Multinational feed additives producer Nutriad participated in the 11th Asia Pacific Poultry Congress (APPC) organized by the World Poultry Science Association, which was held in Bangkok recently.Belgium-headquartered Nutriad works with poultry producers around the world to support them with feed additives solutions that have effectively proven to promote gut health, even in an environment where the use of antibiotics is increasingly being restricted.In recent years 'Gut health' has been gaining an increasing attention from veterinarians. It is understood that it refers to multiple positive aspects of the gastrointestinal tract, such as the effective digestion by absorption of food, absence of GI illness, normal and stable intestinal microbiota, effective immune status and a state of well-being.Any disturbance or imbalance in these matters could potentially impact the gut health of animals. It is therefore necessary to maintain the balance of all possible associated factors related to gut health.Poultry producers used to achieve this by using of Antibiotic Growth Promoters (AGPs). The use of AGPs however is being increasingly restricted. That resulted in the development of natural additives that became part of alternative feed strategies.Nutriad has been pioneering research and product development that support producers around the world in achieving gut health and notices an increasing attention in Asia Pacific for its’ innovative solutions.At the APPC, business development manager of digestive performance Daniel Ramirez presented on “Utilizing Feed Additives to Maximize Broiler Gut Health,” where he emphasized on the improvements that can be made by optimizing single-molecule feed additives and by investigating their optimal use in specific programs, focusing on the application of butyrate (ADIMIX Precision) and phytogenic compounds (APEX 5).“Gut health is important for maximizing the health, welfare, and performance of poultry. For optimum intestinal support, ADIMIX Precision utilizes a unique precision delivery matrix that delivers the butyrate into the intestines where it has the greatest benefit,” Ramirez said.For more information, visit: www.nutriad.com.
The chicks started showing signs of reovirus at 10 days of age – some lameness, some culls for leg issues and a lot of general lethargy. By 12 days old the birds were becoming significantly worse with 40 to 60 per cent displaying lameness or gait issues. Feed and water consumption was dropping; lethargy was more apparent.
Footpad dermatitis (FPD) in broiler chickens is characterized by ulcerated lesions on the underside of the foot, and is associated with poor litter conditions – typically characterized by high moisture and ammonia levels. Broiler FPD presents itself within the first two weeks of age and increases in severity as bird body weight and footpad (FP) contact with litter increases.
January 3, 2018, Toronto, Ont. - Two activist groups are urging the federal government to declare a no transport alert for livestock due to frigid temperatures.
The severity of infectious bronchitis has increased significantly, with the current strain of the virus now making its way around Ontario, notes Dr. Mike Petrik, poultry veterinary lead at McKinley Hatchery in St. Mary’s, Ont. Petrik was one of several veterinarians who took part in a roundtable discussion on the topic at the Poultry Industry Council’s Health Day.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), a total of 50.4 million birds were affected by highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in the U.S. in 2015. It was significantly less in 2016 – only 43,000 – but the disease has not gone away. This year, AI has continued to rear its ugly head several times.
There are some types of E. coli (known as avian pathogenic E. coli [APEC]) that can cause serious or fatal colibacillosis infection in chickens. Many factors predispose birds to the infections.
Poor skeletal health in commercial laying hens was first documented as a production issue in the 1950s. It became an animal welfare concern in the 1980s, when scientists first documented a high prevalence of bone fractures after handling hens at end of lay.
The International Egg Commission (IEC) Avian Influenza Global Expert Group has developed a comprehensive new resource to promote biosecurity.IEC established the group, made up of leading scientists, vets and industry experts, in 2015 to develop practical solutions to combat avian influenza (AI). The group has already made significant progress. For instance, it identified that improving biosecurity is the single most important step in protecting businesses from a wide variety of diseases, including AI.Based on these findings, it developed a comprehensive practical biosecurity checklist that is now freely available for the egg industry to download. The document offers practical guidelines to egg farmers and producer businesses to help reduce the risk of infection on their farms and operational facilities.Critical guidelines featured within the checklist include: Preventing chickens having contact with rodents and wild birds Controlling the movement of vehicles and people Consistent use of dedicated, protective clothing and footwear for anyone that has access to chickens The AI Expert Group will next release a paper on AI vaccinations, providing an evaluation of the advantages and constraints of such programs.
August 18, 2017 - Perches are a necessity in cage-free housing systems, but changing them may be necessary, too.As cage-free egg farming is expanded around the world, some in the field are asking if the current round, metal tube perch design is the best for bird performance and welfare. On the welfare side, perches fulfill the hen’s natural desire to perch and give less dominant birds a way to escape more aggressive ones. From a management standpoint, including perches reduces aggressive behaviors and gives the farmer more usable space inside the layer house.At the Egg Industry Center’s Egg Industry Issues Forum, the attendees asked whether the perch is as beneficial as it can be for the hen and the farmer, and discussed innovations that could improve the devices. The conference took place April 19 and 20, in Columbus, Ohio. READ MORE
August 3, 2017, Brussels, Belgium – The European Union says a pesticide-contaminated egg scare in some EU countries is under control.Dozens of farms were being checked in the Netherlands, and Belgium's food safety agency was probing how the anti-tick and flea pesticide Fipronil might have entered eggs destined for supermarkets. Fipronil is banned in products for treating animals like chickens that are part of the human food chain.European Commission spokeswoman Anna-Kaisa Itkonen said Thursday that ''the eggs are blocked. The contaminated eggs have been traced and withdrawn from the market and the situation is under control.''Belgian food authorities say suspect eggs have been destroyed and there is no danger to public health given the small amounts of the pesticide that might have entered any eggs that reached the market.
August 3, 2017, Shoreview, Minn. - There’s nothing like a complete, balanced layer feed. But what happens after your chickens are finished pecking away at the feeder?“Few of us consider the events after we bring a bag of chicken feed home; we just know our birds like us to keep the feeder full,” says Patrick Biggs, Ph.D., a flock nutritionist with Purina Animal Nutrition. “Have you ever thought about what happens between when a hen eats at the feeder and when she lays an egg 24 to 26 hours later?”To help answer this question, Biggs recently discussed bird anatomy with two bloggers: The Chicken Chick, Kathy Shea Mormino, and The Garden Fairy, Julie Harrison. During a tour of the Purina Animal Nutrition Center in Gray Summit, Mo., he explained once a crumble or pellet is consumed by a bird, it travels through a unique pathway for digestion with each ingredient serving a specific purpose.“Chickens are excellent converters of feed, channeling those nutrients directly into their eggs,” says Biggs. “Laying hens need 38 different nutrients to stay healthy and produce eggs. Think of a complete chicken feed as a casserole - it’s a mixture of ingredients where each part adds up to a perfectly balanced whole. Each ingredient is the digested by the hen, with many of them working together for bird health and egg production.”Ready to find out where chicken feed goes once eaten? Follow the journey beyond the feeder:Eating on the goWhile chickens need to eat to stay healthy just as people do, a bird’s digestive anatomy is quite different than ours.“Chickens don’t have teeth and they are a prey animal, so they can’t waste much time chewing,” explains Biggs. “Instead, they swallow food quickly and store it away. The crop, a pouch-like organ meant solely for storage, is the first pit stop feed will encounter.”Within the crop, very little digestion occurs. Feed will combine with water and some good bacteria to soften food particles before moving through the system. The feed in the crop will be released to the rest of the digestive tract throughout the day.The chicken stomachThe next stop in the feed journey is the proventriculus, which is equivalent to the human stomach. This is where digestion really begins in the bird. Stomach acid combines with pepsin, a digestive enzyme, to start the breakdown of feed into smaller pieces.“For birds, feed doesn’t spend much time in the proventriculus,” Biggs says. “Instead, it quickly moves to the gizzard where the real fun begins. The gizzard is the engine of the digestive system - it’s a muscle meant for grinding food particles. Since chickens lack teeth, they need a different method of mechanically digesting food. Historically, this is where grit would play a big role; however, many of today’s complete layer feeds include the necessary nutrients without a need for grit.”Absorbing the magicNutrients are then absorbed through the small intestine and passed into the bloodstream. These absorbed nutrients are used for building feathers, bones, eggs and more. Many of these essential nutrients must be provided through the diet.“For example, methionine is an essential amino acid, that must be provided through the diet,” explains Biggs. “Like all amino acids, methionine comes from protein sources and is needed at the cellular level to build specific proteins used for feathering, growth, reproduction and egg production.”This is also where calcium and other minerals are absorbed into the blood stream to be stored for bone strength and shell production.Building an egg“In addition to absorbing nutrients to stay healthy, hens also channel feed nutrients directly into their eggs,” says Biggs.The yolk is formed first. The yolk color comes from fat-soluble pigments, called xanthophylls, which are found in a hen's diet. Hens may direct marigold extract from the feed to create vibrant orange yolks and omega-3 fatty acids to produce more nutritious eggs.Next, the shell is formed around the contents of the egg in the shell gland. This is where shell color is created. Most shells start white and then color is added. Breeds like Orpingtons, Rhode Island Reds, Marans, Ameraucanas or Easter Eggers, will apply pigments to transform white eggs to brown, blue or green.No matter the shell color, calcium is essential at this stage. Calcium travels to the shell gland via the bloodstream. Hens channel calcium first into their eggs and then into their bones. If a hen doesn’t have enough calcium, she will still form the eggshell but her bone strength may suffer which could lead to osteoporosis.“There are two types of calcium chickens need: fast release and slow release,” Biggs explains. “Fast release calcium is found in most layer feeds and breaks down quickly. This quick release is important for bird health, but can leave a void after hens have eaten and are forming eggs at night.”“Slow release calcium breaks down over time so hens can channel the calcium when they need it most for shell development,” continues Biggs.
March 8, 2017, Barron, WI – A low-pathogenic bird flu strain has been detected in a Jennie-O Turkey Store operation in Barron, Wis., marking the second bird flu case in a U.S. commercial operation this week. The U.S. Department of Agriculture posted notice of the Barron County case to the Paris-based World Organisation for Animal Health's website March 7. Hormel Foods, which owns Wilmar-based Jennie-O, confirmed the H5N2 strain was detected March 4 at its Barron operation. The USDA report said 84,000 birds are at the farm. READ MORE
Over one hundred years ago the wild turkey was a familiar sight in North America. Unregulated hunting and habitat loss decimated their population in Ontario but that has since changed. In 1986, approximately 4,400 wild turkeys were re-introduced, and according to Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs figures from 2007, that population has reached over 70,000 and continues to grow.
July 10, 2016 - The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has set up a quarantine zone after low-path H5N2 avian influenza was detected in southern Ontario. The CFIA says a quarantine zone covering a three-kilometre radius has been placed near St. Catharines. The agency says bird flu hasn't been detected anywhere else in the quarantine zone, but officials say they're monitoring for any spread of the disease. Currently 23 premises are quarantined, however only one commercial/regulated broiler chicken farm is in within the quarantine zone besides the AI positive duck flock. The other quarantined premises are small and/or unregulated flocks. Trace out to three other high risk contact flocks (from the positive farm) has been completed and those flocks have tested negative. The Feather Board Command Centre have asked Ontario poultry industry stakeholders to use heightened biosecurity measures if it is necessary to enter into this area. Heightened biosecurity measures include (but are not limited to): • wearing boots, protection suits, hats and gloves/hand washing; • ensuring that all deliveries/loading should be the last on the route; and • washing and disinfecting the truck’s undercarriage and steps before proceeding with any other delivery/loading. Should you become aware of health concerns in a flock(s), please advise the farmer to contact a veterinarian, as well as their Board or call 1-877-SOS-BYRD.
January 15, 2016 - Highly pathogenic H7N8 avian influenza (HPAI) was confimed in a commercial gturkey flock in Dubois County, Indiana today by the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. This is a different strain of HPAI than the strain that caused the 2015 outbreak. Samples from the turkey flock, which experienced increased mortality, were tested at the Indiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory at Purdue University, which is a part of USDA's National Animal Health Laboratory Network, and confirmed by USDA this morning. APHIS is working closely with the Indiana State Board of Animal Health on a joint incident response. State officials quarantined the affected premises and depopulation of birds on the premises has already begun. As part of existing avian influenza response plans, Federal and State partners are working jointly on additional surveillance and testing in the nearby area.
March 16, 2017 – The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed a second case of highly pathogenic H7N9 avian influenza in a commercial breeder flock in Lincoln County, Tenn. This H7N9 strain is of North American wild bird lineage and is the same strain of avian influenza that was previously confirmed in Tennessee. It is not the same as the China H7N9 virus that has impacted poultry and infected humans in Asia. The flock of 55,000 chickens is located in the Mississippi flyway, within three kilometers of the first Tennessee case. Samples from the affected flock, which displayed signs of illness and experienced increased mortality, were tested at Tennessee’s Kord Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory and confirmed at the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa. The USDA is working with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture on the joint incident response. State officials quarantined the affected premises, and depopulation has begun. Federal and state partners will conduct surveillance and testing of commercial and backyard poultry within a 10 kilometer (6.2 mile) radius of the site. The USDA will be informing the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) as well as international trading partners of this finding. The Tennessee Department of Agriculture is working directly with poultry workers at the affected facilities to ensure that they are taking the proper precautions to prevent illness and contain disease spread.
March 6, 2017, Washington, DC – The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic H7 avian influenza (HPAI) of North American wild bird lineage in a commercial chicken breeder flock in Lincoln County, Tenn. This is the first confirmed case of HPAI in commercial poultry in the U.S. this year. The flock of 73,500 is located within the Mississippi flyway. Samples from the affected flock, which experienced increased mortality, were tested at Tennessee’s Kord Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory and confirmed at the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa. Virus isolation is ongoing, and NVSL expects to characterize the neuraminidase protein, or “N-type”, of the virus within 48 hours. APHIS is working closely with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture on a joint incident response. State officials quarantined the affected premises and birds on the property will be depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease. Birds from the flock will not enter the food system. The Tennessee Department of Agriculture is working directly with poultry workers at the affected facility to ensure that they are taking the proper precautions to prevent illness and contain disease spread. As part of existing avian influenza response plans, federal and state partners are working jointly on additional surveillance and testing in the nearby area. The U.S. has a strong AI surveillance program and USDA is working with its partners to actively look for the disease in commercial poultry operations, live bird markets, and in migratory wild bird populations. The USDA will be informing the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) as well as international trading partners of this finding. The USDA also continues to communicate with trading partners to encourage adherence to OIE standards and minimize trade impacts. OIE trade guidelines call on countries to base trade restrictions on sound science and, whenever possible, limit restrictions to those animals and animal products within a defined region that pose a risk of spreading disease of concern. Additional information on biosecurity for can be found at www.aphis.usda.gov/animalhealth/defendtheflock .
Forecasting how many broiler breeders we need to supply customer orders is a critical part of an efficient, profitable business. So is being able to take full advantage of the genetic potential of today’s breeds. One critical part of the process, converting hatching eggs to chicks, is vitally important and some practical steps to help accomplish this can be quite helpful. There are three things to focus on: egg quality, effective hatchery management and chick quality. Egg quality The first stage is monitoring the quality of the egg pack coming into the hatchery and maintaining this quality before incubation. But what is allowed into the hatchery? Be sure to evaluate the egg pack for size, dirt, cracks, deformities, double yolks, inverted placement and uniformity. Standards within hatcheries should be made to ensure consistent quality and all departments must follow it. All these criteria, if not measured against standards, can negatively impact results. In addition, egg quality can also be influenced by: Size – a chick’s weight is usually 67- 68 per cent of its original egg weight (multistage incubation), so a small egg results in a small chick. Chicks below the minimum size will dehydrate very rapidly after hatch. Dirty eggs – can result in severe bacterial contamination, which could result in eggs exploding at transfer or omphalitis in baby chicks. Cracked eggs – do not hatch, but eggs with micro-cracks will hatch around 50 per cent of the expected rate and all chicks that hatch will be culls. Deformed eggs – can cause the chicks to mal-position, which in turn reduces hatch and chick quality. Double yolks – should be culled. Inverted eggs – will hatch approximately 40 per cent of the expected rate and the chicks produced will be culls. Uniformity of air flow – if present throughout the incubators, the hatch window decreases and will allow for a much more efficient pull time. Next, a good egg holding program should be implemented from the farm to the incubator. The temperature of an egg at lay is approximately 40oC (104oF). From there, egg temperatures should decrease and increase following a perfect ‘V’ pattern, with the lowest temperatures occurring at the hatchery. Starting on the farm at 40oC (104oF), the egg temperatures may fall to typically 20oC (68oF) in the hatchery, and then rise again to incubation at 37.6oC (99.7oF). It is extremely important that egg temperatures do not fluctuate away from the V-shaped pattern. Temperature fluctuations will cause embryonic mortality and loss of hatch. The temperature is all the egg holding areas must be monitored – the breeder house, breeder house egg room, transportation to the hatchery, hatchery egg storage and pre-warming. Effective hatchery management There are four important programs to use in a hatchery: quality assurance, set-transfer-to-pull, sanitation and preventive maintenance. A quality assurance program consists of egg assessment as already described, embryo diagnosis and chick quality assessment. Monitoring these three components correctly is a hatchery manager’s most valuable tool. Egg assessment can tell what is going into our incubators, embryo diagnosis will troubleshoot hatch problems and chick quality assessment will determine how well incubation and hatchery programs are working via examinations of percentages of hatch, fertility and hatch of fertile. This will enable us to diagnose problems and effect solutions. Additionally, when performing an embryo diagnosis, it is important to be accurate and consistent so the results can be used as an information tool. This can identify certain problem incubators or rooms, and certain days when issues occur. Set-transfer-to-pull Our target is 504 hours of incubation — exactly 21 days. As an example, if the eggs are set at 5:00 am, then they should be ready to pull 21 days later at 5:00 am. If we are under or over this target, then we have problems during incubation. The hatch window should be targeted at 33 hours or less (multistage) from first to last chick. The shorter the hatch window, the better the chick quality will be. Transfer should take place between set and pull, where eggs are taken out of the setter and the egg flat and put into the hatcher and hatcher trays, and be smooth and efficient. Eggs should not be left out for a prolonged length of time. Additionally, extreme care should be taken to prevent cracked eggs, which are especially important when moving eggs into the hatcher. Changing set time, transfer time or pull time will affect the baby chick. Be careful before altering this plan — know the cause and effect before making a change, since eggs cannot be set on a random schedule. Rather, strict programs must be implemented and followed to maintain quality and control. Sanitation Hatcheries should be cleaned and disinfected continuously. The most important task is removing all organic material before disinfecting, which can hide in corners, under racks, on wheels and in any crack or crevice in a setter or hatcher. All material has to be removed; otherwise the presence of organic material will reduce the efficacy of disinfectant products to sanitize the surface area. Be sure to use disinfection products effective against the challenge specific to the hatchery. A sensitivity test can be performed at your own or a local laboratory to identify the products, which are most effective against your specific bacteria or mold challenge. Good air quality is also one of the best disinfectants available. It is important to ventilate and pressurize the hatchery correctly, which not only satisfies the oxygen requirements of embryos and chicks, but also prevents cross contamination. Remember, too, that transport vehicles, which handle eggs or chicks, need to be part of the hatchery sanitation program. Preventive maintenance There are three kinds of maintenance: predictive, preventive and reactive. Reactive maintenance costs more than preventive maintenance, which costs more than predictive. Since incubators run continuously, an incubator simply cannot be allowed to fail. If it does, it can be repaired, but all embryos in the incubator will have been affected. Therefore, programs should be in place to ensure incubator failures do not happen. Predictive maintenance can be, and often is, overlooked, but it can be very useful, as it can tell from the lifespan of a piece of equipment or component when it should be replaced. Preventive maintenance — a great tool for budgeting — depends on checklists for the incubator and hatchery equipment and, if followed correctly, costly breakdowns can be minimized. In all hatchery areas, temperature, humidity and pressure should also be monitored and calibrated for consistency at all times so incubators and ventilators can cycle properly. Chick quality While seven-day mortality is generally a good measure of chick quality, it is a lagging indicator. Often, when we hear of high seven-day mortality, the first action is to go back into the hatchery and retrace programs and procedures, but that is too late. A chick quality assessment in the hatchery needs to be in place beforehand to ensure good chick quality going to the farm. It is also important to score chicks before they leave the hatchery. Evaluate red hocks, navels (open unhealed navels), heat buttons (navel has closed before the yolk was fully absorbed) and dehydration. There are different scoring systems that can provide a great tool for assessing different incubators if done correctly, and will show when a trend line starts to go negative. Besides, it also provides another indicator for how well your preventive maintenance program is working. Chick temperatures Rectal temperatures of baby chicks need to be taken at several time points: before pull, during chick processing, chick holding and at delivery. Temperatures need to be monitored to make sure they stay around the ideal range of 40oC (104oF). Variance from the target temperature will affect broiler performance – chicks will not start properly. Using a step-down temperature program and increasing airflow through the hatcher will help keep chicks from overheating, provided all your best management practices are in place and temperatures are monitored in the hatcher, separator room, chick room and transportation. Pre-pull assessment The pre-pull assessment can be done at different times to make sure programs are in place and working properly. Twelve hours before pull, 70-80 per cent of chicks should be completely hatched (out of the shell, but can still be wet). Another time for pre-pull assessment is 24 hours before pull, where there should be less than 30 per cent hatched. And while performing a 12-hour pre-pull, it is a good time to monitor rectal temperatures. The target percentage of chicks hatched is according to the expected hatch percentage, not eggs in the tray. For example, if the tray contains 162 eggs and the flock expected hatch is 87 per cent, then there will be 141 chicks out when the hatch is complete. At 12 hours pre pull, 99 chicks (70 per cent of 141) will be in the tray. Critical to meeting goals is having the correct standards in place and achieving them – from the incoming egg pack to the chick delivered to the broiler house. Remember to confirm that what you think you have is actually what you have. Good management practices, and proper implementation of programs and standards, will help ensure maximum hatch efficiency and deliver consistently good chick quality.
Modern broiler breeder strains are simply too good at depositing breast muscle. Because they have a higher propensity to deposit muscle rather than fat, they may not have enough energy stored in the body to mobilize in times of energetic debt, and as a result these hens may have difficulty with early chick quality and long-term maintenance of lay. While the bird may still be able to transfer the necessary nutrients to the egg, with less energy available in storage, it will rely much more heavily on the feed it consumes each day to meet this need. The concern is that the bird may carry additional breast muscle throughout life and, in order to maintain this high energy-demanding tissue, the hen will have to divert nutrients it might otherwise have been able to use to support egg production. In order to support egg production in broiler breeder stocks in the coming years, it may be time to question if current feed restriction methods and weight targets are as adequate now as when they were designed over 30 years ago. Dr. Rob Renema and his research team at the University of Alberta have been exploring the concept of “composition restriction.” By manipulating the delivery of dietary energy and protein throughout the life of the bird, they hope to identify methods of feeding birds to a specific carcass composition rather than just to a target body weight. They theorize that this approach could discourage breast muscle deposition while providing for the energetic requirements of final maturation and early egg production. Their findings? What you feed the birds during the growing phase has a greater effect on final carcass composition at the end of egg production than the diets fed during the egg production period do. Why? Primarily because muscle deposition is “set” when they are young, and this has a carry-over effect into the breeder phase. Feeding programs during the rearing or laying phase must not be designed in isolation. Furthermore, growth was tied more closely to energy intake than to protein intake. Despite fairly similar energy intakes, however, energy was still one of the main factors affecting rate of lay. While maternal protein intake had very little effect on egg production, it did have the potential to affect broiler offspring yield and breast muscling – particularly in the males. To read more about this research project, please visit www.poultryindustrycouncil.ca. PIC’s Picks By Tim Nelson, Executive Director Recent events have shown us that people are so important to the poultry industry. Our Research Day this year featured poultry health research. The focus was not only on disease research, but on the cost of disease to producers and industry as well. This was emphasized by having one Ontario producer tell attendees about his personal experience of managing a serious disease outbreak on his farm. During the Research Day we recognized three eminent poultry researchers from the University of Guelph – Drs. Steve Leeson, Ian Duncan and the late Dr. Bruce Hunter – who dedicated their careers to poultry research. The Poultry Industry Conference and Exhibition (known as the London Poultry Show) musters a veritable who’s who of the poultry service industry in Ontario and beyond. The mood that huge group brings for two days each year to the Western Fair District in London, Ont., to work (and play) together is palpable. What an intense and stimulating two days it is. The PIC brought a few guests in this year and they were blown away by the friendly, welcoming, open reception and hospitality they received at every booth. Great job, industry! So, it was disappointing halfway through day 1 of the show to receive an e-mail from Dr. Fred Silversides, who conducts research into poultry genetics in B.C. (and whose research PIC supports), which said, “In August, my position will be cut as a result of the current round of deficit reductions, and AAFC (Agriculture and Agri-food Canada), is getting out of research in poultry genetic resources when it happens.” We understand the federal and provincial governments are going through tough times. But this was the only centre where this type of research was being undertaken, and it had only one researcher and one student. Not long after receiving this e-mail, the Agricultural Adaptation Council (AAC) informed me that the current Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAP) will expire in March 2014, removing the need for regional councils (such as the AAC) in the delivery of any future federally funded programs. Who made these decisions? Who knows – but they were made. How did we (industry) let it happen? Reading the e-mail made me reflect on how lucky we are to have the people at OMAFRA and AAFC here in Ontario who continue to support our programs of research and extension in an effort to ensure our industry’s sustainability. The Poultry Loading Decision Tree, Biosecurity Outreach Program, Growing Forward cost-share program and the upcoming PAACO (welfare auditing) course would not be possible without their support and that of industry and the University of Guelph. Competition and risk management drives us to continue to develop new technologies, tools and management techniques. But what will keep this industry sustainable are the very visible personal connections, relationships, networks and collaborations that bind it together and make it successful. Somehow in B.C. the industry lost a connection. We have great connections in Ontario, but we need to work at them. Make sure your connections extend to our government and university partners and at every opportunity thank them for the funds and people they provide.
Looking to increase the efficiency of his broiler breeder operation, several years ago Serge Lefebvre began shopping around for a system and barn setup that would help him achieve this goal.
Mental wellness is not a topic widely discussed in farming even though there is growing anecdotal evidence of producers that are struggling. That’s why two years ago a Canadian research team led by Andria Jones-Bitton, a professor at the University of Guelph, launched a multi-phase study focused on mental wellness in the Canadian agriculture sector.
October 27, 2017, Edmonton, ALta. – An Alberta government panel is recommending the province subsidize farmers and ranchers to offset costs of new occupational health and safety rules.The panel said the long list of requirements in the occupational health and safety code, ``when added up, may be significant for some and may be perceived as overwhelming or unrealistic.''It recommends several suggestions including GST rebates, and government grants.Agriculture Minister Oneil Carlier and Labour Minister Christina Gray released the panel's report on Thursday, but they aren't responding to the recommendations yet.Carlier was asked if such a subsidy would be fair if it is not offered to other industries.``Every industry is different,'' said Carlier. ``Even the crop insurance, the farming insurance, right now is subsidized in Alberta. That could be a fairness issue as well.''Gray said the government has been reviewing the reports for almost seven months and is now seeking public input for the next 11 weeks, with regulations to be drafted after that.The panel recommendations include: Employers must establish emergency evacuation plans. Employers must apply a reasonably predictable standard for safeguards to prevent a worker from falling into bins or hoppers. If a hazard assessment indicates that personal protective equipment is required, the employer must ensure that the worker is trained to use it. Employers are to provide appropriate equipment that will help workers lift, push, pull, carry, handle or transport heavy or awkward loads. Any machine that may cause injury must have protective barriers. Scaffolds must comply with industry safety standards. There must be written policy and procedures on potential workplace violence. A worker must not ride on a tongue or drawbar connected to equipment in tandem, or a bucket, forks or other equipment that pose a risk of injury. There is also a proposal on washrooms for those working in the fields. The recommendation is to let nature take its course, as it has for generations.``The norm in such instances is to perform functions otherwise appropriate for toilet facilities in the great outdoors,'' read the report.The panels could not come to a consensus on whether seatbelts are necessary, given the need for safety versus the needs of multitasking.They also couldn't agree on whether farmers and ranchers need to wear safety vests or whether roll bars or other safety devices should be mandatory on ATVs.The proposed changes are embedded in almost 200 pages of technical and legal detail that Gray herself says requires cross-referencing with occupational health and safety codes and legislation in order to fully comprehend.Gray said while those documents are available, her department will soon be coming out with a summary for Albertans that will make all the changes and implications crystal clear.``I'm committed to making sure that Albertans are able to fully participate in this and provide feedback because that is why we're here today, to engage with Albertans,'' she said.Carlier admitted that past government communication and outreach on the farm safety legislation have been problematic.There were protest rallies at the legislature when the legislation was passed in late 2015, with critics saying the rules would prevent family members from helping on the farm and would leave the farm way of life flailing in red ink and red tape.``Our new government learned some tough lessons,'' said Carlier.
September 29, 2017, Victoria, B.C. - British Columbia farmers are invited to safely and responsibly dispose of their unwanted or obsolete pesticides and livestock (including equine) medications from October 3 through 19, 2017.In partnership with the Canadian Animal Health Institute (CAHI), Cleanfarms, an industry-led, national not-for-profit environmental stewardship organization, is offering this program at no cost to farmers.The obsolete pesticide and livestock/equine medication collection program is a national program that comes to each province every three years. In between collections periods, farmers are asked to safely store their unwanted pesticides and livestock medications until they can properly dispose of them through the program."British Columbia farmers are environmentally conscious and are pleased to partner with Cleanfarms to safely dispose of obsolete pesticides and livestock medications," Stan Vander Waal, chair of the British Columbia Agriculture Council, said in a press release. "The Cleanfarms collection program provides an excellent one-stop service for British Columbia farmers to continue to protect the land."Farmers in British Columbia have a long history of good stewardship practices. Since 1998, British Columbia farmers have turned in more than 282,000 kilograms of obsolete pesticides since program inception, and 47,000 kilograms during last collection in 2014 and 2015. Farmers across the province also turned in more than 500 kilograms of livestock medication in 2014 and 2015."British Columbia has a history of successful collections," Barry Friesen, general manager of Cleanfarms, said. "The participation of British Columbia farmers shows they are good stewards of their land and committed to protecting the environment."After collection, the pesticides and medications are taken to a licensed waste management facility where they are disposed of through high temperature incineration.The following locations will be accepting obsolete pesticides and livestock/equine medications from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on the dates specified:VICTORIAOctober 3, 2017Capital Regional DistrictHartland Landfill1 Hartland AvenueT: 250-360-3030DUNCANOctober 4, 2017Bings CreekRecycling Centre3900 Drinkwater RoadT: 250-746-2540COURTENAYOctober 5, 2017Comox Valley WasteManagement Centre3699 Bevan RoadCumberlandT: 250-334-6000DELTAOctober 10 and 11, 2017Crop Production ServicesEvergro7430 Hopcott RoadT: 604-940-0290ABBOTSFORDOctober 17 and 18, 2017Univar Agriculture3256 McCallum RoadT: 604-859-4919PEMBERTONOctober 19, 2017Squamish-Lilloett RegionalDistrict Transfer Station1947 Carpenter RoadT: 604-894-6371 Ext. 236
July 7, 2017, Langley, B.C. – Approximately 2,000 wildfires occur each year in British Columbia. The effect of wildfires on the province’s agriculture community can be devastating and costly.More than half of the wildfires in 2016 were caused by humans.With the wildfire season upon on us in B.C., there are measures that ranchers, farmers, growers, and others who make their living in agriculture can do to protect their workers and their property. Addressing potential fire hazards will significantly reduce the chances of a large-scale fire affecting your operation.Controlling the environment is important. Clear vegetation and wood debris to at least 10 metres from fences and structures; collect and remove generated wastes whether it is solid, semi-solid, or liquid; and reduce the timber fuel load elsewhere on your property and Crown or lease land to help mitigate the risk.In the case that you have to address fire on your property, have a well-rehearsed Emergency Response Plan (ERP) in place. The ERP should also include an Evacuation Plan for workers and livestock.“Having a map of your property, including Crown and lease lands, and a list of all of your workers and their locations is extremely helpful for evacuation and useful for first responders,” says Wendy Bennett, Executive Director of AgSafe. A list of materials and a safety data sheet of all liquid and spray chemicals and their locations should also be made available to attending firefighters.Bennett suggests checking the Government of BC Wildfire Status website regularly to report or monitor the status of fires in your area.For over twenty years AgSafe has been the expert on safety in the workplace for British Columbia’s agriculture industry and is committed to reducing the number of agriculture-related workplace deaths and injuries by offering health and safety programs, training, evaluation and consultation services.For more information about agriculture workplace safety or AgSafe services call 1-877-533-1789 or visit www.AgSafeBC.ca
June 6, 2016 - The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is collaborating with public health, veterinary, and agriculture officials in many states, as well as the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS), to investigate seven separate multistate outbreaks of human Salmonella infections. Results from these investigations showed that contact with live poultry in backyard flocks was the likely source of these outbreaks. READ MORE
Oct. 18, 2013 - The Canadian Agricultural Safety Association (CASA) welcomes a new Chair to the CASA Board of Directors, while congratulating a new Director to the Board. Denis Bilodeau, Second Vice President of l’Union des producteurs agricole (UPA) was re-elected to the Board representing producer groups this past October at Get with the Plan! 2013, CASA’s AGM and Conference in Québec City, Québec. He assumes the officer post of Chair of the Board. This is his first term as Chair. Previously Bilodeau has served as Vice-Chair of the CASA Board of Directors for four non-consecutive terms, and has been involved with CASA for approximately fifteen years. “I am pleased to take on this role. I hope to bring my knowledge and expertise to the position, and I hold farm safety close to my heart. It is deeply rooted for me both personally and professionally,” says Bilodeau. Bilodeau replaces outgoing Chair Dean Anderson, Agriculture Program Manager with Workplace Safety and Prevention Services. The Board wishes to thank Anderson for four terms of excellent service as Chair. Anderson takes on the role of Vice-Chair of the CASA Board. Tara Huestis, Farm Safety Specialist with the Workers Compensation Board of PEI, assumes the role of Director representing government. Huestis won her seat by acclamation. This is her first term on the Board. Filling out the remainder of the Board, Lauranne Sanderson, Department Head of Dalhousie University Agricultural Campus, resumes her role as Treasurer, while Billy Woods, producer from Torbay, Newfoundland and Labrador, continues as Secretary. Charan Gill, Chief Executive Officer of Progressive Intercultural Community Services, and Niels Koehncke, Acting Director of the Canadian Centre for Health and Safety in Agriculture, continue their Board terms. At CASA’s AGM, CASA members also voted to revise the Association’s bylaws to enable CASA to comply with the new Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act, which establishes a new set of rules for federally incorporated non-profit corporations in Canada. Members also voted to dissolve CASA’s two-tiered membership system. All CASA members will now be able to nominate, run, and elect members directly to the CASA Board of Directors. For more information, please visit www.casa-acsa.ca.
UPDATE: July 14, 2018 * Advisory liftedLOCATION: Northwest area of the Niagara region, OntarioOn behalf of Ontario’s four feather boards, the Feather Board Command Centre (FBCC) is announcing that the biosecurity ILT advisory that was issued to all commercial poultry farmers and small flock growers in the northwestern part of the Niagara Region on March 16, 2018 has now been lifted.The owner of the commercial broiler chicken operation involved, has collaborated closely with their veterinarian, processor and hatchery, Chicken Farmers of Ontario staff and the FBCC to successfully apply enhanced biosecurity and disease control measures as described in the ILT response protocol. Rigorous adherence to biosecurity principles by farmers in the risk area as well as by service providers over the last 3 months has prevented spread of the disease. Ongoing veterinary\ surveillance indicates no further signs of respiratory illness.Normal biosecurity levels can now be restored.Farmers should continue to be very diligent in observing their flocks, monitoring mortalities and tracking feed and water consumption. If you suspect any signs of infectious disease, please contact your veterinarian and your Board immediately. UPDATE: April 30, 2018LOCATION: Northwest area of the Niagara region, OntarioThe FBCC is issuing an update to the March 16, 2018 Biosecurity Advisory relating to the diagnosis of ILT on a commercial broiler chicken farm in the northwestern part of the Niagara Region.A second case of ILT has been identified in a subsequent crop of vaccinated broiler chickens being raised in the same barn as the first case. However, the attending veterinarian stated that the vaccine appears to be effective in preventing new cases as general flock health is improving. It is important to remember that the ILT virus can be very persistent in litter, on interior wood surfaces and the environment.FBCC continues to coordinate disease response efforts with Chicken Farmers of Ontario, the farmer, their veterinarian, OMAFRA and industry partners to eliminate the disease on the index farm and prevent spread of the virus.All farmers, family food growers and service providers operating in the advisory area are strongly advised to maintain enhanced biosecurity measures at this time.Active flock health monitoring continues on-site as well as on linked farms and those nearby. To date there have been no further reports of ILT beyond the index farm.The enhanced biosecurity advisory area will remain in place until disease control can be assured. As your farm has been identified as being located within the 10km biosecurity advisory area, we request that you remain vigilant in following the enhanced biosecurity procedures that are in effect.Should you suspect any signs of health concerns in your flock, please contact your veterinarian as well as your Board.ILT is a serious, contagious disease caused by a respiratory virus.Signs to look for include: increased mortality, noisy breathing, head-shaking, off feed, decreased egg production, inactivity, ruffled feathers and conjunctivitis.Please advise any visitors to your premises of your biosecurity protocols because of this situation and keep a logbook of movement in relation to your farm.Minimize visits to other poultry production sites, avoid exchanging equipment with other poultry production sites or ensure that it is washed and disinfected.Ensure all personnel in contact with birds wear boots, protective suits, head coverings and gloves/proper handwashing procedures. Ensure adequate control of vermin and wild birds.UPDATE: March 22, 2018LOCATION: Northwest area of the Niagara region, OntarioThe FBCC is issuing an update to the March 16, 2018 Biosecurity Advisory relating to the diagnosis of ILT on a commercial broiler chicken farm in the northwestern part of the Niagara Region.WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:FBCC is coordinating efforts with Chicken Farmers of Ontario, the farmer, their veterinarian and industry partners to control spread and prevent reoccurrence of the disease on the index farm including: Extensive cleaning/disinfection/heating procedures once birds were shipped; Increased production downtime and postponement of placement; Inoculation of incoming chicks with a vaccine type approved for eradication; and Actively monitoring farms at highest risk. The Animal Health Lab at University of Guelph has determined that the virus strain associated with this case is indistinguishable from the ILT virus which caused a significant outbreak in Niagara in 2004.As your farm has been identified as being located within the 10km biosecurity advisory area, we recommend that you remain vigilant in following the enhanced biosecurity procedures that are in effect.Should you suspect any signs of health concerns in your flock, please contact your veterinarian as well as your Board. ILT is a serious, contagious disease caused by a respiratory virus. Signs to look for include: increased mortality, noisy breathing, head-shaking, off feed, decreased egg production, inactivity, ruffled feathers and conjunctivitis.Please advise any visitors to your premises of your biosecurity protocols because of this situation and keep a logbook of movement in relation to your farm. Minimize visits to other poultry production sites, avoid exchanging equipment with other poultry production sites or ensure that it is washed and disinfected. Ensure all personnel in contact with birds wear boots, protective suits, head coverings and gloves/proper handwashing procedures. Ensure adequate control of vermin and wild birds.Initial alert:DATE: March 16, 2018LOCATION: Northwest area of the Niagara region, OntarioDETAILS: On behalf of the four feather boards, the Feather Board Command Centre (FBCC) is issuing an ILT Biosecurity Advisory to all poultry industry service providers operating in the northwestern part of the Niagara Region. A Biosecurity Advisory Area map is being provided to assist with routing and enhanced biosecurity measures.FBCC has been notified by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), that Infectious Laryngotracheitis (ILT) has been diagnosed on a commercial broiler chicken farm in the northwestern part of the Niagara region. All farmers and small flock growers within 10 km of the affected farm are being notified by board staff and advised to enhance their biosecurity and closely monitor flock health.This is the first diagnosis of ILT in an Ontario broiler chicken flock in several years. The high broiler chicken density in the area creates the potential for spread to otherunvaccinated birds. OMAFRA reports that the farmer is following proper biosecurity protocols and the situation is under control.Please reinforce your biosecurity protocols if working with flocks or travelling through this area of the Niagara Region. Suspend all non-essential visits. For essential visits, apply the following recommended biosecurity measures: wearing boots, protection suits, hats and gloves/hand washing. All deliveries/loading should be last on the route. Wash and disinfect the truck's undercarriage and steps before proceeding with any other delivery/loading. Do not go to another farm within 12 hours.Should you be aware of health concerns in flocks you deal with, please advise the farmer to contact their veterinarian as well as their Board.We anticipate this advisory status to last until at least late April.SOURCE:Feather Board Command Centre
DATE: June 17, 2018LOCATION: City of Kawartha Lakes County, OntarioDETAILS: ILT has been diagnosed in a backyard poultry flock within the City of Kawartha Lakes County, Ontario. OMAFRA provided no specific location as this is an unregistered flock but has indicated that all birds on the farm have been depopulated and that there are no plans to re-stock in the near future.Farmers and small flock growers in this area are being contacted and advised to enhance their biosecurity programs. Please reinforce your biosecurity protocols if working with flocks or travelling through this area. This advisory status is anticipated to last until the end of July 2018.SOURCE:https://gallery.mailchimp.com/4baae7f69906e1771dd506b2b/files/a1592d79-7c99-42f4-b08b-8f9ba043378c/ILT_City_of_Kawartha_Lakes_June_2018_Industry_Advisory.pdf
DATE: June 14, 2018LOCATION: Village of Donchevo [Dobrich]DETAILS: An outbreak of a virulent bird flu virus has spread to another farm in northeastern Bulgaria, the national food safety agency reported on June 13, 2018.A three-kilometer protection zone was set around the farm in the village of Donchevo [Dobrich] and the sale of eggs and the movement of domestic, wild, and other birds was banned within it, the agency said in a statement.Two weeks ago, the agency authorities reported an outbreak of the virus on a duck farm in the village of Stefanovo [Dobrich] and said birds on the farm were being culled.Bulgaria has reported a handful of outbreaks in the past year, some involving the highly pathogenic H5N8 bird flu virus.SOURCE:http://www.promedmail.org/post/5856014ProMED-mail posthttp://www.promedmail.org/ProMED-mail is a program of the International Society for Infectious Diseaseshttp://www.isid.org
DATE: June 10, 2018LOCATION: 36 statesDETAILS: Multistate outbreaks of salmonella infections linked to contact with live poultry in backyard flocks. As of June 1, 2018, 124 people infected with the outbreak strains of salmonella have been reported from 36 states.Epidemiologic, traceback, and laboratory findings link these outbreaks to contact with live poultry, such as chicks and ducklings, which come from multiple hatcheries. In interviews, 55 (74 per cent) of 74 ill people with information available reported contact with chicks or ducklings in the week before their illness started. People reported obtaining chicks and ducklings from several sources, including feed supply stores, websites, hatcheries, and from relatives.A total of 70 outbreaks of salmonella infections have been linked to contact with backyard flocks since 2000 [see URL for link to PDF]. In 2017, CDC reported the largest number of illnesses ever recorded linked to backyard flocks.SOURCE:http://www.promedmail.org/post/5848079ProMED-mail posthttp://www.promedmail.org/ProMED-mail is a program of the International Society for Infectious Diseaseshttp://www.isid.org
DATE: June 7, 2018LOCATION: San Bernardino County, CaliforniaDETAILS: USDA confirms additional cases of virulent Newcastle disease in backyard birds in California.The United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service confirmed three additional cases of virulent Newcastle disease in backyard birds in San Bernardino County, California.Virulent Newcastle disease has not been found in commercial poultry in the United States since 2003.SOURCE:http://www.promedmail.org/post/5844854ProMED-mail posthttp://www.promedmail.org/ProMED-mail is a program of the International Society for Infectious Diseaseshttp://www.isid.org
DATE: June 7, 2018LOCATION: Liaozhong district, Shenyang, LiaoningDETAILS: On May 22, a new stain of a listed disease was confirmed on a farm in the Liaozahong district. Control measures are underway. Event status is continuing to be updated.SOURCE:http://www.promedmail.org/post/5844854ProMED-mail posthttp://www.promedmail.org/ProMED-mail is a program of the International Society for Infectious Diseaseshttp://www.isid.org
In a chicken industry that is minimizing the use of antibiotics, our ability to provide an optimal clean environment is paramount. This can be achieved through cleaning and disinfection (C&D) and strict biosecurity.
Live vaccines contain naturally occurring mild pathotype or attenuated (weakened) viruses, bacteria or coccidia and are designed to elicit local and systemic immunity in birds. They are suitable for mass administration by water or spray.
Antibiotic resistance is real. In Canada and around the world, fewer antimicrobials remain effective in controlling infection as more microbes become resistant in both human and veterinary medicine.
Some perceive the term Veterinary-Client-Patient Relationship (VCPR) as formal and rarely used or understood. It does not have to be that way. Simply stated, a VCPR involves a veterinarian and poultry producer developing and maintaining a working relationship.
UPDATE: Infectious Laryngotracheitis - ILT - CanadaUPDATE: July 14, 2018 * Advisory liftedLOCATION: Northwest area of…
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2018 Chicken Marketing SummitSun Jul 22, 2018
PSA Annual Meeting 2018Mon Jul 23, 2018
Poultry Science Association AGMMon Jul 23, 2018
CFO Summer Regional MeetingsMon Jul 30, 2018
National Safety Conference for the Poultry IndustryMon Aug 13, 2018
Manure Expo 2018Wed Aug 15, 2018