Barn Spotlight: The Gras Family
By Canadian Poultry StaffFeatures Producers Poultry Equipment
New organic layer barn replicates nature.
Location: Granton, Ont.
Rick and Erma Gras, with their son Eric, established the farm in 1998. The family started egg production in 2007 with a flock of 500 layers. They sell their organic eggs to Gray Ridge and source the organic feed from Masterfeeds.
To expand their flock, the Gras family replaced their small barn with a new one that currently houses 5,000 organic birds but has capacity for expanding to 10,000. They chose a Loggia 3 Plus aviary organic system with two rows because it provides easy bird and worker movement. It also replicates a natural bird habitat, Eric says, while maximizing the number of birds housed.
For top efficiency, they built the barn with a south-facing roof so that solar panels can be added someday to reduce grid electricity consumption. A transparent material runs the length of the barn, allowing uniform natural daylight lighting. “Pop-hole doors are mounted close to the floor for ease of access to the outside pasture area,” Eric says. “Daily opening and closing of these doors, depending on the weather conditions, is controlled by an actuator.” The barn has a cross-ventilation system and two box heaters, which are mounted outside for safety so that the burner flames are outside the building.
Barn Spotlight highlights new and renovated barns and hatcheries. Do you know of a good candidate to be featured? Let us know at email@example.com.
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