Utilizing vaccines to reduce antimicrobial use

Utilizing vaccines to reduce antimicrobial use

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

Nesting in enriched cages

Nesting in enriched cages

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

Maximizing broiler performance

Maximizing broiler performance

Reaching genetic potential through best management practices.

Cyberbullying by vegan activists is a growing source of stress for farmers and agricultural producers who already face significant mental health challenges linked to the job, a farmer and a psychologist working in the agriculture sector say.
For last year’s Who’s Who issue, we tried something new. We sought nominations for people to be profiled based on a theme – rising poultry stars.
Two biosecurity advisories remain in effect.
Disease found in small backyard flock.
An ILT Disease Biosecurity Advisory Area has been established for a 10 km area east of Simcoe in Norfolk County.
Biosecurity Advisory put in place.
Two disease updates from Quebec.
Lawmakers are calling on the federal government to better support farmers who they say are especially vulnerable to mental-health issues like stress, depression and suicidal thoughts.
I’ve written before about a growing frustration within the industry. Increasingly, global food companies are coming out with their own welfare programs for poultry and egg sectors. Many of them include their own unique commitments suppliers must adhere to. Adding to this frustration, some of these pledges appear to be driven not by evidence but by pressure activists put on brands.
Early mortality in a flock can have several causes or contributing factors. One of the most common reasons is a bacterial infection of the navel (omphalitis) or yolk sac. In this article, I discuss omphalitis and other factors that can impact early mortality rates and overall chick quality.
It’s one of the most significant immunosuppressive diseases in the Canadian chicken industry. Infectious bursal disease (IBD), also known as Gumboro disease, is caused by a very highly contagious and immunosuppressive virus (family Birnaviridae) in chickens.
The first time American egg farmer John Brunnquell walked into a cage-free barn everything he thought he knew about hen welfare was called into question. It was the early 1990s, and Brunnquell could recite the benefits of caged production by heart: Birds don’t walk around in their own manure, cages protect them from predators and they can be quickly fed if they get sick, he said.
Sponsored by USPOULTRY, hatchery and breeder professionals recently gathered in Nashville, Tenn., for a two-day clinic covering a variety of topics focused on best practices in hatchery and breeder management.
Note: Pest management expert Alice Sinia is our guest columnist for tihs question, stepping in to answer a question submited to our Ask the Vet team.Q. We could really use some advice on eradicating mites from our flock, or at the very least, controlling them over the long term. We have used been using sulphur powder (dusted and ingested), Eprinex/Ivermectin as a spot-on, as well as regularly spraying the housing with pyrethrins. We have switched from litter to sand as well. However, though the mites do seem to disappear for a month or so, they always come back. We have had more than 10 per cent losses in the flock due to anemia caused by this problem over the last year, as well as increased diarrhea and respiratory illness this winter, which we think is due to a decrease in the birds' immune function because of the stress and anemia caused by the mites. We have seen evidence of northern fowl mites, red mites, and possibly feather lice. What is the recommended treatment in free-range barns for this terrible problem?A. Controlling bird mites and other poultry parasites can be very challenging, and you need an integrated approach. Focus treating the facility and on treating the birds with the following steps:Treatment: If mites are detected, it is important that treatment be performed right away, as mite populations can establish and grow quickly. Start by emptying the holding or rearing room and working with a pest management provider to treat the area with a residual insecticide. Be sure to focus on cracks and crevices, cages, baseboards and resting poles, as these are sites were mites commonly hide. Next, treat the affected birds directly with dust or approved insecticide product. Consult your pest management provider before treatment and follow product labels exactly. Mites can be hidden or concealed in the bird’s feathers. So, be thorough when applying the treatment to ensure it penetrates these areas for maximum effectiveness. Overall, it is best to use a combination of liquid application, dust and ingested medication. These should all be coordinated in a timely and consistent manner for maximum efficiency. Contact a veterinarian to coordinate ingested medication as well. Ongoing Control: Often times, mites can hide in the bird’s feathers, so start by thoroughly inspecting all birds that come into your facility. Practice good, consistent sanitation. Remember, if there is no mite activity during the growing season, there will be no population growth later on. So, it’s best practice to have a preventive strategy in plan for treating potential harbourage sites. In most cases, wild birds are the source of mite infestations and re-infestation. So, establish an ongoing bird control program to control nuisance populations.
Sustainability is a subject that is on everybody’s lips today. The poultry industry is making many efforts to tackle this issue and comes up with various solutions concerning energy saving, CO2 footprint, food safety, traceability and water use. For responsible water use, Marel Poultry offers solid practical solutions. One clear example of this is the Mazzraty poultry processing plant in Qatar, equipped with a well thought-out water management system.Chicken production has a naturally low carbon footprint and requires a limited amount of resources, such as fertilizer, land and water. Using 2,000 liters of water to produce 1 kilo of chicken meat, poultry production needs a fairly modest amount of water. Just to compare, 1 kilo of chocolate uses 17,000 liters of water.Water isn't lostHowever, water use doesn’t mean that this water is lost. Recycling options are available to treat the water and make it fit for renewed use. The poultry industry has elaborated solutions for this. Mazzraty in Qatar called in the help of Marel Water Treatment to set up today’s most modern water treatment installation. This poultry facility is located in the desert, where nothing grows, so Mazzraty is highly aware of the importance of clean water in these circumstances.TreatmentWater Treatment starts already in the poultry processing plant. All water used for transport, for cleaning and for the various stages of processing, is collected and drained to the waste water treatment facilities. In the first phase, the physical pretreatment takes out fat material and larger coarse parts. After that, the biological process in a big basin decomposes the pollution and converts it to biological sludge and purified water.IrrigationIn the direct surroundings of Mazzraty’s poultry processing plant, four large green circles in the middle of the yellow sand plain catch the eye. This is irrigated land, made fertile with the help of Mazzraty’s treated water. Besides being used for truck washing, the purified water is excellently fit for artificial irrigation of areas that are otherwise dry land. Mazzraty manages to drive four center pivot systems with this recycled water to irrigate four quarter sections (each 800 x 800m). The company grows mainly grass, which they can use in their feed mills.Lowest impactMazzraty’s facility has been designed to not waste or leave behind residual material and all activities aim at causing the lowest possible impact on the environment. The reuse of cleaned waste water from the factory as irrigation water is part of Mazzraty’s bigger environmental plan, which also involves a reduced CO2 emission and production of their own chicken feed. In this way, Mazzraty demonstrates one of the most sustainable ways of working in the poultry industry.
It’s been many years since heat exchangers arrived on the poultry industry scene. As with countless technologies, designs of new models are greatly improved over those of the past. Heat exchangers have become much easier to both clean and install, and in terms of efficiency, some manufacturers claim that current systems cut barn heating bills in half. The higher indoor temperatures of broiler operations make them more worthwhile than egg producers.
The phrase ‘energy efficiency’ in a poultry industry context likely brings to mind shining rows of LED lights. It’s true that an increasingly large number of Canadian poultry farms have LEDs now.
After a long winter across Canada, summer and higher temperatures are approaching. That means it’s important to be prepared for the heat and the impact this could have on your birds.
What is the recommended dose of fenbendazole for an individual animal, based on its weight? How much fenbendazole will it take to treat a specific number of animals? Which Safe-Guard or Panacur formulation is the most appropriate and cost effective option in a particular instance?The answers to these and other questions are just a few clicks away with Merck Animal Health’s new Safe-Guard mobile application.This one-of-a-kind tool makes it easy for veterinarians and producers to quickly calculate the volume and amount of fenbendazole required based on the number of animals to be treated, the animal’s weight, and the selected formulation of Safe-Guard, Panacur or Panacur Aquasol.The Safe-Guard mobile application also includes an optional cost comparison feature to help users select the most cost-effective formulation and presentation of fenbendazole to meet their specific needs.Other features include in-app access to product labels for all formulations of Safe-Guard, Panacur and Panacur Aquasol, as well as selected studies and a resource section containing helpful information and articles.“Merck Animal Health has always been committed to providing veterinarians and producers with value-added products and services that promote the well-being of animals and help increase productivity and efficiency,” said Douglas Wong, product manager, farm animal business unit, in a press release.“Our goal in developing the Safe-Guard mobile application was to create an easy-to-use, practical calculator and resource tool that helps save time and money by taking the guesswork out of fenbendazole administration.”The Safe-Guard mobile application can be used to calculate fenbendazole dosages, quantities and costs for four different species: cattle, swine, horses and poultry.The Safe-Guard mobile application for both iOS and Android is now available for download on the Apple Store and Google Play.
Depending on where you are in the world, consumer preferences will dictate desired egg colour and egg size; however, good quality eggs should always be free from internal blemishes such as blood spots, pigment spots, and meat spots. Researchers examine dozens of traits that are linked to egg quality.
Al Dam, poultry specialist at the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, says that in 2018, he had more inquiries about darkling beetle infestations than he’s had in a long time.
Cockroaches, ants, birds, ground beetles and rodents are exactly the kinds of visitors you do not want to stop by unannounced. Poultry facilities often have an abundant supply of food, water and shelter – the three resources pests need to survive. And any tiny cracks, gaps around utilities or tears in window screens could let pests in to your workplace.
It’s an approach that’s time-honoured and still holds significant value in pest control: a multi-pronged strategy is a very effective way to manage serious pests like mites, flies and more in the barn. Are there new products and strategies, however, to add to the tool kit, and what threats are of most concern right now in Canada? We contacted several experts to get their views.
When Andre van Kammen of Cedar Acres Farm in Chilliwack, B.C., decided to build a new barn for his newly-acquired chicken quota (from his in-laws), he thought outside the box – or, in his case, outside the tunnel.
Kevin Alger has been promoted to Sales Manager for Chore-Time for the United States and Canada, according to Jeff Miller, Vice President and General Manager for the CTB, Inc. business unit. In his new role, Alger will be responsible for leading Chore-Time’s sales and technical service teams that are dedicated to the poultry and egg industries. He will also support and direct the ongoing development of Chore-Time’s independent distributor network in the region.Prior to joining Chore-Time, Alger worked in sales support and sales management for Shenandoah Manufacturing, Harrisonburg, Virginia. He joined Chore-Time as a District Sales Manager in 2002 when CTB acquired Shenandoah. Most recently, Alger was a Regional Sales Manager for Chore-Time, serving customers in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic states and Canada. He has been recognized with Chore-Time’s “Salesman of the Year” award twice.Alger earned his bachelor’s degree from Ferrum College in Ferrum, Virginia. Prior to entering the poultry industry, Alger was a professional baseball player in the Philadelphia Phillies organization. A native of Harrisonburg, Alger resides in Staunton, Virginia.
Dairy to poultry, peppers to cannabis, sales to farm management and law school – and back to sales. This is only part of the diverse career path of Jack and Christine Greydanus of Greyda Plains Poultry near Sarnia, Ont.
April Sexsmith has served as general manager at Egg Farmers of New Brunswick for close to 30 years. Before that, she worked on several other marketing boards in a mix of supply managed industries and non-supply managed sectors.
Alberta egg farmer Paul Wurz has been working with his longest standing client for nearly 50 years, which is as long as he’s been a producer. In a highly competitive market where a business’ bottom line is often its top priority, keeping a client that long says a lot about Wurz.
Long-time livestock industry leader Mike McMorris will be the new CEO of Livestock Research Innovation Corporation (LRIC). McMorris, most recently General Manager of AgSights, assumes the position on September 1.“Mike’s background in agricultural research, extension, and management has allowed him to build a solid understanding of agriculture, as well as develop a vast network of working relationships,” says LRIC chair Oliver Haan. “He’s had a keen interest in LRIC since its inception and the lifelong passion that he has for this industry will help our organization both ensure value for our members and drive innovation through the value chain.”McMorris began his career in extension and management with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) before joining Ontario Cattlemen’s Association (now Beef Farmers of Ontario) as Executive Director.He subsequently served as Director of Operations with Agricorp, and became General Manager of BIO (now AgSights), a producer cooperative dedicated to bringing information management to livestock industries in Canada and internationally, in 2008. He holds a Masters’ degree in Animal Science, Breeding and Genetics from the University of Guelph.LRIC was established in 2012 under the leadership of outgoing CEO Tim Nelson with support from Ontario’s beef, pork, dairy and poultry commodity organizations and OMAFRA to provide leadership in research priority setting, coordination and process. The next years will see LRIC continue that work, as well as a greater focus on fostering innovation, and getting research results into practice on Ontario farms.“The board thanks Tim for his leadership in building LRIC into the successful organization that it is today. Tim’s vision, passion and ability to make positive working relationships have been instrumental to LRIC’s success to date and we wish him all the best as he continues to create his future,” adds Haan.
Steve Walcott, vice president of egg production sales for Big Dutchman North America, recently announced the addition of J. Dean Williamson Ltd. as a new authorized layer equipment dealer for Canada.Located in London, Ont., Williamson will primarily focus on selling Big Dutchman rearing, enriched colony and cage-free systems for laying hens.“Well positioned as the premier poultry industry equipment provider in Canada, J. Dean Williamson Ltd.’s reputation both in terms of product selection and service were key in our decision to team up with them to sell our layer housing equipment,” Walcott says. “The good folks at J. Dean Williamson continuously strive to be the service and support supplier of choice for poultry farmers,” he continued. “We are excited to have them represent us to the Canadian market, their business model is a perfect match to what Big Dutchman expects in an equipment dealer.”“Our team is looking forward to offering Big Dutchman’s industry-leading layer housing systems. Their solutions are high quality which matches our other product lines, and they offer an extremely unique advantage with the dedicated support of aviary specialists – a huge selling point. This is the type of partnership we’ve been dreaming of,” JD Williamson stated.Canadian egg producers can contact J. Dean Williamson Ltd. for sales, service and parts needs beginning immediately at 519-657-5231 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
Siemens Farms is an egg farming operation based in Manitoba.
It’s hard to know where to begin to describe a man like Scott Gillingham. His co-worker at Aviagen for 18 years, Frank Dougherty, puts it best. “If I named all the qualities Scott brings to the table I would have writers’ cramp.”
Tim Hortons is testing a fake omelette — made with mung bean protein isolate — in two regions in southern Ontario.If it's a hit, the product will join the Beyond Meat plant-based burger and breakfast sausage already on the menu at Tim Hortons and A&Ws across Canada.The fast food chains are meeting a growing demand for plant-based proteins from Canadians who've cut out or cut back their meat consumption, often for health reasons.But it's questionable what nutritional value customers will get from plant-based meals prepared at a fast food chain.For the full story, click here.
Sacit “Sarge” Bilgili, interim department head of Auburn University’s Department of Poultry Science, was recently recognized with the 2019 Poultry Science Association Distinguished Poultry Industry Career Award, sponsored by U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY). The award was presented during the annual Poultry Science Association meeting in Montréal, Canada, by Larry Brown, retired USPOULTRY vice president of education.The Distinguished Career Award recognizes distinctive, outstanding contributions by an industry leader. In addition to sponsoring the award, USPOULTRY also makes an annual contribution to the Poultry Science Association Foundation on behalf of the award recipient.“USPOULTRY is pleased to honor industry leaders exemplified by Dr. Sarge Bilgili. He is widely recognized for his many years of work and contribution to poultry welfare within the industry, with his scholarly work uniquely bridging the live production and processing phases of the broiler industry,” said John Starkey, president of USPOULTRY.“Dr. Bilgili has also been personally involved with USPOULTRY,” Starkey continued. “For many years he was advisor to our Poultry Processor Committee and was often a speaker on the Poultry Processor Workshop program. We have also recognized him for his outstanding research work. It is this service and dedication that has helped make the poultry industry one of the most proficient and productive segments of modern animal agriculture.”Bilgili received his DVM from Ankara University in Turkey, his MS from Oregon State University and Ph.D. from Auburn University. He joined the Department of Poultry Science at Auburn University in 1985 as an assistant professor and extension poultry processing specialist, later attaining the ranks of associate professor (1991) and professor (1996). Bilgili retired as professor emeritus in 2015 and recently came out of retirement to serve as interim department head of Auburn University’s Department of Poultry Science.Bilgili is widely known in the poultry industry for past leadership roles, including serving as vice president of the World’s Poultry Science Association and president of the Poultry Science Association. He was named a fellow of the Poultry Science Association in 2011 and was presented with the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association Charles Beard Research Excellence Award in 2015.
Egg Farmers of Canada (EFC) announced a new partnership with McDonald’s Canada today.It begins with the launch of the Egg Quality Assurance (EQA) certification mark on McDonald’s advertisements this summer for the freshly-cracked Canada Grade A large egg in their limited-time Egg BLT McMuffin sandwich.The McDonald’s advertisements will be the first time that most Canadians see the new EQA certification mark, with it appearing on television, print and digital channels from today until the beginning of September.“The EQA program is the culmination of decades of work building world-class standards in the Canadian egg industry,” says Roger Pelissero, third generation egg farmer and EFC's chair. “Those standards are upheld through our national programs that include inspections and third-party audits. We are pleased that McDonald’s Canada is displaying our EQA mark on their McMuffin sandwiches, showcasing their pride in Canadian eggs and the farmers that produce them.”“We are committed to industry leading certification, and working with other leaders is at the core of our sourcing strategy,” says Rob Dick, supply chain officer, McDonald’s Canada. “Our goal is to benefit Canadian consumers and food producers, and working with the Egg Farmers of Canada accomplishes exactly that.”All EQA certified eggs have met the highest standards of Egg Farmers of Canada’s national Start Clean-Stay Clean and Animal Care Programs.
If there were an award for operational diversity, Fraser Valley Specialty Poultry (FVSP) near Chilliwack, B.C., would be a top contender – if not the winner.
Canadian farmers are cultivating some sustainable farming techniques that the United Nations' latest climate change report identified as particularly useful for an industry it concluded must make drastic changes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a report last week warning that global food supplies are at risk from climate change and land degradation.One major conclusion was that the agricultural sector needs to rethink traditional practices, including producing less meat and more plants – which require less room to grow and produce fewer emissions – otherwise Canada will not be spared from the global impacts of food shortages and price shocks if temperatures continue to rise.Along with setting out the potentially dire consequences of inaction, the report also outlined some of the techniques that could both reduce emissions and reverse the trend.One of the most decisively helpful options was to increase the organic content in soil, by using the land to capture carbon – a practice an increasing number of Canadian farmers employ using a variety of techniques.Crop farmers have been working to capture carbon, which helps not just on the climate front but also for the sustainability and resilience of the soil, said David Burton, a professor in Dalhousie University's department of plant, food and environmental sciences.''It's a rare example of one of the mitigation options that has really, really big positive advantages beyond greenhouse gas mitigation.''Decades of intensity farming have started to push down the organic matter in soil that helps keep it healthy and fertile and prevents erosion, he noted.''We're realizing we can't just push this thing to the max all the time, we're going to have to start thinking about the condition of the soil.''A key technique for farmers is to no longer till the soil, so the organic matter isn't disturbed and can properly break down.''That's how soil organic matter forms, by leaving it alone,'' said Burton.No-tillage seeding has grown significantly in the past two decades, from use in less than seven per cent of cropland in 1991 to 56 per cent in 2011.Manitoba farmer Wes Pankratz started using no-till many years ago and hasn't looked back, though he said at the time there was a lot of skepticism about it.He's now trying to adopt some regenerative techniques that capture more carbon in the soil, such as growing a non-cash crop simply to add organic matter to the soil.Farmers using the technique often plant the non-cash crop after the fall harvest, but Pankratz said that a shorter growing season has led him to plant his in the spring, in amongst his wheat crop, hoping it will continue to grow after the harvest.''If you can build up the soil organic matter, your soil will be healthier, you can maybe grow a reasonable crop with a lot less inputs, which is good for the bank account as well as the environment.''Pankratz said it's still early days for him, but hopes he can make it work.''When zero-till first came in, it just almost seemed impossible, and now we're getting into regenerative agriculture and hopefully we'll get that figured out too.''The UN report and others have targeted cattle production for its methane emissions, but Canadian farmers are finding ways to use regenerative practices to help the grazing grounds capture more carbon to help offset greenhouse gas emissions from that sector.Blain Hjertaas, a livestock farmer in southeastern Saskatchewan, was an early adopter after he decided conventional farming techniques weren't sustainable.''Agriculture is basically destroying our planet the way we're approaching the system,'' he said.Hjertaas uses a practice that involves letting the cattle forage in a controlled area, then moving the herd to another area every day. It allows the cattle to spread fertilizer and stimulate growth in the prairie grasses, which are then left to re-grow for two to three months until they approach waist height.''The principle is: keep it green as long as possible, so we always want tall grass,'' said Hjertaas.The scientific community is still debating the benefits of regenerative cattle farming. But Hjertaas said his techniques have him capturing more carbon than the animals produce.''It's not the cattle, it's our management that's the problem. To concentrate them all into a huge feedlot, that's an ecological disaster.''Hjertaas said farmers tend to be traditional and slow to change, but financial incentives could go a long way to making the switch and overcome cost and uptake challenges.''I'm all for a carbon tax, we need to tax bad behaviour. But what's missing is we need to reward the good behaviour.''
Women who swap steak for chicken may have a reduced risk of developing breast cancer, according to a new study.
Canadian agri-tech developer Transport Genie Ltd. has teamed up with the Canadian Animal Health Coalition (CAHC) in a national research collaboration supported by the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) AgriAssurance Program that will assure the health and welfare of livestock during transport.
Hamlet Protein presented new research findings at the Poultry Science Association's annual meeting, held last week in Montreal.The presentation, entitled “Effect of an enzyme-treated soy protein on the performance of broiler chickens infected or uninfected with Clostridium perfringens”, was delivered by the company's global poultry segment manager Alfred Blanch.The feeding trial, carried out at Southern Poultry Feed and Research in Georgia with Greg Mathis and Brett Lumpkins, concluded that dietary protein makes a big difference when it comes to enteric disorders.The addition of enzyme treated soy protein (ESP) in starter diets, with a very low content of soy anti-nutritional factors, with or without antibiotic growth promoters, equals the weight of the birds infected with Clostridium perfringens and their FCR to that of uninfected chickens.“The dietary protein quality counts a lot if necrotic Clostridium perfringens confronts your flock”, says Alfred Blanch, Global Poultry Segment Manager at Hamlet Protein.The basal diet composition and, particularly, the dietary protein, plays a crucial role in the genesis of necrotic enteritis.In this sense, the reduction of soy anti-nutritional factors in starter diets for broiler chickens may be a good strategy to palliate the performance impairment due to mild necrotic enteritis outbreaks.Thus, the addition of an enzymatically treated soybean meal (ESBM) in the starter diet, with or without antibiotic growth promoters, equals the performance of Clostridium perfringens-infected broiler chickens to that of uninfected chickens.In other words, ESBM supplementation in starter diets will result in performance improvements in birds with necrotic enteritis, regardless of the use of antibiotic growth promoters.“With or without antibiotics, dietary protein makes a big difference when it comes to enteric disorders. The inclusion of [ESBM], with a very low content of ANFs in starter feed may be a suitable tool to maintain the performance of the birds when it comes to coccidia vaccine and/or ABF broiler production systems,” concludes Blanch.
Chicken purchasers cite more positive attributes than purchasers of beef, pork, fish and plant-based meat proteins, according to new research presented today at the 2019 Chicken Marketing Summit.The National Chicken Council (NCC) and WATT Global Media presented the results of a study that explored the drivers for grocery purchases of chicken compared to other meat and plant-based proteins. IRI provided supporting data from its retail databases. The study was commissioned by the NCC and conducted online by IRI July 1-10, 2019, among 780 adults. Funding was provided by Elanco, WATT Global Media, NCC and Meyn. Chicken checks more boxesBuyers were asked about attributes in eight categories: taste, health, versatility, family appeal, value for price, natural/organic/absence of negative (hormones, antibiotics), sustainable and convenient.Chicken buyers choose it for 7 of 8 of these attributes.All meat buyers are driven by taste, yet taste is a less important driver for the plant-based consumers. Fish is purchased for health and convenience reasons.Consumers of chicken, beef, pork and fish reported that their trust in the overall safety, quality and nutrition of these meats has not changed. While 15% of chicken consumers say their trust in chicken has increased, 55% of plant-based meat consumers say their trust in that protein has increased.Top trends driving and disrupting meatChris DuBois, senior vice president and principal, IRI, and Joyce Neth, vice president, director of audience development and research, WATT Global Media, presented data supporting these four trends: Convenience and simplification Sustainability Protein growth Ecommerce and new technologies Convenience: Chicken is an all-around winner on the majority of preparation-related attributes. All protein types are perceived as easy-to-prepare. More traditional meats (chicken, beef, pork) show advantage in family appeal and tradition (grew up eating it), while the plant-based protein advantages lie in safety, preparation ease and the cleanliness aspect of preparation.Sustainability: Plant-based consumers show the strongest drive from sustainability. “Recent NCC research shows that half (49%) of survey participants indicated a willingness to eat more chicken if they learned it is more sustainable than other meats or meat substitutes,” according to Tom Super, NCC senior vice president of communications, “which shows that most people aren’t familiar with chicken’s sustainability story.”Protein growth: Across the store, products with protein claims have grown 9%, with frozen meals leading the way.New technologies: Smart speakers, retail robots and endless aisles through ecommerce are changing the customer experience. Retail-as-a-service will change the supply chain for retailers.Future consumption intentLess than 2% of chicken consumers intend to consume less chicken in the next 6 months. While the future consumption intent is steady for the traditional meat proteins, both fish- and plant-based meat shows more positive consumption intent, with 23% of fish and 44% of plant-based consumers planning to consume more of those proteins in the next six months.Chicken Marketing Summit attendees were encouraged to “deliver on higher emotional attributes” to increase chicken consumption among those already buying chicken. Neth explained that the research found that humanely-raised, sustainable and satisfying had a higher correlation to increased consumption than more practical attributes of better value, taste and easy to store.Plant-based meat awareness and purchase intentWhen it comes to plant-based meat, DuBois said, “It’s meat and these products, not or,” showing data that grocery trips where meat substitutes are purchased are four times more likely to include meat.Only about 16% of total protein buyers buy plant-based meat/meat blend alternatives, yet the majority (67%) of those who haven’t purchased these types of protein alternatives are aware of such products.Of total meat buyers, 44% are open to giving plant-based meat/meat blends a chance, and 14% of total meat buyers will purchase it in the next six months.Current estimates show plant-based meats at 2% retail sales of the total retail meat sales of $50 billion.In the US, the consumption of chicken has grown more than 300% since 1960, outperforming all other major proteins. At 94 pounds per capita, chicken consumption is nearly twice that of beef and pork. Chicken outpaced pork in 1984 and surpassed beef as America’s favorite meat in 1991.
A $6.9 million research project, funded by Genome Canada and Genome British Columbia, aims to use genomic tools to develop alternatives to antibiotics using antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) — naturally occurring proteins produced by various animals and plant species. There is evidence that AMPs are an effective alternative to conventional antibiotics and, potentially, bacteria are less likely to develop resistance.Dr. Inanc Birol, a scientist at Canada's Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre and a professor at the Department of Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia (UBC) will use this funding to scale up previous proof-of-concept work funded through Genome BC's Sector Innovation Program. "We are building on many years of groundbreaking genomics research enabled by Genome Canada, Genome BC and other partners," says Dr. Birol. His work has already identified new AMPs that are effective against a range of bacteria while demonstrating a computational approach that was faster and more effective at isolating new AMPs. Typically, discovering AMPs from natural sources has used methods that are time-consuming, expensive, and labour intensive.Dr. Birol and his team aim to identify 10 effective and safe AMPs that will be tested in chicken eggs for protection from major infectious diseases. The team will also conduct an in-depth analysis of the economic, ethical, and regulatory issues related to using AMPs in agriculture, and will assess the opinions of stakeholders from the farming and food industries as well as the general public."Antimicrobial resistance threatens to send us back to a time when even the simplest of infections could be lethal," says Dr. Catalina Lopez-Correa, Chief Scientific Officer and Vice President, Sectors at Genome BC. "AMPs have strong potential to reduce or even replace the use of conventional antibiotics in the agricultural sector, maintaining economic productivity, while benefiting both animal and human health."
Trouw Nutrition, a Nutreco company, and University of New England, Armidale, NSW, Australia, presented findings from a joint research study during the annual meeting of the Poultry Science Association 15-18 July in Montreal.
A new tool has emerged for broiler chicken operations seeking new ways to optimize results while keeping aligned with a full range of the latest organic, raised without antibiotics (RWA) and conventional market opportunities.New study results showcased at the Poultry Science Association annual meeting, July 15-18 in Montreal, add to a growing body of science showing the unique potential offered by ‘Yeast Bioactives’ – a new form of feed technology pioneered and introduced by Canadian Bio-Systems (CBS Inc.).“We are very pleased with the results we are seeing with this new feed technology,” says producer Mike Edwards of Edwards Family Organics near Millbank, Ont., a family-run farm that includes the broiler chicken operation where the trial was conducted. “It’s a new tool that has become a valuable part of our overall production approach – in particular, helping us to lower our bacterial challenges and promote better gut health. We’re seeing less issues. We’re achieving significant improvements in growth performance. It’s exciting to have a tool like this come into the marketplace that is eligible for use in organic.”Expanding the toolbox for chicken farmersYeast Bioactives technology, launched in late 2018, is a yeast-based innovation designed for use as a feed supplement in diets for poultry, swine and ruminants. The technology features enzymatically hydrolyzed yeast carbohydrates that offer advantages over conventional yeast cell wall supplements (the enzymatic hydrolyzation process makes the yeast carbohydrates more soluble and thus more effective).Yeast Bioactives offers benefits as an enhanced yeast technology supporting an optimal environment for animal wellness, performance and related productivity, says Paul Garvey, Poultry Sales Manager with CBS Inc. It also offers benefits as a grain management technology, helping to mitigate a number of potential threats that can undermine feed quality, animal performance, animal health and food safety. As a bio-based feed ingredient, it is the type of solution favored not only on-farm but also by major retailers and by consumers.“The poultry industry has the potential to continue as one of the most progressive and successful sectors in agriculture, but as it continues to diversify and evolve there is a strong need for new options in the toolbox at the producer level, particularly for operations targeting reduction or replacement of antimicrobial use,” says Garvey. “The results we’re seeing with Yeast Bioactives on commercial poultry farms point to this as a very effective option to support highly productive and sustainable operations across all types of production.”Helping meet today's new expectationsEdwards Family Organics is an early adopter of the Yeast Bioactives technology via Maxi-Nutrio®, which received approval for use in certified organic production in 2018 and has seen steady adoption in all forms of poultry operations. Mike and Krista Edwards, who have a young family with three children, were one of four applicant families approved as a new entrant to the industry in 2017, under the Chicken Farmers of Ontario’s New Entrant Program. Their relatively new broiler chicken operation is certified organic and places on average 17,500 birds. Mike is also Manager of Nutritional Services at Jones Feed Mills Ltd. and has over a decade of experience working in the feed and nutrition business, including with a specific focus on poultry production including supporting organic producers with the Yorkshire Valley Farms group.“Yeast Bioactives technology fits well with the unique challenges of operating under certified organic requirements,” says Edwards. “Our operation along with others using it in our organic producer association are now getting results comparable to conventional producers. A number of our producers are actually producing well ahead of the provincial averages for conventional production.”Organic results meet or exceed conventionalThe trial results unveiled at the Poultry Science Association meeting confirm advantages that the Edwards’ farm and other early adopters have seen over the past several months, while providing valuable information on dosage response, he says. “The trial data will help us drill down to the optimal rates we want to use.”The trial involved a total of 16,320 newly hatched Ross 708 broiler chicks. The study was designed to evaluate the effects of dietary supplementation with a commercially available Yeast Bioactives product (Maxi-Nutrio) on performance and health of broiler chickens raised under a commercial organic production system. A subsample of 360 birds were randomly selected and placed in 18 identical floor pens with 20 birds / pen for a 28 day feeding study.The experimental pens, which provided 966 cm2 per bird of floor space, were located within the barn and were fitted with individual feeders and waterers. Birds were randomly assigned to one of three dietary treatments with or without Maxi-Nutrio supplementation (one without, one step-down dose and one full dose). Results showed clear growth performance advantages with Maxi-Nutrio supplementation, with the most pronounced beneficial effects observed in the full dose treatment (1 kg/tonne).Feed technology built for the future“Even with the inherent stressors of an organic system, the results shown during the trial were very strong,” says Rob Patterson, CBS Inc. Technical Director. “With the rising popularity of organic and RWA approaches, and the overall shift in production approaches toward a preference for bio-based solutions, we see the adoption of this type of enhanced yeast feed technology continuing to expand. It’s an important part of our portfolio of CBS Inc. Feed Science Platforms.”
In light of climate change, it’s increasingly important for the poultry industry to consider both short and long-term strategies to reduce and manage heat stress.
As Canadian egg farmers transition their flocks from conventional cages to more spacious “furnished” cages, University of Guelph researchers have conducted a first-ever study on factors contributing to feather pecking in this new housing system and ways to prevent it.The study revealed that 22 per cent of the birds in the new cages exhibited moderate or severe feather damage that was likely due to feather pecking.Published in the journal Animals, the study found that several factors contributed to feather pecking, including genetics, lack of access to a scratching or foraging area and midnight feedings.“This study is the first in Canada – and possibly North America – to look at this issue in furnished cages, and we hope it will inform farmers about the factors involved so that they can understand the problem and develop action plans to prevent it,” said Prof. Alexandra Harlander with the Campbell Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare, who co-authored the study with post-doctoral researcher Nienke van Staaveren.Feather pecking is destructive nipping at another hen’s feathers and occurs in all forms of housing, from conventional cages, to free-run facilities, to free-range farms. It is one of the significant challenges facing egg farmers, said Harlander.“No farmer wants to see this. It’s heartbreaking for them to see their flocks with damage to their feather cover.”It’s not clear what causes feather pecking; the best theory is that it is a form of redirected foraging behaviour, said van Staaveren.“But even in housing systems where there is a lot of substrate to peck at, it can still occur. So it’s tricky to control and something we are still trying to understand,” she said.Pecking leads to a loss of feather cover, which makes it difficult for birds to maintain their temperature and navigate their environment. What’s more, once a bird has been singled out for pecking, it becomes a target for further pecking.One of the goals of the study was to provide feather-pecking management guidance to farmers who are transitioning to alternative housing systems to meet the Egg Farmers of Canada’s call for alternative hen housing systems by 2036.For this study, the research team sent questionnaires to egg farmers across Canada who housed their chickens in furnished cages. They asked the farmers to score the feather cover of 50 of their birds on a three-point scale, to estimate the prevalence of feather damage.Of the 26 flocks, approximately 1 in 5 birds in the furnished cages exhibited moderate or severe feather damage. The factors that had the most influence on feather damage were older flock age, brown-feathered birds, midnight feedings and lack of a scratch substrate.Van Staaveren said brown birds are likely more susceptible to pecking because the stronger contrast in colour when they are pecked and drop feathers attracts further pecking.Another key factor was midnight feedings. Farmers may turn on lights at night to wake the hens and encourage feeding so they take in more calcium to increase eggshell quality and laying productivity. The study found midnight feeding was linked to more pecking, likely because awake chickens find easy pecking targets in inactive birds.prof holding a laying henProf. Alexandra HarlanderVan Staaveren said it appears the practice ends up being costly since feather pecking not only raises the mortality risk of the hens but also causes the birds to eat more to stay warm.“Although there weren’t many farmers who did midnight feedings in our study, I don’t think it’s worth the risk of disturbing your birds if it’s going to lead to these issues,” she said.What struck van Staaveren most about her team’s findings was the wide range of feather damage: some flocks had absolutely no hens with feather damage; others had lots. Most egg farmers were perplexed as to why. This emphasizes the need for farmers to regularly monitor their hens’ feather cover, said van Staaveren.“What I would really like farmers to take from this research is the need to track feather damage regularly, so they can understand what is happening with their flocks and try different methods to try to reduce damage.”
The definition of sustainability seems to vary from industry to industry. One thing each sector shares, however, is that their interpretations have evolved from a focus on environmental impacts to a broader concept that requires a multi-layered strategy. Poultry is no different.
Regina's O&T Farms Ltd., in collaboration with the University of Guelph, initiated a series of research projects focused on developmental programming in both broiler and pullet breeding stock. The purpose of the research, which started in 2017, was to determine the effects of feeding omega-3 fatty acids to breeder birds on reproductive efficiency, embryonic survival, as well as the epigenetic influence on progeny performance, development and overall health.One stage of this research aimed to evaluate the impacts of maternal and post-hatch feeding of omega-3 fatty acids on skeletal development in pullets. To test this, the University of Guelph (U of G) designed a trial in which a dry-extruded flaxseed-based omega-3 feed ingredient produced by O&T Farm was included in either the maternal diet, the post-hatch diet, or both. Reza Akbari, a PhD candidate working on the project, recently presented preliminary data at the Animal Nutrition Conference of Canada (ANCC) in Niagara Falls, Ont..His findings suggest the maternal feeding of the ingredient can significantly improve skeletal strength in young pullets by nearly 22 per cent compared to the control.“The results demonstrated effectiveness of maternal and post-hatch feeding of omega-3 fatty acid in support of skeletal strength in young pullets which can greatly reduce poor egg shell quality and skeletal maladies seen in laying hens across all housing types,” said U of G's Elijah Kiarie, assistant professor in poultry nutrition, who led the research. “The potential of omega-3 fatty acids in stimulating bone, brain, and immune cells development at embryonic through to early phases of the chick’s life could significantly improve productivity and welfare.”
Egg Farmers of Canada is excited to announce the launch of the new Eggs Anytime marketing platform. The ads show Canadians that ‘it’s not weird’ to have eggs for lunch and dinner.
Canadian dairy farmers who lost domestic market share resulting from free trade agreements with Europe and countries on the Pacific Rim will share $1.75 billion in compensation over the next eight years, Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau announced Friday.
Canada's Agriculture Minister, Marie-Claude Bibeau, reinforced her commitment to supply management at the Dairy Farmers of Canada AGM in Saskatoon this week.During her announcement of over $11 million of Government funding for the Dairy Research Cluster Tuesday, July 16, Bibeau touched on the Government's plan to compensate supply managed producers.The Government included a $3.9 billion compensation package in the 2019 budget, with up to $2.4 billion to sustain the incomes of producers, as well as up to $1.5 billion to protect against any reduction in quota value.They say they've been working hard with industry working groups to finalize these delivery mechanisms.For the full story, click here.
The Chinese Embassy said Tuesday it has asked Canada to suspend all meat exports, a surprise move that comes amid the diplomatic dispute over the December arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver.
When companies and organizations talk about sustainability, they generally focus on three different aspects: environmental, economic and social. Chicken Farmers of Canada (CFC) released their Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) for the Canadian chicken industry in 2018, providing a glimpse of the chicken industry over the past 40 years in all three categories.
Third-generation farmer Ron Lamb remembers his father pulling six-metre-wide crop-seeding equipment around his southern Alberta grain fields in the 1990s, overlapping on each pass to make sure he covered all the ground.
This week, Canadian egg, chicken, turkey and hatching egg farmers co-hosted their annual pop-up diner in downtown Ottawa. The event is a special celebration of Canadian farming families and the system of supply management that provides year-round access to fresh, local, high-quality ingredients from coast to coast.
Canada has fired the starting gun on the race to ratify the new North American free-trade pact – but the United States is setting the pace.
Global Affairs Canada has launched public consultations on how it allocates and administers tariff rate quotas for a number of supply-managed poultry and dairy products.
Turkey Farmers of Canada, the Canadian Poultry and Egg Processors Council and Turkey Primary Processing Sector Members have together launched the first national, bilingual campaign to boost turkey consumption since 2004.
Chicken, turkey and egg producers say a big hit is coming and the federal government needs to help them adapt.
Canadians care that the eggs they choose are humanely raised, top quality, safe and produced in Canada. Very soon, a single Egg Quality Assurance (EQA) symbol on the carton, menu or package will give consumers the information they need to enjoy Canadian eggs with added confidence.

Subscription Centre

 
New Subscription
 
Already a Subscriber
 
Customer Service
 
View Digital Magazine Renew

Most Popular

Latest Events

No events

We are using cookies to give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. To find out more, read our Privacy Policy.