Canadian Poultry Magazine

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Barn Spotlight: Baker Colony

Aviary pullet barn continues to expand.


December 15, 2021
By Brett Ruffell


Topics
For the free-range layer barn, which holds 36,000 birds, the colony installed a NATURA Step system. Photo: Baker Colony

Sector: Layers and pullets 

Location: Foremost, Alta. 

The business
The Baker Colony owns a free-range layer barn as well as a pullet barn and feed mill. The colony ships its eggs to Sparks Egg Farm to be graded and distributed to stores. Eli Waldner has managed the farm since it opened. 

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The barns
The colony bought the farm in 2001 but waited until 2015 to start building an egg production operation. The pullet barn came first, opening in December of that year. The layer barn came next, opening in the spring. Both facilities include loose housing from Big Dutchman. The colony installed a NATURA Primus system in the pullet barn to train the young birds on how to navigate an open barn. And the colony went with a NATURA Step system for the layer facility. 

The pullets
Waldner says with a barn where layers roam loose, it’s essential to train pullets in a similar system to teach them how to perch, where to find feed and water and where the nests are. He was particularly fond of the Primus pullet system for that task. “We really liked it because you can actually lock the birds in at night. So, say the day before moving when all the birds are in the system, you just close the front gate. You don’t have to catch them on the floor. It’s a lot less labour intensive.” 


Barn Spotlight highlights new and renovated barns and hatcheries. Do you know of a good candidate to be featured? Let us know at poultry@annexweb.com.