Broiler producers build new on-farm feed mill.
By Brett Ruffell
Location: Arthur, Ont.
Triaro Farms is a broiler and crop farm just outside of Arthur, Ont. Clarence Pronk, along with sons Jason and Steve, work over 1,800 acres and raise almost one million chickens a year.
They were struggling with wet litter, which they felt was impacting bird health. The root cause of this moisture, they suspected, was how commercial feed they were using interacts with a chicken’s gut. But a local farmer who was producing his own feed presented a solution. The mash feed he was making was meant to interact better with a chicken’s gut, leading to more natural manure and less moisture. After a trial run, the Pronks decided to build their own feed mill to produce mash feed for their flocks.
The feed mill
The feed mill, which opened last November, includes a roller mill to ensure a consistent grind size for the corn, which they grow themselves. They then use a Hayes & Stoltz mixer to blend the grind with a premix from Grand Valley Fortifiers. The producers say the switch in feed has meant less labour and management, improved bird health and greater profits. “We routinely ship a flock of chickens with less than three per cent mortality now,” Jason says. They’ve also begun selling their feed to other producers.
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