wiener Award at the Canadian Hatchery Federation convention. In an editorial following the awards, Greaves wrote: “Two major awards in one year. Air Canada subsequently warned me that they’ll start charging for extra baggage if my head swells any further.” He followed the jocular aside with sincere thanks to the industry. Greaves began his involvement in the Canadian poultry industry in 1958, a year after immigrating to Canada from Yorkshire in England, where he had attended Seale Hayne Agricultural College in Devon. He worked as summer relief at the Alberta Random Sample Test Station north of Edmonton. He then became a chick salesman with Prairie Hatcheries in Regina before purchasing the company from Harold McLellan. He worked as a hatcheryman through the 1960s and 1970s before becoming manager of the Saskatchewan Chicken Board and then editor of Canada Poultryman. Greaves later continued his involvement with the magazine as contributing editor, writing feature and news articles, providing sage advice to the current editor and submitting a monthly column entitled “Parting Shot”. In addition to much wisdom, the column frequently contained tidbits from Greaves’ past. Jim Knisley (1998-2000)Jim Knisley’s term as editor of Canada Poultryman spanned the centuries. It began late in the 20th century and ended early in the 21st. He came to Canada Poultryman from the Regina Leader-Post, where he had been an agriculture reporter and columnist for more than 15 years. Prior to that he had been a reporter and an occasional columnist and editorial writer at newspapers in Sarnia, Delhi, Waterford and Petrolia, Ont. Early in his term as editor, he was confronted by a crisis at CEMA (now EFC). As CEMA chairman Felix Destryker explained it, CEMA was a victim of its own success. Demand for eggs had increased significantly; thus, the provincial boards and the national agency had to decide how to allocate the new production. A compromise proved hard to find and for a while the agency seemed on the brink. But, not for the first time, cool heads prevailed and an agreement was reached. Knisley left the editor’s job in 2001 but continued to write articles for Canadian Poultry. He retired fully in May 2012, but his monthly column entitled “All Things Considered,” is a reader favourite. Marilyn White (2000-2005)Marilyn White has had a strong connection to agriculture for most of her career. Her interest in poultry was started at the knees of her parents who recount their adventures of owning a very small farm and chicken hatchery in the U.K. during WWII. After immigrating to Canada they continued farming in SW Ontario. She received a B.Sc. from the University of Guelph and shortly after accepted the role of research assistant in the Department of Zoology. Her own jump into the poultry world came when, after a short hiatus for family, she accepted a position with Vetech Laboratories (now CEVA) in Technical Support and Marketing for their line of poultry vaccines. Canada Poultryman, with its strong connection to the poultry farmer, was an important venue for advertising their products. In 2000, she took on the role of editor for Canada Poultryman. In 2002, to bring the magazine into the 21st century, the name was changed to Canadian Poultry. There were also major changes occurring in agriculture. 9-11 heightened border controls and import/export requirements, WTO continued to challenge supply management and diseases such as Mad Cow and High and Low Path Avian Influenza brought food safety and on-farm biosecurity to the forefront but resulted in great improvements to the poultry industry. Biosecurity improvements filled Canadian Poultry content and one of her 2004 editorials on the need to strengthen biosecurity was recognized by Canadian Business Press as one of the Top 5 editorials for a trade publication in Canada. The opportunity to take on the publisher and national sales manager role for Canadian Poultry came in 2006, and her interest and enjoyment of the poultry industry continues to grow – just ask her family who warn visitors not to get her started talking poultry. Kristy Nudds (2006-2013)Kristy Nudds assumed the editor’s role in January 2006, driven by a passion for agricultural communications. Kristy first began writing as a student with the University of Guelph’s SPARK (Students Promoting Awareness of Research Knowledge) program. An experienced technical writer, Kristy then worked for an advertising agency with animal health and crop clients. Nudds is still a member of the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists via her membership in the Canadian Farm Writer’s Federation. In April of 2012, she was elected to the Board of the Eastern Canadian Farm Writer’s Federation. She is also an Articling Agrologist (A. Ag) with the Ontario Institute of Agrologists. A native of Ancaster, she holds a B.Sc. in Animal Biology and an M.Sc. in Nutrition and Metabolism, and now resides in Tillsonburg, Ont., with her husband, Ryan, and newborn daughter, Abigail. In September 2011, Nudds received an award from the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists for her article entitled “Bird’s Eye View” which appeared in CPM in April of the same year. This feature detailed the use of in-barn cameras, allowing for the real-time observation of birds from anywhere, anytime.
Dorothy BatchellerDorothy Batcheller: A champion of the poultryman’s cause. Dorothy Batcheller was a true trailblazer – a whirlwind visionary who promoted the consumption of turkey, eggs and chicken by leveraging funds provided by producers, without any dependence on government. Batcheller (her maiden name, which she used in her career) worked as an economist for the Consumers Section of Canada’s Department of Agriculture, from the late 1930s until she retired – for the first time – in 1950. It wasn’t long before she was persuaded to take a part-time position with the Poultry Products Institute (PPI), which had a goal of promoting the consumption of eggs, chicken and turkey across the nation. It was a difficult time to take on this challenge, but Batcheller worked with what she had. The Canadian poultry industry had been crippled at that time, forced to drastically reduce its layer flock after Britain cancelled egg contracts in 1949. There were no marketing boards at that time, and the PPI operated on a shoestring budget. When the marketing boards were formed, Batcheller seized the moment. She travelled coast to coast, directly promoting poultry consumption. She also pushed for – and got – poultry marketing board home economists in all provinces, women who were able to build on her work in generating interest in poultry. Batcheller also produced cookbooks for all three commodities: Cooking Canada’s Chicken, Cooking Canada’s Turkey and Cooking Canada’s Eggs. All of her recipes were “husband tested” and she promoted the books tirelessly. After a marathon two-week, 16-hour-per-day, 2,000-mile tour around Saskatchewan, her visits to schools and grocery stores – along with associated newspaper and radio coverage – triggered orders for 10,000 of each volume. From July 1970 to April 1971 she clocked 42,000 miles on her promotional rounds in various provinces. During one visit to Vancouver, Batcheller’s half-hour spot with a noted radio broadcaster expanded into a three-hour marathon segment, with phone lines jammed with calls demonstrating the public’s thirst for poultry information. Dorothy Batcheller was a dedicated, hard-working professional with ambitious goals that she met and exceeded for an industry she believed in. As Fred Beeson said in 1981 (the year she died), she “championed the poultryman’s cause, so effectively, for so long.” Harvey BeatyHarvey W. Beaty (1916-94) was inducted into the Canadian Agriculture Hall of Fame in 1995 after devoting his working life to agriculture. The citation for the induction says, in part: “For more than forty-five years, W. Harvey Beaty successfully devoted his working life to agriculture, in which he had an abiding faith. He organized farms, built farm organizations and developed people. Because he became a paraplegic in an accident in his youth, Mr. Beaty learned to build with people. Harvey was founder and builder of Cold Spring Farms Limited and affiliated companies. He purchased his first farm of 100 acres in Thamesford in 1949 and added to it until there were 60 farms containing 8,745 acres in Ontario in 1994 and further holdings in the USA.” Harvey Beaty was nominated for the Canadian Agriculture Hall of Fame by fellow producers via what is now known as Turkey Farmers of Ontario. Beaty led and co-ordinated the growth of enterprises in turkeys, beef, pork and grain in Canada. He diversified his expertise into a feed mill, grain elevators, a processing plant, a rendering plant, a farm machinery dealership, automotive workshops, a fertilizer plant, fabrication, construction and development. Beaty also served as director of many organizations, including the Ontario Turkey Producers’ Marketing Board, the Ontario Egg Producers’ Marketing Board, the Ontario Poultry Council, the Poultry Products Institute of Canada and the Poultry Industry Conference and Exhibition. He assisted in the formation of several of the organizations, as well as the Ontario Poultry Centre. He served as director of the Oxford and Ontario Federations of Agriculture and on the Thamesford Village Council, Western Farm Association, and the Ontario Food Council. He was also involved in assignments for the Economic Council of Canada, the Canadian Grains Council and the Canadian Tariff Board. Claude Bernard It was 1966, and egg producers were being tossed through the boom and bust cycles before supply management. Claude Bernard was just a young man then, sharing all the pains, hopes and dreams of trying to convince some 2,700 producers to join create a marketing board. Claude Bernard is a living and always involved witness, since 1966, of FPOCQ’s development and evolution. Bernard and Ovila Lebel founded what became the first federated, province-wide, table egg producers’ marketing board in Canada in 1964: Quebec’s mandatory egg marketing agency. A graduate of the Brigham School of Agriculture, at 29 years of age, he immediately became Lebel’s right hand man. Claude Bernard also became chairman of the Saint-Hyacinthe Regional Union of Table Egg Producers in 1966. A Grading and Sales Agency was also created and Quebec’s mandatory egg marketing agency experienced 17 years of prosperity. But Quebec’s mandatory egg marketing agency and, particularly, the legitimacy of the Sales Agency, were challenged by several members who had other ideas. After representing Quebec’s mandatory egg marketing agency at the Canadian Egg Marketing Board (CEMA) from 1976 to 1981 and supporting Ovila Lebel, especially by defending the Sales Agency, the legitimacy of which he was convinced, Bernard was elected chairman of Quebec’s mandatory egg marketing agency when Lebel decided to retire in 1982. Bernard noted the successful rise of a number of grading stations, one of which was Nutri-Œuf Inc. in St. Hyacinthe, a regrouping of 34 producers presently owning more than 1.35 million layers and marketing some 40 per cent of all Quebec eggs. When Bernard became convinced that the Sales Agency was becoming an obstacle to unity among Quebec producers, he resigned from his position as chairman in 1986, after having allowed a motion to dissolve the Sales Agency and erase the registration acronym Quebec’s mandatory egg marketing agency, which was replaced by the actual “FPOCQ”: Fédération des producteurs d’œufs de Consommation du Québec - the Quebec Federation of Table Egg Producers. Self-sufficiency in table eggs and industrial eggs is still far from being realized but progress is steady, if slow. Efforts made by all chairmen to establish equitable allocations have gained ground. Wally BerryWhen Wally Berry looks back on his years in the poultry industry, he thinks he was very fortunate to get involved before it changed from small farm flocks to large-scale growing of chicken and turkey. Berry entered the poultry business in 1946 after being discharged from the air force, with a firm known at that time as the Alberta Poultry Producers, now known as Lilydale Poultry. The company was set up in 1940 to 1941 to support the war effort and millions of pounds of dry-egg powder, fowl, chicken and turkeys shipped overseas to feed the troops. Active in the poultry industry for 43 years, Wally Berry says his main interest is now horses. According to the annual reports from those days, the company was serving 40,000 poultry shippers in Alberta. During the war years, Alberta built itself up to be the second largest producer of poultry products in Canada, next to Ontario. Alberta Poultry Producers operated 75 egg-handling stations, 10 country killing plants, three hatcheries and an egg-drying plant. It was in the early 1950s that the organization realized that it was totally obsolete for what lay ahead in the poultry industry. It had to sell off every operation, including its real estate, and start over. Over the next number of years, Lilydale developed into one of the major poultry processing companies in Canada, with operations in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Alberta. When Berry started in the poultry industry it was in its infancy compared to what it is today. In the 43 years he was involved, he saw it change from New York dressed to eviscerated poultry then to further processing and basted turkeys. With such developments as line speeds running at 12,000 per hour, liquid freeze systems and marketing boards, it was one change after another. In 1955, 3.7 pounds of feed was used to produce a pound of chicken at 73 days, Berry once said. “Compare that to today’s figures!” Hayward ClarkHayward Clark was a leader in the poultry industry, a co-operator, a strong supporter of farm organizations and a faithful member of his church. Hayward R. Clark’s 54 years in the poultry industry rank him among the pioneers who were able to see the industry grow from the small farm flock to the multimillion-dollar, efficient food producing industry it is today. Born in 1900, Clark did not begin his career in the poultry industry until 1926 with a setting of eggs he hatched on the farm, but he ended it with a modern chick hatchery that at the time of his retirement was the largest in the New Brunswick, serving markets throughout Atlantic Canada. His leadership was instrumental in the rapid and dramatic development of improved breeder flocks. The standard dual-purpose breeds such as Barred Rocks were the mainstay of the business until the late 1950s, when he initiated and encouraged the specialization of poultry breeds, obtaining a Shaver Leghorn franchise for New Brunswick and encouraging the use of meat birds for the broiler trade. Hayward Clark was a cooperator. He was associated with Capital Co-operatives, both on the board of directors and as its president during the time it expanded to serve the needs of the farmers in the central area of New Brunswick. His contribution to the farming community was also extended to thirteen years on the board of directors of Co-op Atlantic.Hayward was a leader in the poultry industry, a cooperator, a strong supporter of farm organizations. His business was one of the largest in Atlantic Canada and following his death in 1981, is now under the management of his son, Donald. He was inducted into the Atlantic Agriculture Hall of Fame in 1984. Alfred McInroy (Mac) Cuddy Mac Cuddy was born on Oct. 24, 1919, in Kerwood, Ont., and raised on the family farm in Adelaide Township. At the young age of 14, he found that if he left lanterns burning in the chicken house the chickens laid more eggs. Cuddy was a born poultry producer. After earning his degree in horticulture in 1942 from the Ontario Agriculture College in Guelph, he enlisted and went off to serve in the Second World War. He returned home in 1945 with the rank of Captain. In June 1950, Cuddy bought a 100-acre turkey farm just outside Strathroy, Ont., where 400 breeding turkeys quickly increased to 1,000 birds. Supply issues led him to buy a couple of used incubators and he soon started hatching his own eggs. Mac Cuddy changed raising turkeys from a seasonal operation into a year-round industry. He also quickly discovered that the growing season was not long enough to have birds ready for the peak selling times – Thanksgiving and Christmas. With artificial lighting, though, the birds could produce eggs year round, and therefore produce meat year round. He collaborated with U.S. producer, breeder and friend George Nicholas, in Sonoma, Calif., and through artificial lighting and the development of artificial insemination they were able to supply a growing market. Cuddy Farms Ltd. in Canada, the United States and Scotland now supply poults worldwide. As the company grew, Cuddy diversified into food processing, developing further-processed turkey and chicken products that consumers readily accepted. In 1986, Cuddy Chicks broiler hatchery was established in Jarvis, Ont., and by 1987, Cuddy had opened Canada’s largest and most advanced poultry and processing plant in London, Ont. Both were sold in 2001 to Cargill’s Sun Valley Foods. By 2003, the remaining food-processing business was sold and the focus of the company returned to turkey. Cuddy passed away in 2006 but his legacy lives on. His contributions to the industry have been recognized in numerous ways. He has received the Ontario Poultry Council Award of Merit, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Business Achievement Award, and the London Chamber of Commerce Farmer of the Year Award. In 1986, the Canadian Hatchery Federation named him “Man of the Year.” He was also made honorary member of the Poultry Science Association. In 1994, the University of Guelph awarded him an honorary doctorate of laws and Canadian Business Magazine named him Ontario’s “Master Entrepreneur of the Year.” He has been inducted into the London Business Hall of Fame, and the Ontario and Middlesex agriculture halls of fame. Brian EllsworthBrian Ellsworth retired in the early 2000s after 34 years as general manager of Ontario Egg Producers. But his influence extends well beyond Ontario. A major factor in the Canadian egg industry, he was chairman and is now honorary president of the International Egg Commission. The influence of Brian Ellsworth has been far-reaching in the egg industry. Ellsworth is a former president of the Ontario Institute of Agrologists. He was a Nuffield scholar and served as Canadian president of the Nuffield Association. He was general manager of the Ontario Egg Board in the turbulent years leading to supply management and co-ordinated a producer mail-in campaign that spurred the Ontario government to quickly set up a promised marketing board. The campaign irritated the politicians, but produced results and the board was established. Ellsworth also presided over the expansion of the agency from a two-person office located in downtown Toronto to a much larger office located in Mississauga and was instrumental in Ontario’s many successful egg marketing initiatives. John EykingFor 24 years John Eyking represented Canada’s egg producers on the board of the Canadian Egg Marketing Agency. When John Eyking decided to emigrate from Holland in 1953, his first choice of destination was British Columbia because he felt its climate offered the best opportunity to use his family-farm experience with growing bulbs, vegetables and strawberries. But the west’s economy was struggling at the time, and so he decided to try Canada’s east coast instead. It ended up being a good choice. After he arrived in Nova Scotia, Eyking worked on a dairy farm, a golf course and a nursery. He started his own landscaping business, and in the winters, found other work. He met and married another young Dutch immigrant, Jeane Mertens, and the couple soon bought a farm on Boulardarie Island, raising vegetables and a small flock of poultry. Both operations grew, and Eyking was soon farming 60,000 laying hens. As the egg industry cycled through the ups and downs to come, the Eyking operation sustained itself through its farm store and selling eggs door to door. Eyking also purchased a small independent grocery store chain, but did not stay with it. By 1968, Nova Scotia egg producers were facing difficult issues. Eyking tried to persuade his colleagues to create a supply management system similar to what he had learned was being developed in British Columbia. The first attempt failed, but with the help of agriculture department representative Stuart Allaby and others, a second vote two years later was positive. For 24 years of his career, Eyking represented Nova Scotia on the board of the Canadian Egg Marketing Agency. That experience strongly motivated him to create an “atmosphere of co-operation” among Nova Scotia egg producers, so that market share tussles between mainland and Cape Breton farmers could be resolved. The Eykings eventually had 10 children, several of whom help run the operation. The family grows their own poultry feed on several nearby farms, and it is mixed onsite and blown into the barns using a computer-controlled system. Today, John Eyking claims to be mostly retired from the farm business, but shows few signs of slowing down the pace he’s always kept during his long and varied career. Bert Hall Born in 1920 and raised on a farm near Manitou, A.E. (Bert) Hall was a founder of the first registered turkey hatchery in Manitoba. In 1956, he assumed the position of general manager and director of Manitou Broiler Farms Ltd., participated in the organization of the Manitoba Broiler Industry Association and was its chairman. In 1968, the Manitoba government established the Manitoba Chicken Broiler Producers’ Marketing Plan and Bert was appointed as a board member and later served as chairman for 15 years. He also represented Manitoba in the formation of the Canadian Broiler Council, was a member and served two terms as president of the Manitoba Farm Bureau, was a director of the Western Agricultural Conference, a director of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture and Canfarm, and served as the Manitoba representative to the Canadian Chicken Marketing Agency, completing a term as chairman. Bert was also appointed to the Federal Government Ad Hoc Grains Bert Hall was a key player in the growth and development of Manitoba’s poultry industry. Committee (whose purpose was to ensure adequate supplies of feed grains for the Canadian livestock industry), chaired a committee for consultation with producers on a new farm organization and was provisional chairman of Keystone Agricultural Producers. In 1988, he was appointed a member of the Manitoba Natural Products Marketing Council, served on his district’s school board for 20 years as trustee, was a member of the Pembina Manitou Health Board for 10 years and served as mayor of Manitou from 1986 to 1992. Bert was honoured with the Queen’s 25th Anniversary medal in 1977 and inducted into the Manitoba Agriculture Hall of Fame in 1999. Joe Hudson With Joe Hudson still at the helm, Burnbrae Farms remains a thriving participant in Canadian agribusiness. For Burnbrae Farms, the company built by Joe Hudson, the old question of which came first – the chicken or the egg – is easy to answer – it was the cow that came first. At first a dairy farm in Lyn near Brockville, Ont., Burnbrae began egg production in 1943. Joseph Arthur Hudson, along with his wife Evelyn, had been expanding the farm’s crops and dairy business. In 1943, their son Joe became involved in a high school poultry project, which he then managed on the farm with help from his father and his brother Grant. By the time Joe completed high school in 1948, the number of laying hens had increased to 3,000. Eventually, the farm’s main enterprise became poultry, with the first laying barn constructed in 1952 and a major expansion in 1956. With Joe Hudson still at the helm, Burnbrae Farms remains a thriving participant in Canadian agribusiness. Over the years, the Lyn operation has continued to expand. The laying barns are now connected by an in-line system whereby a conveyor belt carries the eggs from the barns to an egg processing facility. Over the decades, the company has expanded on a large scale through buying other production sites and grading stations. In 1981, Bon-EE-Best Eggs in Mississauga joined the Burnbrae group. Burnbrae also has a Calgary plant, and effectively the company now has a presence in all regions right across Canada. Burnbrae has also continued to add specialty products, such as all-vegetable feed “Nature’s Best” and omega-3 fatty acid-rich “Omega Pro” eggs, with tremendous growth seen in that segment of the business. Burnbrae Farms now employs 450 people nationwide and sells eggs and egg products to many of Canada’s major grocery chains, food-service operations and large bakery customers. In 2000, Joe Hudson was honoured as a life member by the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers and the year after, received the Golden Pencil Award, given out by the Food Industry Association of Canada for outstanding service in the food sector. Hudson turned 75 on July 12, 2012, and remains the very active chair and CEO of the family-owned company. Dr. Peter HuntonPeter Hunton was born in Newcastle on Tyne, England. He obtained his B.Sc. in Agriculture (Honors) from Durham University’s King’s College, and his M.Sc. from Wye College, University of London, where he specialized in poultry science and genetics. While working for Shaver Poultry Breeding Farms in Canada, Hunton was awarded his PhD from the University of London. Hunton spent his career working for Shaver Poultry Breeding Farms, Ross Poultry, and the Ontario Egg Producers’ Marketing Board as poultry specialist 1980. He retired from the OEPMB (now Egg Farmers of Ontario) in 2001. Dr. Peter Hunton has edited a book and written numerous articles about poultry production, including many for Canadian Poultry magazine. Throughout his career and for many years after retirement, he wrote articles for trade journals that made science understandable to the industry. He also wrote scientific articles and contributed to major textbooks, including Poultry Production (as editor) in 1995. Hunton was the World Poultry Science Association’s (WPSA) Canada Branch president, and later international vice-president, senior vice-president, and president. He led the successful bid for the XXI World Poultry Congress in Canada. During his time as WPSA president, he travelled widely on association business to increase membership and branch formation, especially in South America. Hunton also attended symposia organized by branches of the European Federation, Australia, India and Bangladesh. For 45 years he has been an enthusiastic supporter of WPSA in all of its endeavours, and most recently led the committee to provide online access to the journal by all members. Dr. Steven LeesonFor nearly 40 years, Dr. Steven Leeson has been a fixture in the world of poultry providing new insights in the area of nutrition. Though broad in its scope, his research is traditionally focused on the energy metabolism of broilers, feeding programs for layer hens and creating nutritionally enriched eggs. Dr. Steven Leeson is internationally renowned for his work in the area of poultry nutrition. Leeson is a native of England, and received an MPhil in 1971 and a PhD in 1974, both from the University of Nottingham. Following graduation, he travelled with his wife Anne to the University of Guelph, originally for a one-year post-doctoral study with Dr. John Summers. But Leeson was offered a faculty position at Guelph in 1977 in the Department of Animal and Poultry Science, where he has remained. He became chair of the department in 2005 and served in that role until 2010. His impact stretches beyond research, however, because he has mentored more than 20 graduate students (including the editor), while playing an integral role in undergraduate education at the University of Guelph. He has taught and designed courses on poultry production and nutrition as well as introductory courses in animal science at the diploma, undergraduate and graduate levels. Leeson’s contributions to poultry science have not gone unnoticed, as he has been presented with numerous awards for his research, including the American Feed Manufacturers Nutrition Research Award, the Distinguished Research Award (Ontario Agricultural College), a Service in Extension and Public Service Award (Canadian Society of Animal Science), the Canadian Society of Animal Science Fellowship, the Poultry Industry Council’s Poultry Worker of the Year award and many others. He has written more than 320 articles in refereed journals, 80 articles in trade journals, and five books, including a revision of M.L. Scott’s The Nutrition of the Chicken with John Summers. He’s also given more than 600 presentations on the topic of poultry and animal sciences. George NicholasGeorge Nicholas intuitively knew that a single mutation he found in his flock would change the turkey industry. George Nicholas was born in San Francisco on April 30, 1916. He moved with his family to a poultry farm near Petaluma, Calif., when he was nine years old. He soon started raising slaughter turkeys. At the age of 16, Nicholas was named California’s first Future Farmers of America Star Farmer because of his outstanding achievements in turkey production. The profits from his farming went towards tuition at the University of California, Davis, where he graduated in poultry science in 1937. In 1939, he purchased a 175-acre farm near Vineburg, California with Johnny Nicholas, starting Nicholas Turkey Breeding Farms. When George found a single white poult in the early 1950s, he knew he had found something important. By crossing this white bird with the bronze variety, he eliminated the unsightly, inky pinfeathers on the meat. The Nicholas breed – the white turkey – has now become the industry standard. Over the years, he added new lines, developing a faster-growing turkey with better feed conversion. His higher-efficiency birds reduced the cost of production and made turkey more affordable for everyone, shifting expensive, seasonal meat to a bird that could be enjoyed throughout the year. Nicholas Farms became the first turkey business to hire scientists – geneticists, nutritionists and avian veterinarians – for turkey research and development. Their advancements led to the development of many of today’s artificial insemination techniques. Through his efforts, the company developed into a multimillion-dollar pedigree turkey breeding business that put Sonoma County on the map. In 1978, Nicholas expanded the company to Europe. Based in Scotland, Nicholas Europa Ltd. imported eggs from California and supplied turkey breeding stock and technical support to European and Middle Eastern countries. In 1983, he became the first turkey breeder to be inducted into the Poultry Industry Hall of Fame in Maryland. Nicholas died in 1984, but his Sonoma-based company continues to be a major international player in breeding turkeys. Dr. Frank RobinsonAward-winner, trail-blazing researcher, author – all of these descriptions and more fit Dr. Frank Robinson. As a professor of poultry production and physiology at the University of Alberta for many years, Robinson is still tirelessly exploring new ways of bringing people to the research and research to the people. Dr. Frank Robinson was inducted into the AlbertaAgriculture Hall of Fame in 2006. Robinson’s research career has placed an emphasis on the reproductive efficiency of broiler breeders, something that captured his curiosity early on. He also does research to create what he calls “owner’s manuals” for new lines of chickens. Robinson is associate chair of his university’s agricultural, food and nutritional science department and director of its Poultry Research Centre – a research institute for which he was a major fundraising force back in 1998. It was and still is a very innovative facility, one that includes a processing plant and hatchery. In 2004, Robinson accepted the World Poultry Science Association Education Award in recognition of the centre. Preservation of heritage stock is an important function at the facility, and Robinson remains concerned about the genetic vulnerability of our commercial flocks. He also believes we need more poultry research in Canada, with an emphasis on having a national and an international scope. When he is not researching and teaching, Robinson gives presentations across Canada and around the world. Over the last two years, he has also co-authored two books for poultry farmers. His contribution to education has been acknowledged with 14 awards. His dedicated fellow poultry faculty members, known around the university as the Coop of Seven, have received three other group awards over the last five years. Together they have helped to turn out practically trained students who have strong problem-solving skills and are able to think on their feet. In 2004, the University of Alberta also presented Robinson with the Rutherford Award for Excellence, a teaching award that carries quite a bit of prestige on a campus with more than 1,900 faculty members. However, many would say that no matter how many awards are won by Robinson and his team, his continued dedication and enthusiasm for his work makes the Canadian poultry industry the real winner. Robinson was appointed as interim vice-provost and dean of students beginning July 1, 2008. Col. Harland SandersColonel Harland Sanders, a pioneer of “Finger Lickin’ Good” chicken. Born on Sept. 9, 1890, in Indiana, Harland Sanders was the oldest of three children. His father – a coalminer in Kentucky – died when Sanders was only six, leaving him to help look after his family. He showed an early talent for cooking while his mother worked in the local shirt factory. Harland eventually held jobs as a farmhand and a streetcar operator; he worked on the railroad and the riverboats. In the early 1930s he opened a gas station in Corbin, Ky. Word of mouth had travellers stopping at the gas station to sample his cooking. He soon opened a restaurant – Sanders Court and Café – across the street where he started working on his now famous coating recipe. Harland started experimenting with a pressure cooker in the ’30s, finding the right cooking times, the right pressure and the right shortening temperature to produce his signature southern fried chicken without deep-frying. His secret recipe – an “original blend of 11 herbs and spices,” made him famous in Kentucky. In 1935, Kentucky Governor Ruby Laffoon made Sanders a “colonel” for his efforts. But in the early 1950s, plans diverted the highway around Corbin and Sanders closed the restaurant. Sixty-five years old and penniless, he had a choice: he could subsist on his $105-a-month pension or he could take his fast-food chicken to the world, offering a “finger lickin’ good” alternative to hamburgers and hotdogs. In 1952, Col. Sanders took to the road – secret recipe stored in his head and bags of his special coating mix stored in his car – ready to cook for restaurant owners. He convinced them to produce fast-food chicken and pay him a nickel for every chicken they sold. The Kentucky Fried Chicken – KFC – franchising business was born. By 1964, over 600 restaurants throughout the United States and Canada had signed on, with several owned and operated by the late Dave Thomas, eventual founder of Wendy’s. At the age of 74, Sanders sold his interest in the company for $2 million. Sanders died in 1980 and the secret recipe still remains a secret, locked securely in the company safe. KFC serves more than a billion of the colonel’s “finger lickin’ good” chicken dinners annually in Canada, approximately 25 per cent of the total Canadian production for 1.7- to 1.8-kilogram broilers. Milo and Ross ShantzRoss Shantz in the early days of the enterprise. Hybrid Turkeys began operations in the early 1950s with 500 commercial meat turkeys. Since then, Hybrid has grown so that today, the company is one of only two major turkey-breeding companies worldwide. Milo Shantz in 2007. Milo Shantz was born in New Hamburg, Ont., in 1932 and Ross in 1939. The Shantzes’ early involvement in the poultry business led to the development of Hybrid Turkeys in 1970, which now encompassed two pedigree complexes and two hatcheries in Canada, and multiple farms in Canada and France. Hybrid soon became one of the largest primary breeders of turkeys in the world and sold breeding stock and other products in more than 40 countries. In 1981, Hybrid Turkeys was sold to Hendrix International of the Netherlands. Ross served for the first five years as president and served five years on the board of directors Donald Shaver Donald (Don) McQueen Shaver is an extraordinary ambassador for Canada whose numerous honours and awards have brought prestige to Canadian agriculture. Shaver was appointed a member of the Order of Canada in 1978, promoted to an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1990 and was one of the first to be recognized in the International Poultry Hall of Fame in Nagoya, Japan, in 1988. Donald Shaver is a singular figure in the Canadian poultry industry and is cited as being “one of the country’s foremost leaders in increasing efficiency in food production.” Dr. Peter Hunton wrote in a 2001 article in Canada Poultryman that Shaver was born in Galt (now Cambridge), Ont., on Aug. 12, 1920. The interest in poultry breeding began at the age of 12 when he received two chicks as a gift and soon after bought 15 more that he bred, entered in a 350-day Canadian National Egg Laying contest, which he won. He gained more chicken breeding experience through a government-sponsored Record of Performance project and then began his first hatchery, Grand Valley Breeders. From 1940 to 1945, Shaver served with the Royal Canadian Armed Forces in Africa and Europe. While he was in the armed forces, his breeding stock was destroyed by a fire, but upon his return in 1946 he revived his hatchery. Shaver’s long-term aim to produce a layer more prolific than any other was achieved in 1954 with the Shaver Starcross 288, so named for the number of eggs it laid in one of the initial tests, which surpassed other breeders. Building upon this success, he entered the export market with sales of chickens to the United States, South America, Europe and Asia. When he retired as CEO of Shaver Poultry Breeding Farms in 1985, his company was operating in 94 countries. In “Donald McQueen Shaver: Pioneer in Canada’s Poultry Industry,” Peter Hunton reports that one of the highlights of the 2001 World’s Poultry Congress in Montreal was the presentation by Shaver at the opening ceremony. This took the form of an eloquent plea for action in the field of germplasm conservation, which has become one of his most important crusades since his retirement from the commercial industry. Max TishlerMax Tishler’s discovery of the effect of sulphaquinoxaline on coccidiosis was an enormous contribution to modern poultry production. It was the terrible 1918 Spanish flu outbreak that decided the career of then 12-year-old Max Tishler – a man whose discoveries made valuable contributions both to human health and to agriculture, particularly to poultry. Tishler obtained his PhD in chemistry at Harvard University by 1934, and after teaching there for the next few years, he joined a small pharmaceutical company. This firm, called Merck and Company, would become one of the largest drug companies in the world. Merck scientists had isolated a number of vitamins and hormones important to human health, but a way to produce them economically in large quantities was needed. That’s where Tishler came in. He developed a new large-scale manufacturing process for several vitamins, as well as cortisone and some amino acids, some of which were important in animal diets. He also developed ways to manufacture some human and animal antibiotics, and developed vaccines against measles, mumps and rubella. In all, Tishler filed more than 100 patents It was in the early 1940s that he made his significant poultry-related discovery – sulphaquinoxaline. Tishler observed that sulpha drugs had a negative effect on intestinal parasites in poultry, and found sulphaquinoxaline to be the first effective antibiotic for the treatment of coccidiosis. He discovered that small doses over a long period of time would prevent it entirely. Tishler and his associates developed a mass production method, which made it possible for modern-day intensive poultry production to flourish. While his name may not be instantly recognizable to poultry producers, Tishler’s contribution to the sector is enormous. In all, Tishler spent 32 years with Merck and Company, retiring in 1970 and taking a position at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, where he later became chair of the chemistry department. Tishler achieved professor emeritus status in 1975 and continued to enjoy his work almost until his death in 1989 at the age of 82. Hon. Eugene WhelanAs the father of supply management, Eugene Whelan, with the help of then prime minister Pierre Trudeau and Bill Stewart, then Ontario’s minister of agriculture, proclaimed the Canadian Egg Marketing Agency in 1973, the National Turkey Marketing Agency in 1974 and the National Chicken Broiler Agency in 1976. The late Honourable Eugene Whelan is still widely recognized as “The Father of Supply Management.” Born in 1924 in Amherstburg, Ont., Whelan began his political career began with the local school board at 21. A mixed farmer and trained tool and die maker, he entered politics because he “wanted farmers to have a bigger say,” starting as the reeve of Anderdon Township and warden of Essex County in 1962. He was defeated in his first Ontario election in 1959 but followed with successful terms at the federal level from 1962 to 1984. He chaired the House of Commons agriculture committee from 1965 to 1968 and served as parliamentary secretary to the minister of fisheries and forestry from 1968 to 1970. In 1972, he was appointed federal minister of agriculture, a position he held almost continuously until 1984. Whelan also served in the Canadian Senate from 1996 to 1999. In addition to political offices, Whelan was director and president of the Harrow Farmers Co-op, and director of the United Co-operatives of Ontario, the Co-operators Insurance Company and the Ontario Winter Wheat Producers Marketing Board. Among many other honours, he is an officer of the Order of Canada and received the Queen’s Jubilee Medal. He was inducted into the Canadian and Ontario Agriculture Halls of fame. In 1983 he received an honorary doctorate of law degree from the University of Windsor. Whelan has also been an active representative of Canada internationally through the World Food Program and the United Nations. But Eugene Whelan’s proudest moments came when he travelled through the countryside. “I remember those communities 40 or 50 years ago. You didn’t see nice farms and well-kept homesteads. It makes me proud to think ‘maybe I had a little bit to do with it.’ “The whole principle of supply management is producing what the market will bear, especially when you’re dealing with biological entities – perishable products. You can’t just produce products and hope to God somebody’s going to buy them. “We showed farmers how to make a decent profit . . . and from there – it’s history.” Senator Whelan and his wife Elizabeth were married for over 43 years and have three daughters: Theresa, Susan and Catherine. The honourable Eugene Whelan passed away on Feb. 19, 2013 in his home in Amherstburg, Ont. Ted WiensTed Wiens had a way with people. This not only defined him personally, it became his legacy to the poultry industry according to many of the people who worked with him over the years. He was initially against establishing an egg marketing board in Saskatchewan, but once it was established Wiens supported it fully. He eventually served as chair, and provided excellent representation at both the provincial and national levels as Saskatchewan’s CEMA representative. Wiens also spent many years on the processors side, and was instrumental in shaping some major decisions for CPEPC, including his term as president from 1977 to 1978. Wiens’ career in poultry began in 1967 when he approached Safeway with a plan to supply table eggs. He was involved in his family’s trucking business at the time. Safeway agreed, so he moved his wife Hilda and sons Bob and Tim to Regina, where he built a 40,000-egg layer unit and O and T Poultry Farms was born. The company grew rapidly and in 1975, the trucking business was sold. Over the years, the family built the business to become one of the largest production units in Western Canada. The Wienses also built a grading station and feed mill, and bought an equipment company in Manitoba. Ted Wiens was a man many remember for his strong opinions, strong values and good character. In the late 1980s, Wiens looked outside of Canada’s borders. He purchased a majority share in Agdevco from the Saskatchewan government to continue promoting Saskatchewan’s agricultural expertise in developing countries. “O and T Agdevco” led him to projects in Indonesia, India, Hong Kong, the Caribbean and Russia. Sadly, he was killed in an accident on a business trip in the Bahamas in 1993 while negotiating a deal to buy Gladstone Farms, a fully integrated broiler operation in Nassau. In 1993, the Canadian Western Agribition dedicated its “Sale of Champions” to him. “The whole agriculture industry lost something special when Ted had his accident,” said then executive vice-president Wayne Gamble. “Ted was one of a kind,” says longtime friend and colleague Harold Crossman, summing up the thoughts of many of the people in the industry who knew him. “Whether you agreed with him or not, you parted as friends.”
Over the past 100 years, chicken has gone from the occasional Sunday meal of a spent layer or surplus rooster harvested from a backyard flock, to a traditional staple that is available everywhere. Every community of any size will have fast food restaurants dedicated to chicken, while other fast food outlets will feature it and, it is safe to say, every bar in North America has chicken on its, often limited, menu. This rise came from the inspiration of three most unlikely people – a (until very recently) largely unknown and unheralded university researcher, a woman working in the kitchen of a corner bar and a bankrupt. These three made today’s broiler industry by increasing consumer demand. The university researcher was Robert C. Baker, a food science professor working out of a basement lab at Cornell University. “Baker was a professor of poultry science, and a chicken savant,” wrote Maryn McKenna in the online journal Slate on Dec. 28, 2012. The foods he and his graduate student assistants invented went on to launch what the industry now calls “further processed poultry.” Among the foods Baker and his fellow researchers developed was a prototype chicken nugget, or stick. It was a challenge, but once they mastered the food engineering, they test-marketed them in an attractive box, selling them for 26 weeks in five local supermarkets. They completely sold out. Baker and fellow researchers laid out the whole process in the Cornell publication Agricultural Economics Research in April 1963 and the publication was distributed free of charge, McKenna writes. In the 1980s, chicken nuggets took off. McDonald’s spurred the development with its determination to add chicken to its menu and by initiating the creation of its own version. In 1985, Canada Poultryman reported that Cuddy Food Products of London, Ont., was processing 66,000 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken meat daily and producing 4,468 McNuggets a minute for McDonald’s. The plant was utilizing the equivalent of 65 million pounds of live chickens per year. And that was just the start Other restaurants were soon producing their own versions and supermarkets began stocking their own frozen nuggets. A new demand for tens of millions of pounds of chicken appeared seemingly overnight. For the full Slate story on Baker, which I highly recommend, please visit: http://www.slate.com/articles/life/food/2012/12/robert_c_baker_the_man_who_invented_chicken_nuggets.html. The woman working in the kitchen of the corner bar was Teressa Bellissimo. Late one Friday night in 1964, her son Dominic was tending bar when a group of his friends arrived. They were hungry and Dominic asked his mother to prepare something for them to eat. She looked around the kitchen at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, N.Y., and spotted a pile of chicken wings that had been destined for the stockpot for soup and decided to take a chance and try something. She deep fried the wings and flavoured them with a sauce – the wings were a hit with Dominic’s friends and quickly became part of the Anchor Bar’s menu. Soon people from across Buffalo and Ontario’s Niagara Peninsula were heading to the Anchor Bar for “wings” (I know because I was one). Within a few years, wings were everywhere. The National Chicken Council estimated that 1.25 billion chicken wings were eaten on Super Bowl Sunday, 2012. In all of 2012, more than 13.5 billion chicken wings (over three billion pounds) were sold and the Chicken Farmers of Canada estimate that Canadians consume around 77 million kilograms of chicken wings a year. The last of the three, Col. Harland Sanders, is the best known and for good reason – he brought “finger lickin’ good” chicken to the world. Not bad for someone who was broke when he was 62 years old. Sanders went broke when the U.S. government built a new Interstate Highway 10 miles away from the old highway on which his restaurant, Sanders’ Court and Café, was located. Sanders was down but not out, as he had a recipe for Southern Fried Chicken that involved pressure-cooking, which he believed produced the best tasting chicken on the planet. He headed out across the U.S. with bags of his special coating mix in his car and the recipe in his head. He offered restaurant owners a deal: If they liked his chicken, they would turn their restaurants to producing fast food chicken and pay Sanders a nickel for every chicken sold. Suffice it to say, they liked his chicken. KFC now has more than 17,000 outlets in 105 countries and its contracts account for about 25 per cent of all the 1.7- to 1.8-kilogram broilers produced in Canada.
John Wise held government office from June 4, 1979 to March 2, 1980 and again from September 17, 1984 to September 14, 1988. John Wise was born in 1924 in St. Thomas, Ontario and held a federal constituency in Elgin. He is a fifth-generation dairy farmer. Wise has held a number of positions including president of the Oxford and District Cattle Breeders Association (now Western Ontario Breeders), and has been a dairy cattle judge, chairman of the Elgin and St. Thomas Planning Boards, and director of the Elgin Co-operative Services. He is also the honorary founding president of Soil Conservation Canada. Wise was active in farm organizations and in municipal politics and planning for more than 15 years before his election to parliament. He served as councillor, deputy reeve and reeve of Yarmouth Township through the 1960s and became warden of Elgin County in 1969. Three years later, he was elected MP for Elgin, a seat he held through five consecutive elections until 1988, when he did not run. Based on his experience, Wise was a natural fit for the roles of opposition dairy and agriculture critic through the 1970s. He also served as critic for supply and services (1983-84). He developed Conservative agriculture platforms and policies and chaired his caucus’ agriculture committee in 1976. When Joe Clark’s Conservatives won the 1979 election and formed a minority government for nine months, he was appointed minister of agriculture. Four years later, he became one of the few Clark-era cabinet ministers to retain the same portfolio in Brian Mulroney’s majority government. Wise held the agriculture portfolio through the first term of the Mulroney government but decided to retire from politics before the 1988 election. He remains active in agriculture issues and currently serves as a board member for Amtelecom and as chairman of the board for the Canadian Livestock Exporters Association and the Canadian Embryo Exporters Association. Wise had the challenge of protecting the principles of supply management while introducing his government’s free trade policies to the agriculture industry. In 1986, Wise announced a new long-term dairy policy following an extensive review. The five-year program and its multi-year financial commitment brought increased stability to the dairy sector. Wise also oversaw the establishment of new research stations and laboratories at St-Hyacinthe, Guelph, Calgary, Lethbridge, Brandon and London. (Information was obtained from www.agr.gc.ca, Serving Agriculture: Canada’s Ministers of Agriculture, revised 2003-01-30).
Interview with the Honourable Eugene Whelan and the Honourable John Wise. The Honourable Eugene Whelan and the Honourable John Wise were recently recognized at a celebration of the 30th anniversary of supply management in the Canadian egg industry at the National Egg Producer Conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia, July 7. The Canadian Egg Marketing Agency honoured the former federal agriculture ministers for their roles in developing and maintaining supply management in the egg industry over the last 30 years. Mr. Whelan and Mr. Wise gave the following interview and supply management retrospective. Q. What were the problems that supply management was intended to address? A. Mr. Whelan: The key issue was that the marketing system was chaotic, especially for perishable products. The principle was to provide some kind of stability to the overall economic situation. Feed businesses and farmers couldn’t pay their bills; egg prices fluctuated up and down. On a cold day, the eggs would go up in price; on a hot day, the eggs would go down in price, destabilizing the income of farmers. In the chicken and egg wars, whole truckloads of eggs were destroyed to keep the market from being flooded. Even the judge who presided over the inquiry examining the system said he could not imagine a system of marketing that was more chaotic. So, we showed farmers how to make a decent profit by producing so many dozen eggs in a supply-managed system and from there, it’s history. A. Mr. Wise: It grew out of the instability that existed in the milk industry; with prices fluctuating up and down, there was considerable uncertainty. So the driving force was to stabilize that market. At the time, Bill Stewart, the Ontario agriculture minister, was the leader in the formation of the Ontario Milk Marketing Board, which is really the beginning of the dairy policy in Canada, and other provinces followed. The system balanced supply with demand and built on a cost-of-production formula. The price of the product bore a direct relationship with the cost so that there were not large margins, but a small profit margin for the producer. Q.Why did it happen in some commodities but not in others? A. Wise: In some commodities the movers, shakers, and thinkers recognized the fact that they had a commodity that can be supply-managed and that’s basically because their intention is to supply the domestic market and they pay very little attention, if any, to export markets. There has been a bit of an attempt in some isolated cases for other commodities. Take for instance the grain business where probably 80 per cent of the grain produced in Canada is exported, or pork where there is so much movement back and forth across the border. Supply management just does not fit these industries. Q. What were the advantages of the supply-management approach? A. Whelan: In other commodities, prices are up and down like a yo-yo and in most cases the profit comes at the expense of the producer. The whole principle of supply management is producing what the market will bear, especially when you’re dealing with live biological entities – perishable products. You can’t just produce products and hope to God that somebody’s going to buy them. I come from an industrial area. You can put metal products outside no matter if it’s 110 or 130 degrees outside. Then, if the market won’t absorb them, lay off your employees and pay them 90 per cent of their wages through unemployment insurance for not producing anything. We don’t do that in supply management. Q. When you reflect back on more than 30 years of experience with supply management, is the reality today what you would have expected? A. Whelan: When I drive around Ontario, I remember those communities 40 or 50 years ago. You didn’t see the nice farms and well-kept homesteads. It makes me proud to think “maybe I had a little bit to do with it.” We put a program in there that helped them pay for their farms and make a decent living for their families. Those people took the initiative and made investments in their farms. I don’t think there’s any part of North America that has a better agriculture environment than we do here in Canada. If it hadn’t been for Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau backing me, it would not have happened at all. I also had some of the best civil servants, all agriculture-trained and educated. S.B. Williams, the deputy minister, never worked for anyone but Ag Canada, except when he served overseas in World War II, and then he came back to Ag Canada. He was like a big walking computer; he knew all the international, provincial and federal laws. A. Wise: Yes, absolutely. It has provided stability to the producer and the processor and it has continued to provide high-quality, reasonably-priced food to the Canadian consumer. So, it’s really been a win-win-win situation. The other thing that hasn’t changed is the fact that supply management is always under attack. In my comments in Halifax, I said the only thing they have to fear is the fact that self-destruction is possible and they’ve got to continue to defend the system and continue to explain it. They’ve carried the flag and carried the day for the last 25 to 30 years. They should continue to support the leadership that’s managing their systems. Q. Do you really think that given WTO and where trade is going, it’s realistic that supply management will survive? A. Whelan: If we have strong leadership and a government that’s in favour, then I think it will survive. I think the drastic ways that the world has changed since 9/11 will change a lot of people’s positions on globalization. I call it “gobble-ization” because by the year 2010 we could have a few companies in the world controlling over 80 per cent of the food production, processing and distribution. That’s a very dangerous thing, going back to feudalism in a new, high-tech environment. My worry with the WTO is that democratic countries will lose the right to have any say about how we should market our products; that our parliaments would become insignificant. A. Wise: I think so. The challenge is to have tariffs to maintain the system. Farmers of supply-managed commodities must continue to make their case to the government that they have an excellent system, not unlike General Motors or Ford or Chrysler or Bombardier where they also have to control inventories. Farmers in supply-managed commodities do this without government subsidy, and that’s the case they’ve got to make and hopefully the government will continue to maintain it. Q. You were a supporter of supply management at a time when the government was negotiating free trade, so what kind of challenges did you face within your own cabinet? A. Wise: Well, cabinet support was pretty good and also the prime minister had an uncle who was in the turkey business, so that helped. The prime minister recognized the value of the system – you’re supplying very little, if any, subsidy money to supply-managed commodities and yet you were dumping billions of dollars into the grain business because of low world prices. We also had a large rural caucus, and we had the good fortune of having a fairly large contingent from rural Quebec, which was helpful. We had good negotiators in the Free Trade Agreement with the U.S., particularly Simon Reisman, who followed the direction of the minister and the government. A lot of people said it couldn’t be done, you could never get it done. Washington will never accept it; well, Washington did accept it.
You’re building a new barn and one of the many questions that runs through your mind is whether you opt for power or natural ventilation. Harry Huffman, a ventilation expert with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food, told turkey producers at the 1999 annual meeting of the Ontario Turkey Producers’ Marketing Board that there is a great deal of information available, but no easy, ultimate answer. “I don’t think there is a right choice in barn selection. You have to decide what you want to work with,” he said at the London, Ont. meeting. Either system can work well, but the system selected must suit the management system and the location. For example, a good location with sufficient space around it is essential for a naturally ventilated barn. Barns with power ventilation are much more flexible as to location, he said. That is just one element, albeit a critical one, in the choice of systems. But everything that goes into the decision must be in response to the question: “what are we really trying to do?” Huffman said. The answer is equally straight forward. “As soon as we put animals in a barn we have to ensure fresh air – especially with turkeys,” he said. You must also maintain the barn temperature in the animals’ comfort zone and that is especially important with turkeys which are less tolerant – especially when they are young – of inappropriate temperatures than other species. As the birds age their comfort zone widens. Once a comfort zone has been established in a barn, you want to maintain it, he said. “You can’t do that with a lot of naturally ventilated barns,” Huffman said. But so long as temperature change happens slowly the turkeys will adapt. Another factor is humidity which must be kept at a reasonable level. “If you get wet litter, it stays wet,” he said. Adding to the problems will be ammonia gas which is attracted to the moisture. “We want to keep odors and gases at a reasonable level and that is directly related to humidity,” he said. Humidity will also be affected by the temperature of the incoming air. Cold air doesn’t hold as much moisture as warm air. The rule is that for every 10 degree centigrade rise in temperature air will hold twice as much moisture. “Warm air is a super good sponge,” he said. And because warm air rises it can be removed from the barn by fan or chimney. The air expelled by the birds is warm and will rise. This allows for the removal of moisture, but can contribute to drafty conditions, which are to be avoided. As the warm air rises and is removed cool air moves in to fill the space. The barn should be designed so that the incoming cool air is warmed by the exiting warm air. Another factor in ventilation is the presence of obstructions. “Air doesn’t like to make 90 degree turns,” he said. In the case of naturally ventilated barns, which generally have better air quality because of the breeze going through the building, outside obstructions can have a major impact. Obstructions will affect the air flow for a distance 10 times the height of the obstruction, he said. Huffman also gave a quick rundown of the advantages and disadvantages of power ventilation versus natural ventilation. Power ventilation uses fans which can be noisy versus the quiet of natural ventilation. Power ventilation requires more main-tenance than natural. Power ventilation systems have low operating costs, but that is still more than a natural system. Power ventilated barns often have poor lighting . However power ventilated systems have more flexibility so far as location is concerned than naturally ventilated operations where location is critical. Dark outs can be accommodated in power ventilated barns, but are not possible in naturally ventilated barns. And the cost of a power ventilated barn is equal to or lower than a naturally ventilated set up. There are also climatic factors to consider. In Southern Ontario, temperatures are a concern for naturally ventilated systems when they are too cold (below -10 degrees C), which happens 10 per cent of the time and when they are too warm (above 20 degrees C) and there is a the possibility of stagnant air. But this only occurs 10 per cent of the time in each case. In those circumstances fans have a better opportunity to maintain proper conditions inside a barn. But 80 per cent of the time it doesn’t matter what kind of system, he said. Growers are also going to have to do a better job of removing carbon dioxide. Studies show that up to age five or six weeks an air flow that controls moisture is sufficient to control carbon dioxide. But as the birds grow, removal of carbon dioxide requires more air movement, he said. And when buying ventilation equipment, Huffman advised the growers that the cheapest option is not always the most economic. For example, more expensive fans may be worth the money because they last much longer. It is also not advisable to skimp on insulation because a well-insulated barn is always easier to ventilate, he said. But as to which type of ventilation system is best, Huffman said there is no pat answer.
It's apparent soon after you talk to him that Pete Koch is an experienced poultry businessman who knows where he is going.Peter and his wife, Elsa, own and operate the Cedardale Poultry Ranch Ltd., 32926 King Road, Abbotsford, B.C.For years the Cedardale Poultry Ranch has been a "slat barn" operation. But the Koch's knew that they would have to modernize in order to compete in today's marketplace.After investigating several types of new facilities and equipment, Koch employed John and David Pankratz, partners in Northwest Agrinomics Ltd., Abbotsford, B.C., specialists in agricultural management. About that same time, Koch had a visit from Ian Peacock, manager of Peacock Equipment Ltd., Cloverdale, B.C."I had heard about Peter's modernization plans, so I called on him to introduce one of my newest lines, Favorite Poultry Equipment," Peacock said. "I felt certain we could meet the needs of Cedardale Poultry Ranch with Favorite's new Cal-Aire reverse cage system in a 4-deck configuration."Koch says the type of cage system he would install in the new facilities was critical."I was interested in the operating plusses offered by the reverse cage system," Koch admits. "The idea of greater bird density, more eggs per bird, better feed conversion, lower mortality and cracks and especially no dropping boards, scrapers or plastic sheets to clean, convinced me that Favorite's Cal-Aire System was my best choice.Checked in AtlantaNonetheless, last January, Koch visited the Southeastern Poultry & Egg Association Conference and Exhibit at Atlanta, Georgia to evaluate all brands of equipment. The trip reaffirmed his choice of Favorite.With the assistance of the Pankratz brothers, financing for the project was secured through Perry Creighton, manager of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Abbotsford.Upon Peacock's suggestion, Koch decided on the Cal-Aire 4-deck reverse cages, four rows to a house. This allows for 62,720 birds at four birds per 18" x 12" cage, or 31,360 birds per barn.Two BarnsThe cages were put into two fully automated, 390' long by 42 ½" wide deep pit, total confinement layer barns. Barns are 20' apart and connected by an enclosed passageway. On one side there is a 20 ft. x 30 ft. egg room and a 30 ft. x 30 ft. cooler room to serve both barns. Eight ft. deep manure pits run under the entire cage system of each barn; barns are metal clad wood frame construction on 3 ft. high concrete foundation walls. A skid steer loader can be used for manure removal.The cage feeders are Favorite flat-chain-in-trough type, travelling at 60 ft. per minute, powered by 1 ½ HP 3 phase electric motors through a new industrial type gear box that has a 3 year manufacturer's warranty and is claimed to need less power than competitors'.A unique system of feed supply using the Favorite multi-flex hoppers is used to give maximum flexibility i.e. immediate ration change and to ensure that the old feed is used up before the new. In front of each barn there are 4-8 ton feed storage bins to make a total of 8. The bins are paired, standard 4" augers from each pair of bins supply feed to a multi-flex hopper located between them. Each multi-flex hopper has two flexible coreless augers. One flexible auger going to each cage row supplying the manifold that keeps the flat chain feeders filled. The bulk feed bins have a new design of boot developed by Peacock Equipment that completely cleans out the feed in the bins. The 4" augers have ½ HP 1 phase motors; the 2 7/16" flexible augers have ½ HP 3 phase motors. All motors are controlled by high/low feed level switches. The flat chain feeders are controlled by time clocks.Egg CollectingFor egg collection Koch chose the Favorite system using 4" poly web belts to collect the eggs from the cage rows to the collector towers at the row ends. The eggs are moved on to the escalator belts with the new flexible finger cups and conveyed down onto the 12" wide cross conveyor belt. The cross conveyor belt runs under the floor picking up the eggs from each row end in both buildings, taking them to the egg room. The eggs are then elevated to an accumulator before being candled after which the eggs are packed onto plastic flats by a Seymour 60 case per hour farm packer. The egg flats are then stacked on pallets and moved into the cooler, which has a 2 HP 3 phase egg cooler to maintain quality until they are picked up by Canada Safeway for grading and cartoning.Control of all egg belts and the counters for each of the 64 cage belts are mounted in impressive panels located in the egg room.For watering Koch chose Swish, as this is what he was using in his rearing barns.Importance of VentilationThe ventilation system is another first. At Peacock's suggestion Variable speed fans were not necessary. A number of single speed fans of sufficient volume would give the variety of air movement required. Twenty 48" dia. belt drive fans powered by 1 ½ HP 3 phase motors individually controlled by thermostat met the required air movement of 6 c.f.m. per bird. The fans are mounted 10 per building in 5 banks of 2. Koch also pioneered the use of a new air intake system that Peacock offered. This continuous air intake vent can deflect incoming air either up or down or both at the same time. Intake can be automatically controlled by the static pressure to maintain a steady velocity of the incoming air.Standby GeneratorsKoch is especially proud of his standby electrical power system: two Winpower 600 amp. 3 phase, liquid propane fired generators. Each unit has an 85 KW capacity. The primary circuit powers all lights, fans and water; this is easily handled by one generator. Koch figures his standby system is good for eight 24-hour days of full power before his liquid propane tank would be exhausted.In addition, a complete alarm system monitors barn heat, water pressure, burglary, fire and the proper operation of fans throughout the barns. A radio-controlled paging system sounds the alarm. The system was supplied and installed by Ashley International Electronics.Two Age Groups"We have two age groups of birds," Koch explains. "One age group in each barn. Within each age group there is spacing of two weeks representing his pullet growing facilities.Because of age-group spacing, an entire flock can be replaced over an eight-week period. This allows sufficient time for vaccination and precision debeaking of new birds, as well as in/out handling. "Further," Koch states, "our processing plant has a capacity of about 8,000 birds per killing lot, so we're geared to their capacity."Month's Mortality LessDr. Douglas McCausland, Cedardale's Veterinarian, worked out a plan to move 28,000 birds already on the ranch and at six to eight months of lay, from older facilities to the new barns. The results: little or no loss of production, and only about half again the normal mortality for one month.Koch and Dr. McCausland keep all birds under a health maintenance program, which includes blood testing, vaccination/medication, and vitamins to assist stress. A complete bird health history is constantly maintained.Aart Spyker, manager of Ritchie-Smith Ltd., Abbotsford, has supplied feed to Cedardale Poultry Ranch for years. "We've found the 'preventative' health maintenance program works best for our mutual needs. Our company nutritionist, Dr. A.J. Leslie, works closely with Cedardale's Dr. McCausland, to set rations and contents. Weekly visits check progress. We put heavy emphasis on least-cost production and lots of cooperation."Lucerne Foods Ltd.'s Plant Manager, Don Martin says, "As far as I'm concerned, the product quality out of Cedardale's new facility is tops and improving weekly! We see one of the lowest Grade B outputs in the area, and the eggs are definitely at the low end of the percentage of cracks and checks. We purchase Cedardale's total output, and pick up 3 times a week." Lucerne Foods is located at Langley, B.C.The bottom line was, of course, the cost to produce eggs. For Peter Koch, that led him to select equipment from Favorite Manufacturing of New Holland, PA, U.S.A. a the heart of his system."Equipment quality, low maintenance features, and thus, the projected lifetime of the equipment, were all high in my mind when making my choice," Peter Koch relates. "With every day that passes, I'm more convinced that we've made the right decisions for Cedardale's future."
Poultry production is following the general pattern of agriculture – growing into large operations and becoming mechanized. And the device which is making this change largely possible and profitable is the automatic or mechanical feeder, a comparatively new invention. Ever since the incubator permitted large scale hatching of chicks, the bottleneck of the poultry industry has been the feeding of flocks. When done by hand it was a costly, and time – and feed consuming process. The automatic feeder has broken that bottleneck. The feeder is simply a machine that takes feed from a central hopper or bin out to the birds continuously all day. In place of having to fill a score of separate feeding troughs, the poultryman fills just one – the hopper – and does it just once a day. With some machines it is even possible to use a direct spout from an overhead bin and never have to fill the hopper by hand. Every mechanical feeder consists of three basic parts. They are: 1. The hopper. This holds the supply of feed and usually also has the drive mechanism mounted on it.2. The distributing system, which carries the feed from the hopper throughout the poultry house.3. The driving mechanism, consisting of a motor, usually electric, a reduction gear, drive shaft and sprockets. The distributing system consists of an endless chain driven by the motor and gears, a trough in which it travels, leg assemblies, which form joints between the lengths of trough and provide a means of raising or lowering the trough; and corner units which permit the chain to run corners.Usually the distributing system is set up so the trough forms an oblong in which the chain travels.After the feed is put into the hopper and the machine started, the operation is continuous. Feed in the hopper is moved to an outlet port in the bottom of the hopper. It falls through this opening onto the slowly moving chain. The chain, which travels in the trough, carries the feed along with it out to the flock. The birds eat it from the trough. Basically, that is the way every automatic feeder on the market today operates. But there are many differences in design. A major one is the chain. Some machines use ordinary heavy sprocket chain with bars or scrapers welded on one edge of the link. These scrape along the bottom of the trough, moving all the feed. Another makes use of a riveted chain. Another has a novel Y-shaped link. One has a chain, which was developed just for the automatic poultry feeder. It consists of a light steel link curved at one end. This patented design allows the chain to go around corners and still run flat. A good automatic feeder today will make money for its owner under a variety of conditions. It will feed baby chicks, broilers, laying flocks, adult turkeys. Some of the feeders will handle any kind of feed and operate successfully with any of the usual litter materials. For a machine to work under all these various conditions requires a wide flexibility. It must be possible to adjust or control the amount of feed delivered by the machine to the flock. Baby chicks naturally will consume less than laying hens. Hence it must be possible to slow down the amount of feed going from the hopper to the chain. One automatic feeder has a further control – it can slow the speed of the chain from 20 feet a minute to 6 feet. Another control is provided by time clocks which will turn the machine on and off for varying lengths of time. A most important adjustment is that of height. Keeping the top of the trough level with the backs of the birds means that the flock will waste a minimum of feed. The better automatic feeders today have hoppers and trough supports, which permit a quick and easy adjustment for height as the birds grow. The advantages of automatic feeding over hand feeding are many. First, of course is the saving of feed. Many users claim the machine will pay for itself within one to two years on the saving in feed alone for hens and 3 to 4 months for broilers. Pennsylvania State College made strictly controlled tests of automatic vs. hand feeding. Those fed with an automatic machine consumed .49 lbs. less feed per dozen eggs laid and .45 lbs. of feed less per lb. for broiler meat. The saving in feed comes in two ways. The birds do not waste feed by billing it out from an automatic's trough as they do from a hand-filled trough. The movement of the chain seems to attract them, encouraging the birds to eat more and more often. The second big saving is in labor. In place of spending hours each day filling troughs, the poultryman can dump a few bags of feed into the hopper, check the chain and feeding system – and forget the feeder for the day. He does not have to clean troughs. In place of taking in one set and putting out a larger one as the birds grow, he merely raises the trough and hopper a little higher. Unlike hand feeders little or no cleaning of the trough is necessary. An indication of the time and labor saving is given by the experience of the Buffalo County Poultry Farm at Kearney, Nebraska. There, one man cares for 40,000 to 50,000 broilers instead of 10,000 he could when hand feeders were used. An example of what an automatic will do for a poultryman was furnished last year by A. H. Douty of Clovis, Calif. He started two similar flocks of 10,000 broilers each in two houses. One was hand fed, the other had an automatic. The flock using the mechanical feeder netted 6 cents more per bird, or a clear extra profit of $600, which came close to paying for the machines.
Fashions don't necessarily change every year with chickens, that is, with the feathered kind. However, they are now changing rapidly in modern poultry raising. Whereas standard type and colour have obsessed the fancier and exhibition breeder of the past, quantity egg and meat production are the dominant objectives of the commercial poultryman in 1951. While the first quarter of the century was marked by remarkable gains in egg production, the second quarter, recently concluded, has witnessed the consolidation of these gains in breeding flocks and the dissemination of better blood lines throughout the flocks of the world. The magnitude of these gains in total production may be appreciated when it is realized that, as the statisticians tell us, the average hen lays 50 more eggs now than she did 50 years ago. Multiply this increase by the number of hens (500,000,000) on this continent, and we can only try to imagine he astonishing increase of 24 billion eggs that are available for human consumption in one year. In Canada alone, this increase amounts to about 2 billion eggs per annum, worth $60,000,000. To take care of this, the annual per capita consumption of eggs has increased from around 200 to 390 eggs in the United States – more than an egg a day – the highest in the world, and 300 eggs in Canada. It is remarkable that, while such progress was being made in the production and consumption of eggs, the production and marketing of poultry meats had just dragged along as incidental to egg production. Poultry meats, in other words, have been largely represented by surplus birds not kept for egg production, and in many cases, have been poor meat type and quality. Within the past few years, it has been realized that not only the production but the marketing of poultry meats have been grossly neglected. In one branch alone, viz., broiler production, a startling change has taken place, one that promises to revolutionize chicken-meat production if it has not already done so. No longer is the light, skinny, bony broiler of 7 to 9 weeks fashionable. Instead, great numbers of thick-meated and tender "baby beef" chickens are being produced, weighing 3 to 4 lb. or better at 12 weeks – 50 per cent more than the old-fashioned chicken. These frying chickens are being turned out by mass production methods in one to ten thousand lots or more, in big roomy pens, where they may be crowded but remain healthy as they are nourished by modern efficient rations. Such birds, moreover, grow so quickly into delicious tender meat that chicken-meat now competes in both quality and price with all other meats to be found on the market. These modern chickens have to be early and full feathering, uniformly rapid growing, vigorous, plump-breasted, with maximum edible meat and minimum waste, to meet market requirements. In other words, they must be "prime" when very young. If the birds are kept to the heavier roaster or capon stage, they must be capable, moreover, of maintaining heavy weights desired. To make good roasters, they must also be completely feathered and comparatively free of pin-feathers when prime. It was indicated some years ago, in the annual reports of poultry meat inspection of the Dominion Markets Branch, that the better grades were decidedly in the minority, and that there was urgent need for a breeding and selection program that would include not only the maintenance of egg production but extra pressure of selection for improved meat type in the breeding stock of this country. Breeding research at the University of B.C. There are two schools of thought as to the methods of breeding better meat types of chicken. One is to use out-crosses of the extremely broad-breasted low-set Cornish – an extreme type of meat game produced by fanciers – to such well-known utility breeds as the New Hampshire, Rhode Island Red, or Plymouth Rock, and to breed back to the latter breeds until a type is more or less fixed. Some remarkably fine meat strains have evolved from these and other crosses in the past three years, as they have proved in the famous "Chicken of Tomorrow" contests that have brought so much publicity to the broiler business in the United States. In order to provide certification for R.O.P. in meat production, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is inspecting random sample progeny tests from matings entered by private breeders this year. Another approach to the problem of improving meat type in poultry is through certification of meat characteristics as well as egg production in flocks already entered in R.O.P. This would merely involve further extension of existing inspection in Canadian R.O.P. to cover such economic factors as rate of growth in addition to early feathering and meat type as included at present. Selection for market qualities Under R.O.P. regulations, selection for improved meat type and better feathering has been continuous in University of British Columbia flocks of Barred Rocks and Rhode Island Reds since 1935. No significant correlation was found to exist between meat type and egg production in these strains, thus simplifying the dual purpose objective in breeding and selection. Little was known in the earlier stages about the mode of inheritance of various feathering characteristics in these two breeds, except that slow feathering appeared to be dominant to early fast feathering. The inheritance of full feathering was not fully understood although the Leghorns possessed the quality. At first selection consisted largely of discarding the slowest feathering types and the sharper breasted, angular meat specimens, and including only the better feathering, plumper breasted birds in the breeding pens. Arbitrary classifications were used to distinguish various grades. Observations were made of feathering, and weights taken at ages of 6 weeks in chicks and at regular intervals until maturity. Families were marked according to grading of offspring and undesirable ones eliminated. The U.B.C. strain of Reds is now pure for early fast feathering, but lacks the full feathering of the White Leghorn or certain strains of New Hampshires. Recent studies indicate that a bareback factor and slow feathering in the neck, hackle, and tail may be factors inhibiting full feathering in birds pure for the early feathering gene. The popularity of the Barred Plymouth Rock as a table bird had until recent years become almost proverbial on general farms in Canada. While its position has recently been challenged by the New Hampshire and to a lesser degree by the White Rock and Light Sussex, the Barred Rock has earned its prestige in the trade for its feeding and fattening qualities and ability to finish well as a roasting chicken or a heavy, fat fowl. In these forms its fleshing is unsurpassed. The Barred Rock, however, has not been so suitable for broiler or fryer production because of some slow-feathering characteristics and lack of uniformity in many strains. Autosexing breeds In order to utilize the desirable qualities of both the Barred Rock and Red, including the autosexing colour pattern of the former, a crossing project was undertaken to fix the white barring factor in the early fast-feathering Reds. By first crossing a Barred Rock male to Red females and back crossing to Red, and then to Barred Reds in succeeding generations, pure Barred Reds (autosexing Redbars) were produced. They were superior in meat type, and tested 96.3 per cent accurate in autosexing. Meanwhile the U.B.C. strain of New Hampshires was giving good performance in eggs and meat production and hatchability. Moreover, although a newer breed, they excelled in viability, showing the greatest resistance to disease, including the paralysis complex. Lacking only the barring characteristics for autosexing purposes, a Barred New Hampshire (Hampbar) bred after the fashion of the Barred Red (Redbar) became a promising prospect. Time was saved in fixing the colour pattern of the breed by using Redbar males for crossing with specially selected New Hampshire females. Results ere so favorable in production and apparent vigor of early generations as to suggest greater emphasis being placed upon the development of this new autosexing breed. Accordingly a plan for improvement by crossing both ways by males and females to New Hampshires was extended last year. As time goes on, this technique of breeding improvement may be carried on with this autosexing breed, thus offering a very broad scope for utilizing good blood lines in New Hampshires for improvement of the Hampbars. Satisfactory egg production was secured in R.O.P. last year, while the larger entry appears still more promising this year. The current shortage in supplies of heavy roasting chickens and fowl in Canada, and the comparatively firm prices of same, no doubt will encourage increased production. However, high feed prices require maturity or finish for market at earlier ages. It will therefore be earlier feathering, earlier maturing and faster growing strains of poultry that can provide material for profitable production. The New Hampshires have been setting the pace and are now being improved in meat type, reduction in broodiness, and persistence in production. The Hampbars have the advantages of autosexing and lighter pin feathers in the dressed carcass. The Barred Rocks and Rhode Island Reds are also being brought up to higher utility standards of meat as well as egg production to serve modern needs in the industry. Much attention is also being given to the remarkable advances made very recently in the efficiency of broiler rations. Elaborate tests are being conducted, in U.B.C. nutrition laboratories, of A.P.F.*, antibiotics, amino acids, and other supplements or ingredients that stimulate rapid early growth in chickens. With better bred stream-lined chickens, nourished by better feeds, poultry meat production is gaining rapidly on egg production in economic importance. Recent records made in the production of broilers and fryers in some areas have been truly sensational, adding many millions of dollars to returns from broiler production constitute as much as 80 per cent of the value of all agricultural products. While the accent seems to be on youth in the form of the young tender chicken, there is a great need, too, for increased production of big roasters and capons. More people really want to eat more chicken if the industry will only provide the right kind and quality. *Animal Protein Factor
The past few years has brought about many changes, and most notable, is the trend towards quality eggs and the possible increase in the total hatch of chicks from high quality eggs. Three years ago a group of hatcherymen in the Fraser Valley started to candle all eggs before setting, and to this, the increased hatch for the Province is in great part due. The total hatch on all eggs set climbed from 63.4% to 69.8% of saleable chicks. With the quality factor in mind the writer had high hopes when Dr. A. L. Romanoff of Cornell announced the inventing of an electronic Egg Candling Machine, as this would remove the human factor in candling. This was short lived as it was not possible to secure a machine. At this point Mr. T. Gascoigne of Cloverdale, British Columbia let it be known that he was working on a machine and the task of ironing out the difficult points started. Early this year the Bureau of Animal Industry U.S. Dept. of Agriculture released a Farm Paper letter on Pre-Incubation for Higher Hatches and we give it as it appears in Poultry Digest. "A new method of handling hatching eggs has been found whereby infertile eggs can be detected and removed by candling on the farm where they are produced before being sent to the hatchery. This method, according to the Bureau of Animal Industry, USDA, makes it possible for those producing hatching eggs to guarantee almost 100% fertile eggs to the hatchery. To effect the extra cost of pre-incubating and candling, it would be to the interest of the hatcheryman to pay the flock-owner a premium for such eggs." "The method consists of incubating hen eggs for 16 to 18 hours at 100 degrees F., then removing them, and with the aid of a candler separating the fertile and infertile eggs. The embryo a this state of development is about the size of a dime, and appears before the candler as a small bubble floating on the surface of the yolk." "After the fertile and infertile eggs are segregated, the fertile eggs to be sold for hatching purposes are place in open wire trays in a cooler for two hours at 50-95 degrees F. This is done to check further embryonic development before the eggs are shipped. The eggs are then packed in pre-cooled cases and shipped to the customer." "Test shipments of pre-incubated eggs as well as unincubated eggs have been sent on round trips from Beltsville, Md., to Hartford, Conn., St. Louis, Mo., and Des Moines, Iowa. On return, the eggs of each shipment were replaced in the incubator and allowed to hatch. It was found that the pre-incubated eggs, after being shipped to these points and being en route from 50 to 96 hours, hatched as well as unincubated eggs of the same quality which served as controls and which were shipped along with the pre-incubated eggs in the same cases. Slightly over 80% of the pre-incubated fertile eggs shipped hatched and 18 hours earlier than the eggs used as the controls." "These studies have now been extended to include turkey eggs. Some 1,500 Beltsville Small White turkey eggs have been pre-incubated and shipped following, in general, the same procedure as that used for chicken eggs. The turkey eggs, due to slower development of embryos, are incubated for 24 hours before being candled. They are then cooled for tow hours at 50-55 degrees F." "Although it is more difficult to see the turkey embryos than chicken embryos, eggs with near perfect fertility can be sent if the shipper is willing to withhold all "doubtfuls." These "doubtfuls" can be incubated by the producer in order to salvage any mistakes. With a more powerful candler many of these "doubtfuls" could probably be eliminated. "Cases of pre-incubated turkey eggs have been shipped all the way across the country, and the hatchability of fertile eggs of the pre-incubated group was as good as that of the unincubated eggs used as controls." "Getting rid of infertile eggs at the farm before the eggs are shipped has many advantages. It is estimated that on the average 15% of all hatching eggs are infertile. Removal of these eggs at 18 hours incubation thus saves incubator space as well as reduces cost of shipping and handling. Since almost all the pre-incubated eggs shipped would be fertile, the hatcheryman could be assured of a near-perfect fertility and consequently a higher percentage hatch of total eggs set." This was brought to the attention of Mr. G. R. Wilson District Inspector of Poultry Services of B.C. who thought some test work would be in order, so with the co-operation of several Hatcheries, Mr. Gascoigne, and Mr. Pat Cain, Head of the Egg Grading staff, a number of hatches were run through, a few of which are given as a progress report. 5 cases – at 17 hrs. incubationInfertile 21.4%Fertile A or No. 1 – 656 eggs, 505 cks. = 77 %Fertile B or No. 2 – 672 eggs, 405 cks. = 60.3%Not candled – 236 eggs, 142 cks. = 60.1%2 trays marked Top Grade A hatched 81%1 tray marked Low Grade B hatched 54% On a set candle for quality only before setting. No. 1 or A's, 1878 eggs, 1412 chicks = 75.2%No. 2 or B's, 537 eggs, 316 chicks = 58.2 % On a set with Incubation for 18 hours: Infertile 19.2%Fertile A's or No. 1, 1044 eggs, 797 chicks = 76.5%Fertile B's or No. 2, 304 eggs, 176 chicks = 57.8% In this set a very interesting point appears – In the A's – 82 eggs were removed at the 18th day transfer and 165 were left on the trays. On the B's – 81 eggs removed at the 18th day and 47 left on the trays. This gives a 7.8% death rate up to transfer time on A quality while B quality is 26.5% and the left on trays is the same in both i.e. – 15.4%. A top grade A tray hatched 86.7% A low grade B tray hatched 50.8% From these hatches one might reason that candling at the incubator would solve a lot of problems, but candling should be done at the nest. The question is, will a chick hatched from a low quality egg, in turn, lay a low quality egg, if so, why should the breeder ask the hatchery operator to correct mistakes made in the breeding program. To ship fertile eggs only, would require more study, but it is quite possible to put the program into operation on a breeding farm or hatchery. Incubation must be stopped at the 18th hour by quick cooling if the eggs are to be shipped. And it also would be wise to do so even if the eggs are going back into the machine so as to insure hatch time. Infertile eggs show no change as the 18th hour period. On the electronic machine they show a drop of 2 points while a fertile one drops 8 to 10 points.
The job of cleaning dirty eggs in a manner that will not damage the quality of the eggs has long been a tedious and time consuming one. There is little question that washing is the quickest and easiest method of removing visible dirt from the shells of eggs. However, washed eggs are at present discounted on certain markets, particularly for cold storage purposes. The reason for this is no doubt due to the unsanitary manner in which the eggs are often washed and to quite general opinion that washing removes the natural "bloom" from the shell, thus permitting a greater loss of moisture. Washing large numbers of dirty eggs with a damp cloth or even in a pail of water no doubt spread bacteria through the whole lot of eggs, thus increasing the spoilage. This is particularly true if could water is used. The new machine washes the eggs in a sanitary manner, and, according to a test, removes a negligible amount of the "bloom." The eggs are fed into the machine between moving fingers that carry the eggs in back of revolving wet abrasive-coated cloth disks where the cleaning is done. From a tube above the disks the hot water (165 degrees F. or hotter at the disks) drips down on the disks to the eggs where it softens and loosens the dirt so that the disks can more readily clean the eggs. The water flushes down through the machine and runs to waste, taking the dirt with it. The disks are self-scouring and are constantly flushed with hot water. The hot water may be obtained from any convenient source, but to insure the desired minimum temperature an automatic water heating attachment is being developed. Thus, the eggs are flush-washed with clean water that is hot enough to kill the common spoilage bacteria that may be on the outside of the eggshells. The ends of the eggs are cleaned as well as the sides, and the action of the disks is so gentle that seldom is an egg broken. In fact, cracked eggs can be washed. After the washing of the eggs, they are carried by the moving fingers around to the front of the machine and are rolled across the drier to the discharging opening. A piece of toweling in the drier quickly absorbs the free water from the eggs and a blast of hot air completes the drying. The eggs are dry enough to pack when they roll out of the machine on the receiving tray. Another machine has been developed which will transfer the eggs from the drier to a grader. The eggs are in the washer for 22 seconds and an equal length of time in the drier. The temperature of the eggs at the discharge is only two degrees above that at the feed end. The rapid evaporation of the moisture in the drier removes most of the heat picked up by the eggs while in the washer. Five Cases an Hour The machine has the capacity to wash and dry approximately five cases of eggs per hour. By use of the attachment for transferring the eggs to a grader, it is possible for two people to wash, dry, grade and pack at the rate of five cases per hour. Although the machine has adequate capacity for large producing establishments, it has been designed to meet the needs of the small operator with only a few hundred birds. Tests Made In cooperation with Dr. G. O. Hall of Poultry Husbandry and Dr. C. N. Stark of Bacteriology at Cornell University, tests have been made on the keeping quality of eggs washed in the machine. Samples of fresh, nest run eggs were soiled with chicken manure and cultures of the common bacteria that cause eggs to spoil, stored at room temperature (70-75 degrees F.) for a day, then washed in the machine, using cold water, warm water, hot water, soapy water and with chlorine solution of 500 ppm. After washing, all samples, including the "nest clean" untreated samples, were stored under a controlled temperature of 81 degrees and a relative humidity of 85 per cent or more for a period of 33 days. This was estimated to be the equivalent of six months in cold storage. Washed Eggs Keep At the end of the storage period, the eggs were candled and broken out to test for quality, spoilage and any damage that might have been done by the hot water. It was found that in every case where the washing was done with water at 165 degrees F. or higher, the treated washed eggs kept just as well as the untreated nest clean eggs. The samples washed in cold water or warm water did not keep as well. There was no visible evidence of damage having been done to the interior of the eggs by the hot water. This new type of cleaner should make it possible for poultrymen to clean eggs conveniently and quickly in a sanitary manner immediately after gathering, so that they can be packed or stored in better condition than has been the general practice heretofore. - From the American Agriculturist
Jun. 6, 2013 - As livestock became more important to the rural economy in the late 1800s and early 1900s, the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) evolved to service the needs of both animals and people."The changes that happened at OVC, particularly between the two world wars, laid the groundwork for what we are able to do now," Dr. Elizabeth Stone told an interested group of history buffs at a Rural History Roundtable lecture recently. As the 10th Dean of the OVC, Stone delved into the history of the institution to put its evolution in perspective as the college celebrates its 150th anniversary.An 1830 census shows that there were 177,722 farm animals in Ontario: 80,000 dairy cattle, 32,000 other cattle, 33,000 work oxen, 30,500 horses and an assortment of other livestock. While this may not seem large, consider that there were only 213,000 people in Ontario (then Upper Canada) by comparison. By 1851, there were five million animals, and by 1870 livestock products were providing 60 per cent of the agricultural output of Ontario, surpassing wheat.One-third of the animal products were dairy related, such as cheese, and by the 1880s there were three dairy associations in Ontario."Cattle and dairy were central to the agricultural economy," said Stone. The Human FactorHuman populations were growing too. In 1865 there were 660,000 urban residents and 1.3 million living in rural areas. By 1909, that trend turned, with immigration largely responsible for an increase in urban dwellers to 1.24 million, while the rural population dropped to 1.05 million. This meant that farmers needed to not only provide for people in urban areas, but for an export market as well.Livestock were considered the key to prosperity at that time and there was a need for veterinarians to care for them. Thus, a delegation was sent to Edinburgh to recruit 23-year-old Prof. Andrew Smith. He founded Upper Canada College on Temperance Street in Toronto, erected the buildings with his own funds and taught anatomy and disease courses. Prof. George Buckland joined him to teach management and husbandry.The school was successful even though it was accused of having low admission standards and being "not too rigorous." In 1895, a candidate for acceptance needed only to present evidence of a "good common school education." If no certificate was available, an entrance exam was required for reading, writing and spelling – but if a candidate did not pass he could still start the two-year program.In 1908, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture took over the veterinary program, lengthening it from two to three years after high school, and to four by 1918. This was spearheaded by E.A. Grange, who was second principal of the OVC from 1908 to 1918. Moving to Guelph By 1918, with C.D. McGilvray as the third OVC principal, interest grew in moving the college "a day's horse ride away" from Toronto to Guelph, but a new building had just been completed on University Avenue in Toronto. At that time, horses were replacing oxen as beasts of burden, light horses were being replaced by motor vehicles for transportation and cattle numbers were increasing exponentially.The move was met with "weeping and gnashing of teeth," said Stone. In fact, several faculty members refused to move and the University of Toronto resources were left behind. However, by the time of the grand opening in 1922, McGilvray pronounced: "a catastrophe [had] not occurred."Students were told that the close proximity to the Ontario Agricultural College would fulfil the mandate of the veterinary profession to serve not only the health and management of livestock animals, but also public health and food safety.Once in Guelph, courses became hands-on. At farms where Stone Road Mall now stands, students worked with cattle, sheep, swine and horses. Milk hygiene courses also expanded, as well as courses in poultry disease and husbandry.By the 1930s, courses concerning the diseases of fur-bearing animals such as mink and foxes were quickly attracting students. While dogs and cats were always part of the curriculum, they were done almost on the side, said Stone. It wasn't until the 1950s that a small animal clinic was added to the OVC building."Which animals are valued continues to change the veterinary profession," said Stone.Overall, OVC research and extension work provided both a practical and a valuable service to the province in the 1930s, especially in regards to disease research. And by the end of the depression, while Brucellosis testing was still being developed, results were showing that a vaccination program was working.In 1931, a prevalence of nutritional issues was appearing in the journals, such as compensating for phosphorus deficiencies that were associated with a lack of variety of winter-feed. This was research that farmers could directly implement, said Stone, and that became the driving force behind faculty research. Since then, the OVC has been leading the way in animal research and veterinary medicine. A New Book As well, a new book has been released, entitled Milestones: 150 Years of the Ontario Veterinary College includes photos and details from the opening of the first veterinary college in Canada and the United States to today’s OVC. The book will be available for purchase during Alumni Weekend, and later on Amazon.com.Co-authors Lisa Cox, a PhD history candidate, and OVC associate dean Peter Conlon dug through the University archives and interviewed former faculty and donors to find the 150 most interesting stories.“I think the biggest challenge when creating a book like this is to determine the balance between historical and modern,” said Cox. “We’re talking about a school that was so critical to the professionalization of veterinary medicine, so there are many historical achievements. But we also have some great modern successes, so a significant issue is finding ways to integrate both into the book.”The new book contains many more photos than a historical volume published for the college's centennial. Some of Cox’s favourite pictures depict the Canadian Army Veterinary Corps serving Canadian and British troops during the First World War. A total of 309 OVC students, faculty and graduates served in the war, with some dying in battle.“The stories were chosen to try to demonstrate unique aspects of OVC’s history and how that history is interwoven with the history of Ontario and Canada over 150 years,” he said. “I’m proud that we were able to recognize so many people’s contribution to the success of the college and all of veterinary medicine. Some of these people are well-known, but many are not; however, each one has contributed in various ways to create our history. Without every one of them, who knows what OVC would look like today?”
Hens are going to become more feminine. Science applied to feeding of poultry is going to make them that way. Main reason why every chicken farmer will love these hens with the extra feminine touch is that they will produce 20 percent more eggs without added feed cost. But this isn't all – pullets will attain peak egg production three weeks ahead of what is now considered normal. The period of maximum laying is lengthened from 30 to 90 days, according to indications at the end of a full year's experiments. And by stimulation of feminine characteristics in the old hen that has almost ceased to lay at all, she can be restored to within 10 percent of egg production during her pullet year. The poultryman with this magic control of what goes on in his henhouse will be enabled to hold early-hatched birds over periods of better egg prices as profitable laying members of this flock. He can increase the paying productive period of each of his birds from six to eight months – how much longer is not definitely known. The period of moult in his chickens can be shortened to an average of 31 days per bird, instead of 60 to 90-day moult normally experienced, maintaining 60 percent production from the birds even during moulting. Key to the almost unbelievably advantageous state of affairs is a hormone. Scientists have known, of course, that hormones account for manifestations of dominant sex traits. They had proved this, even in chickens, by various laboratory methods, including injections, and to varying degrees of success – or its lack. It was conceded generally to be so costly that use of hormone materials in commercial poultry production would be impossible. Topping more than 35 years' research by other scientists with 12 years' intensive work of his own, an Italian biologist developed feed materials rich in hormones derived from natural sources through special compounding and methods of processing. The discoveries of Professor Antonia Morosoni, formerly assistant to the chief at the Legal Medicinal Institute, University of Palermo, Sicily, were acclaimed widely by various European universities, ministries of agriculture, and numerous scientific organizations. Satisfying preliminary requirements of the United States Department of Agriculture with European tests of his research, Professor Morosini arranged for limited production of his hormone feeds by a feed company at Lakeland, Fla. Since a revolutionary type of feed is basis for such astounding claims for improvements in poultry production, it might be said appropriately that "proof of the pudding is in the eating." That's exactly what commercial flocks at Benton's Poultry Farm, on Route 8, near Tampa, have been doing since June 20, 1949. In tests, under actual commercial poultry farming conditions, that are rounding out a full year this month, practical poultry husbandry has been under the management of Howard C. Benton, Scientific collaborator in tests of the hormone poultry feeds is Dr. C. D. Gordon, former USDA poultry co-ordinator, Washington, D.C., conductor of research in poultry genetics at Auburn University, and recently director for four years at Chinsegut Hill federal experiment station near Brooksville. First test at Benton's farm involved a pen of 100 pullets three weeks old. To establish a control, the pen was replicated by another with an equal number of birds selected on a family basis. Management involving vaccination, housing, sanitation, etc., was identical for each pen. Feed for both pens was of comparable quality, and feeding was in strict accordance with manufacturers' directions. Only difference is that feed for birds in the test pen contained hormones. At five months of age, each individual bird in both pens was checked for weight. Birds on hormone feed test averaged more than eight ounces heavier than birds of the check or control pen. The test birds showed more apparent female characteristics in their development and laid their first egg three weeks ahead of the controls. Eggs produced by hormone-fed birds were consistently heavier than those produced by the other birds even six months after laying started – which was one year after the experiment began. A pen of 100 pedigreed New Hampshires between five and six months old was replicated to establish control for the second test. Six months after the test began; chickens on hormone feed were continuing to lay 20 percent more eggs than the control birds on standard feed. Eggs produced by hormone-fed chickens were larger by 1 to 1 ½ oz. per dozen than eggs laid by the control birds on standard feed. This test is being continued indefinitely to determine how long hormones feed will prove effective and what its ultimate effect will be both on the birds and their productivity. Chickens in a third test were from a group of 26 pedigreed New Hampshires that had been entered in the Florida National Egg Laying Contest at Chipley, Fla. During 50 weeks of the contest, these hens laid 5,721 eggs. But during the last month of the contest they laid only 179 eggs; and by the time they were returned to the farm, egg production was negligible. The hens were put n hormone feed for 30 days. In the next month, November, these hens laid 292 eggs. This is a sharp contrast to normal conditions under which contest hens, commercially worn out and in forced moult due to shock from change and travel, were practically out of production. During January, after being on the hormone feed 90 days, this group of hens laid 357 eggs. Summarising the records involving hens in this test, 26 birds laid an average of 219.2 eggs per bird during 350 days. Following this performance, 21 of the same birds averaged 97.5 eggs each in 180 days. What this means is that hens normally useless and out of production have been able to maintain a 53.9 percent production on hormone feed, although they were seven months older than at the end of the egg-laying contest at Chipley and a year older than at their peak of production reached during the contest. As of May 1, these hens had been laying 18 months. This apparently proves that hormone feeding enables the poultryman to keep old hens – even when they are 27 months old – as profitable producers in the laying flock. Lifetime production of the birds reported in this test is 339.7 eggs per bird average. This is 52.5 percent production – and the poultryman whose flock does that well makes money. This test also is being continued indefinitely. Although Florida investigators wish to make no specific claims at this time, it seems as though knowing how to develop feminine hens places them nearer to solution of the age-old mystery of sex predetermination. European research indicates that chickens fed hormone feeds and selected for families showing high feminine reaction to hormone stimuli can be bred to produce fertile eggs that will hatch up to 80 percent pullets – instead of the normal 48 percent. The theory applied to limited experiments in Florida so far has shown maximum of 60 percent pullets in one hatch, with an average of better than 52 percent. Practical interpretation of this is that some day poultrymen may have a new strain of baby chicks that are feminine to the last feather, because mamma and grandma ate hormone feed; and they'll grow into super egg producers. – "Poultry Digest."
Ontario lost a large number of birds last summer to heat, Harry Huffman, an agricultural engineer who specializes in ventilation, told about 60 broiler producers at a seminar in Holmesville, Ont. sponsored by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food. Southern Ontario had 46 days with temperatures over 30 degrees C, 13 days over 34 degrees and eight days over 35 degrees. While there was little precipitation last summer there were a number of days with very high humidity, which increases the heat stress, he said. “Heat stress is most severe when high temperatures are coupled with high humidity,” he said. Environment Canada has developed a formula that combines the two factors to create a Humidex reading. These readings reflect the comfort level for people. While no Humidex reading has been done for livestock, Huffman said, it’s safe to assume that animals will have somewhat similar degrees of discomfort with heat stress. Humidex comfort levels on the chart are as follows: 29 or lower, no discomfort; 30 to 39, some discomfort; 40 to 45, great discomfort, avoid exertion; above 45, dangerous; and above 54, imminent heat stroke. As long as the humidex is below 54, growers can do a number of things to reduce the severity of heat stress. Above that level, “it is quite likely some bird losses will occur regardless of housing management,” he said. The first thing is not to overcrowd summer flocks. Second, acclimatize the birds to possible heat stress at four weeks of age by allowing the barn temperature to rise for several hours. Research shows that short bouts of heat stress will help the birds survive future heat stress periods. Third, increase the light level in the pen prior to operating large-diameter fans or opening tunnel ventilation doors. This will reduce the fear reaction and subsequent flight from the bright areas. This type of flight reaction has caused piling near the centre of the barn and suffocation. Fourth, exhaust sufficient air in hot weather. Try to keep the barn within two degrees of the outside temperature and aim for a complete air change every minute. Fifth, ensure that the air inlet has sufficient capacity to handle the fresh airflow. There should be at least 1.5 square feet of inlet opening for each 1,000 CFM of fan capacity and some insurance companies insist on two square feet for heat prostration coverage. Sixth, verify proper air intake velocity with a static pressure gauge. In order to have good air movement it is important to have lower static pressure in summer. The usual range for summer, he said, is .03 to .06 inches while in cold weather the range will be .05 to .08 inches static pressure. Seventh, if the static pressure is too high increase the fresh air openings. Ideally, this will be done by increasing the air inlet opening of the addition of more air inlets to enhance the airflow over the birds. Doors can be used, he advised, if they are only opened to the extent necessary to bring the static pressure down to the correct range. Opening too many doors will eliminate the vacuum and airflow will be less than required everywhere except directly in front of the openings. Eighth, make sure the air is moving across the barn at bird level. This air movement is required to remove the heat from the bird as quickly as possible. Moving air at a reasonable speed around the birds’ heads and necks has the potential to reduce the perceived temperature by one to three degrees Celsius. There are a number of ways to increase air movement at bird level, he said. These include: a deflector board for a typical side air inlet; a new double side air inlet system; a second air inlet lower on the side wall; a second air inlet on the opposite side of the barn; tunnel ventilation; tunnel ventilation baffles to increase air speed; and internal air circulation fans. Ninth, make sure the birds get plenty of cool water. Water consumption should double during hot weather. Tenth, slowly walk the birds during periods of heat stress. This promotes air movement and releases the heat trapped under the birds, Huffman said. It also encourages the birds to move to the drinkers and allows you to more closely monitor the birds. However any bird activity generates more body heat and can increase heat stress. Therefore, this walking exercise may be best if done in the morning when it is usually cooler. Eleventh, ensure that the attic is properly insulated and ventilated. Twelve, any colour other than white will absorb significant solar heat. There can be significant attic heat reduction if the roof is painted white. In addition, there are now ceramic paints or coatings available, in a variety of colours that will reduce solar heating. Thirteenth, if possible have the air inlet on the shady side of the building. Fourteenth, talk to your feed company representative and veterinarian about feed withdrawal practices during periods of heat stress. Fifteen, consider some form of evaporative cooling. Adding water vapour to the air is an excellent way to bring down air temperature, he said. Depending on the humidity levels evaporative cooling can reduce air temperatures anywhere from one to six degrees because the water vapour absorbs heat. The impact can be dramatic. For example (referring to the Humidex chart), it can be seen that if one could bring the temperature down from 34 degrees to 30 degrees the Humidex would be in the safe zone even if the humidity rose from 80 to 85 per cent. Even at 90 per cent humidity the Humidex is 45.6 compared with 52 at 80 per cent humidity. In summary, Huffman said there are a number of things that can be done to help your birds survive the heat, but they require planning and may involve some spending. “Therefore, give the various options some thought over the winter and have your improvements in place prior to next summer’s heat wave,” he said.
To determine the cost-benefit of a biosecurity system, one needs to juggle two types of information: facts about the economics associated with the type of production and the costs of implementing a biosecurity system; and estimates of the relative risk and cost of disease. Many relatively inexpensive biosecurity measures may generate substantial benefits. Most are designed to control people access to the farm and to improve sanitation. However, these are dependent on compliance. The challenge is to convince all poultry personnel of the impact of their actions on the risk of breaking with an infectious disease. Education and communication are key factors in determining people’s perception of disease risks and, consequently, their assessment of the potential benefits of a biosecurity system. In high density areas, a regional perspective is essential to the design of a biosecurity system, mainly in the face of an epidemic. Hence, the challenge for today’s poultry industry is to determine the cost-benefit in partnership with regional competitors. Introduction Infectious diseases have always been a limiting factor in commercial poultry production. The scientific community has responded fairly successfully by producing effective vaccines for conditions such as Marek’s disease, hemorrhagic enteritis, Newcastle, infectious bronchitis, etc. However, even when vaccines exist, diseases remain costly; in particular in a global market economy where they can be used as trade barriers. In the United States, the vertical integration of the industry has produced large efficient multi-site complexes designed to enhance productivity and reduce production costs. This model has been very successful economically. However, over the past few years, it has been challenged by emerging and reemerging infectious diseases. For example, several outbreaks of infectious laryngotracheitis and of mycoplasmosis have been reported. Poult enteritis mortality syndrome (PEMS) has had a devastating effect on the turkey industry in the South East United States. Turkey coronavirus enteritis (TCE) is still very much prevalent in the eastern part of North Carolina. In the northeast and the south, many industry people and health officials have expressed concerns over the presence of Avian Influenza in live bird markets. These public health and production concerns need to be addressed. Biosecurity should certainly be the corner- stone of any long-term response to disease aggression. However, given the concentration of farms in certain areas, such concerns cannot be addressed solely by on-farm biosecurity. A regional perspective is needed, and should be part of a biosecurity system. How do you determine the cost-benefit of such a system? This is not an easy question to answer. Preventing the occurrence of a given disease on a given farm cannot be, without a doubt, attributed to a specific set of biosecurity rules. In other words, you do not know for sure whether your biosecurity system is truly effective or whether the flocks on your farm have simply not been at risk. It is also true that the most stringent biosecurity system does not offer an absolute protection against diseases. Rossigneux (1998) suggests that the word biosecurity is indeed misleading because security implies the absence of danger (i.e., infection), which is probably never achieved under field conditions. So, to answer this question, one needs to juggle with two types of information: facts about the economics associated with the type of production and the costs of implementing a biosecurity system; and estimates of the relative risk and cost of disease. The Economics Economic models developed to assess the value of biosecurity systems suggest that prevention of disease in the end is always less expensive than treatment (Morris, 1995). Gifford et al. (1987), working on a model for broiler breeders, confirmed “that expenditure on protective measures can be justified by both the risk of introducing a disease and the magnitude of losses that may occur following infection”. On a broiler breeder farm, the benefit-cost ratio of biosecurity is at least three for a farm considered at a 30% risk of being infected by an agent causing a severe disease. In the case of the most pathogenic conditions, they found that investment in biosecurity was justified even with a 0.01 probability of outbreak. However, the challenge in assessing the cost-benefit of a specific biosecurity measure is to contrast the resulting investment with other potential ventures. For example, adding an automatic gate to limit access to a breeder flock (with automatic recording of visitors and times) may represent a $13,500 investment. These funds could potentially also be used to purchase a piece of equipment that could immediately reduce the number of people required for a specific task, providing an immediate and easily quantifiable return on investment. However, the potential benefits in both cases should be assessed over the projected life of the equipment, considering the magnitude of the savings if this gate contributes to the prevention of a serious disease. In this case, of course, the return would be very high, but so may be the degree of uncertainty that this preventive measure will be effective. Estimating the Risk of Disease Estimating the risk of disease is also partly a subjective exercise. However, substantial evidence has been reported regarding major risks such as: Poor farm location: farm located in high density region (other farms within 2 km of premises); Introduction of birds of unknown origin; Introduction of contaminated material or infected birds; Presence of an infectious disease of interest in a region; Presence of this disease in neighbouring farms; Pest infestation (rodents and/or insects); Poor sanitation; No restrictions or requirements for visitors (i.e., high on-farm traffic, including hired help going from farm to farm); These are common sense hazards that must be considered when estimating the risk of disease transmission. Although self evident, these risks are often ignored in practice. A similar situation exists in human medicine where significant health risk and protective factors are often neglected by patients. In the 1950’s, the United States Public Health Service developed the Health Believe Model to explain such behavior (Rosenstock, 1974). This model proposes that health risk assessment is determined by the individual’s perception of: His level of personal susceptibility to the particular disease; The degree of disability that might result from contracting this condition; The health action’s potential efficacy in preventing or reducing susceptibility or severity; Physical, psychological, financial barriers or costs related to compliance. This model may very well apply to a grower’s perception of risk for his flock. One can also assume that this belief model pertains to the decision-making process of managers of integrated companies, shaping their appreciation of risks and of biosecurity measures. One supportive evidence is the fact that a similar proportion of poultry people comply with biosecurity measures as the general population does for disease prevention strategies designed to help them (Vaillancourt, unpublished data). Table 2 offers an assessment of relative risk and of potential benefits based on the literature and on personal experience (Biosecurity in the poultry industry, 1995; Rossigneux, 1998; Wojcinski, 1993; Chiu, 1988). Of this list of usual suspects, one should consider in particular the following risks: poor employee training; lack of communication; lack of incentives for people associated with the farm; absence of a regional perspective; no auditing, and poor record keeping of the biosecurity system. Cost-benefit Assuming that Table 2 offers a valid assessment, it highlights the fact that many relatively inexpensive biosecurity measures may generate substantial benefits. Most are measures designed to control people access to the farm and to improve sanitation. However, these are dependent on compliance. In high density areas, a regional perspective is essential to the design of a biosecurity system, mainly in the face of an epidemic. Conclusion The cost-benefit assessment of biosecurity measures is determined by people’s perception of the level of risk to which they and their birds are exposed. This will also determine their degree of compliance with biosecurity measures. The challenge is to convince all poultry personnel of the impact of their actions on the risk of breaking with an infectious disease. Education and communication are key factors in determining people’s perception of disease risks and, consequently, their assessment of the potential benefits of a biosecurity system. Facts and Figures Disease: Fowl CholeraType of Production: Commercial turkeysCost: $0.59/bird, $0.02/kgCarpenter, et al. 1988 Disease: Reovirus infectionType of Production: Broiler breedersCost: $6.89/bird Disease: Influenza (nonpathogenic)Type of Production: Egg layers, Pullets, Commercial turkeysCost: $1.67 to $2.94/bird, $5.05/bird, $5.83/bird Disease: Influenza (Highly pathogenic)Type of Production: Chickens$6.06/bird (government expenses only), $19/bird (cost to industry) Disease: Mycoplasma GallisepticumType of Production: Egg layersCost: $1.72/birdJohnson, 1983 Disease: Coronavirus infectionType of Production: Commercial turkeysCost: $0.05/kgRives, and Crumpler 1998 The estimated cost to the industry of the 1983-1984 Influenza outbreak in Pennsylvania based on the reported cost ($329 million in 2000 US dollars) published in a state extension document. Procedures and Benefits Partial list of biosecurity procedures and their relative cost independently of potential benefits ($$$ = very expensive; $$ = expensive; $ = inexpensive; ¢ = virtually no cost) and potential benefits (+++ = High; ++ = moderate; + = minimal) Isolation (distance) from other farms and feedmill, slaughter plant, etc. $$$; +++; difficult to control over time. Disposal of used litter away from all farms: $$; +++; difficult in high density regions. Serologic monitoring: $$; +++; essential for regional level and farm level. All-in, all-out production: $$; +++. Introduction of new birds of known health status only:$; +++ Fence around premises: $$$;++ Gate at entrance of farm:$$; +++ Cost depends on quality; potential benefit dependents on compliance. Sign advising to stay off farm if no authorization to enter:¢;+. Parking area away from poultry barns: ¢; ++. Requirements before a vehicle can enter:¢; +++. Wash station for vehicles: $$; +++. Use of locks for each poultry house: ¢; +++. Dead bird disposal on farm: $$; +++. Composting litter before removal: $; +++. Removing litter after each flock: $$; +++ Downtime between flocks of at least 2 weeks: $; +++; can be expensive if much longer than 2 weeks but substantial benefits. Pest control (rodents and insects):$; +++. Access restricted if visitors have been in contact with poultry: ¢; ++. Shower in, shower out facilities: $$$; +++. Coveralls provided by farm or requirement to wear clean coveralls: $; +++. Clean rubber boots for all people on farm: $; +++. Plastic boots for visitors: ¢; ++. Changing clothing for employees leaving and returning to the farm on the same day: ¢; +++. Auditing biosecurity rules: $; +++; compliance is critical for a biosecurity system.
The University of Alberta rewards excellence in teaching by individuals and groups. In the early fall of 2000 the seven person teaching team at the Alberta Poultry Research Centre received the award. This was the first time that the award has celebrated excellence in teaching at the group level. To qualify, the teaching unit must have been in existence for at least three years. It may work at the graduate or undergraduate level and may include some or all members of a faculty, school, department or division, or may be an interdisciplinary team. Students taught by such a teaching unit must be able to identify results that they were taught by a group of instructors and not just a series of individuals. The University of Alberta’s poultry group is made up of Dr. Gaylene Fasenko, Dr. John Feddes, Dr. Douglas Korver, Dr. Lynn McMullen, Dr. Robert Renema, Dr. Frank Robinson and Martin Zuidhof. To reflect their involvement with poultry, they are often referred to as the “Coop of Seven”. Dr. Fasenko is a Research Associate, Avian Incubation and Embryology; Dr. Feddes is Professor, Animal Housing and Welfare; Dr. Korver is Assistant Professor, Poultry Nutrition; Dr. Renema a Research Associate, Avian Reproduction and Metabolism; Dr. McMullen is Assis-tant Professor, Food Microbiology; Dr. Robinson is Professor, Avian Physiology and Production; and Martin Zuidhof is the Poultry Specialist with Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, who is working towards his PhD on bio-economic computer modelling of the broiler chicken supply chain. Details about the courses they teach, complete with colour graphics can be downloaded from the website: www.agric.gov.ab. ca/aprc/award.pdf. In early 2000, the University of Alberta’s Student’s Union recognized three faculty members for their undergraduate teaching and mentorship skills. Two of the three—Professor Frank Robinson and Assistant Professor Doug Korver—were from the Poultry Group, which Dr. Ian Morrison, the Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture, Forestry, and Home Economics described as, “A group of enthusiastic, committed and innovative educators who I take great pleasure in nominating for the ‘Teaching Unit Award’.” The Coop of Seven’s award nomination also included letters of support from the provincial Department of Agriculture, Food And Rural Development, graduate and undergraduate students. It also listed the awards and certificates of excellence earned by those who had completed the Poultry Group’s courses. Those letters of support included phrases such as, “awesome course,” “the highlight of my university career,” “unbelievable assistance,” “unprecedented enthusiasm,” “impressive team... committed faculty,” and “the entire Poultry Group is without peer.” The Unit Teaching Award carries with it a monetary prize of $3,500. It is indicative of the broad support that the Poultry Group has earned over the years that this amount has been matched twice–by Alberta’s poultry industry (the chicken, egg, hatching egg and turkey producer associations) and by the Depart-ment of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science at the University of Alberta. The Poultry Group has announced that these funds will be used to enhance their creative teaching efforts in the poultry area.
“What I’m doing is just from a farmer’s point of view, using trial and error. I want to improve my bottom line and I found that adding whole wheat to complete feed did that,” John Bartel told me. He added, “As one nutritionist in Germany told me, ‘We sometimes do not know why some things work … but one thing for sure the farmers here in Germany and Holland have proven to us that it does work’.” Later, Bartel said that he’d found that he shouldn’t fluctuate the wheat percentage up and down. “Don’t jump around unless you have a good reason.” John Bartel was a dairy producer in the Chilliwack, B.C. area for 23 years until he sold out seven years ago. He now holds a 42,000 roaster quota, although he also manages a 1,600 head, free range, white veal calf operation. When his transitional quota is added in, it means he grows around 50,000 birds per cycle on average. To date his experience with feeding whole wheat has produced results better than he originally expected. About three years back Bartel came across references to the addition of whole wheat to chicken rations in an effort to improve bottom line results. He found some references to the practice on the Internet and also talked to some Alberta chicken producers who had been using the strategy for a couple of years. One source was an article by Carlyle Bennett, a poultry specialist with the Department of Animal and Poultry Science, University of Saskatchewan, now with the Manitoba Department of Agriculture. Some information from his most recent report and his contact information is shown at the end of this article. Then, while accompanying his daughter on a school trip to Europe, he spent a free day visiting farms. One of them had been using wheat added to complete broiler feed for some time with excellent results. Bartel reported that some European processors pay a premium for birds that were not over-fat and that the addition of whole wheat to the ration helped meet that goal. Fast Growth, But More Flips “The genetics of modern birds produces fast growth but a higher rate of ‘flips’,” Bartel said. “But I was told that restricted feeding reduced mortality by 1% as well as reducing feed wastage, which improves the feed conversion.” He said that he started using wheat quite tentatively, starting with 6% on day 10, increasing by one-half percent per day to a maximum of 20%, continued right through to marketing. He’s used various different programs since then, even starting the flock with wheat at five days—which didn’t seem to provide much benefit for him. He has increased the percentage of wheat by as much as 1% per day, but this is dependent upon the quality of the broiler ration. When the percentage of additional wheat reached the 45 to 50% level he found that the feed conversion suffered, providing no net benefit. With a mixed roaster flock the pullets are shipped first and the males later. He was advised to cut the wheat off early because of the stress caused by loading the pullets. However, he now feeds the wheat straight through without any adverse affect on his contamination rate. “I’ve found that I get the best results by starting the flock at 10% additional wheat at 10 days of age, increasing this slowly up to a maximum of 35% wheat and continuing at that level straight through to slaughter.” However Bartel cautioned, “But I must stress that this is what I’ve found suits me based on my trial and error process. If anybody else intends to try adding whole wheat to their chicken ration they would be well advised to start at a more tentative level and build up their own experience before using the higher rates.” In Case Of Health Problems I asked Bartel if he has a pre-planned strategy ready for use if his flock encounters a health problem—such as enteritis. He replied that he monitors his flock closely and although he’s never found it necessary, he is always prepared to back off from the addition of wheat by 20% immediately. He said that he’s found that the addition of wheat to his ration has actually reduced his wet litter problem significantly. “I haven’t encountered an enteritis or cocci problem during the 2-1/2 years that I’ve been adding whole wheat to the complete roaster or broiler ration.” Flock health has improved during his trial of the addition of wheat to his chicken ration, “You know the difference when you walk in to the barn,” he said. With condemnations Bartel said it is hard to tell because they fluctuate throughout the year. “My condemnation rate with roasters had been around 3-1/2%, but now it runs consistently below 3% and overall results fluctuate less from flock to flock. The condemnation rate with my broiler flocks has ranged from a low of 0.69% to a high of 1.47%.” Bartel admits that growth rate slows when wheat is first added, “But their legs are stronger, mortality is lower and the growth rate catches up after about two weeks.” He added that the flock’s feed conversion may be slightly poorer, but is more than offset by the lower overall feed cost. “The odd flock seems to be a day behind in weight, but when the feed conversion stays about the same, what is one day? And the litter is so much drier.” He provided results from three recent flocks. The females were shipped at from 38 to 43 days, weighing from 1.88 to 2.20 kg. with plant condemneds from 0.87 to 1.65%. The males from these flocks were shipped at from 52 to 61 days, weighing 3.12 to 3.84 kilograms. Condemnations varied from 1.95 to 2.98 %. Included in this figure was from 0.39 to 1.35% attributed to ascites and from 0.29 to 0.92% due to cellulitis. Leg deformities range from 0.08 to 0.65% (with the 61 day old flock). Overall flock mortality ranged from a low of 4.39 to a high of 6.27% in the roaster flocks and between 3.5% to 5.5% with broiler flocks. The Mechanics Bartel adds his wheat using a computer controlled, in-line weigh scale supplied by Fancom. The Fancom FWBU.e computer can be programmed to start adding a specific percentage of whole wheat to the complete feed on a specific day and to increase that percentage at a specific rate per day. Both complete feed and whole wheat fall in to the Chore-Time auger feeder hopper simultaneously. No special mixing paddles are required to provide a good mix. Each floor of Bartel’s 400’ x 40’ double deck barn is equipped with 13 Shenandoah natural gas brooders per floor. Each has two lines off Chore-Time feeders and four lines of Chore-Time nipple waterers. One waterer line is equipped with ordinary nipples, the other three lines with button nipple drinkers. Lights are controlled by a Fancom dusk to dawn dimmer. The Fancom computers control fans, heat, the vent openings as well as the feeding system. Of course, using both complete feed and whole wheat, he has two feed bins, a 32 ton bin for the complete feed and the 16 ton bin for the wheat. Aside from the cost of the extra bin and supply auger, Canada Poultryman understands that the cost of computer control and galvanized in-line weigh scale is under $8,000. Bartel summarized, “Results have been beyond expectations and investment pay-back has been much quicker than the two years I expected.” Research Carlyle D. Bennett, Poultry Specialist, Manitoba Animal Industry Branch presented research findings about the use of whole grain and high grain diets with broilers, leghorns and turkeys at the 1998 Poultry Service Industry Workshop at Banff in mid-1998. That talk re-inforced John Bartel’s recommendation of caution when trying wheat addition strategies. Bennett reported that in the UK and The Nether-lands, broiler rations have been diluted with up to 20% whole wheat. He said that the digestion of whole wheat requires a larger, more muscular gizzard, which can only be deve-loped over time–possibly as much as six weeks for optimum development. In the interim, some loss in performance occurs until the gizzard does develop. The question is: does the early slaughter of broilers provide sufficient time for the bird to develop the larger gizzard and gain back the lost performance. Bennett states in his article: “…broilers should not be fed over 30% whole grain.” However, Bennett’s summary states that University of Saskatchewan trials show statistically significant reductions in leg and skeletal problems in one broiler trial and one tom turkey trial. In those trials, early growth rates were slowed and the most noticeable benefit was fewer valgus varus leg deformities. Some references to other research into the use of whole grains provided by Bennett included a report by Forbes and Covasa of Leeds University (UK) (World’s Poultry Science Journal, Vol. 51. July 1995). This report indicated that high fibre diets reduced the incidence of coccidiosis. However, they were unable to demonstrate why a muscular, active gizzard was able to reduce the incidence of oocysts. Carlyle Bennett has advised that he is prepared to send this 16 page article by “pdf” file attached to an e-mail message to those who request it. A “pdf” file requires you to have Adobe Acrobat Reader–a freely available program from Adobe’s website. Alternatively, he’ll mail you a copy. Contact Carlyle Bennett at: Manitoba Dept. of Agriculture, Animal Industry Branch, Agric. Services Complex, 204-545 University Cresc., Winnipeg, MB R3T 5S6, Phone: (204) 945-0381, Fax: (204) 945-4327, E-mail: CBennett@agr. gov.mb.ca John Bartel alongside his computer controls in his barn. His home computer is also able to monitor barn operations by modem. The galvanized, in-line Fancom weigh scale is fed by augers from his broiler ration and whole wheat bins. Specific percentages of wheat and complete feed are dropped into the supply hopper below and automatically mix as they are augered away to the feed lines. John’s seven year old doubledecker broiler barn, with two bins alongside for wheat and complete feed.
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