Canadian Poultry Magazine

Barn Spotlight: Newell Colony

By Canadian Poultry Staff   

Features Poultry Equipment Producers

Get a sneak peek into the initial stage of Newell Colony's cutting-edge resolution to their pullet scarcity. They have erected a state-of-the-art organic free-range barn as they strive to transform their former layer barn into a dedicated pullet facility.

The new barn has capacity for 48,000 free-run birds or 30,000 in an organic operation.

Location: Bassano, Alta.

Sector: Layers

The business
Newell Colony is a Hutterite Colony near Bassano, Alta. They own 12,000 acres, where they have hog, dairy, and layer operations. They have quota for 23,000 birds and produce their product for Spark Eggs.   


The need
The colony couldn’t raise enough pullets for their layer quota. So, they shook things up. First, they built a new organic free-range barn, which they recently opened. Next, they’re converting their old layer barn into a pullet facility. They went the cage-free route because they believe the industry will eventually phase out enriched cages like it’s doing with conventional housing due to activist pressure. “We more or less want something where we can have peace of mind so we don’t have to redo it for another 40 to 50 years,” egg barn manager Ken Hofer says.  

The barn
Working with Vencomatic, the colony built a new barn with a free-run capacity for 48,000 birds and an organic capacity for 30,000. They installed Vencomatic’s Bolegg Gallery aviary system. The barn features cutting-edge automation. For example, Pegasus safely and efficiently transports the eggs to the Meggsius Count, which uses a camera to count the eggs. The technology can automatically detect problems and pinpoint where the issues are coming from using a colour-coded system. 

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

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