As the world population continues to escalate, so too does the concern around air quality. So, what about in your barn? What is the air quality like in and around a poultry facility? Is there a risk to human health?
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.
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.
High stocking densities significantly impact the health, welfare and performance of tom turkeys. That’s according to newly completed research by Dr. Karen Schwean-Lardner and master’s student Kailyn Beaulac at the University of Saskatchewan’s department of animal and poultry science.
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.
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.
Ontario's Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Ernie Hardeman, recently launched a public awareness campaign to highlight mental health challenges suffered by farmers and encourage people to ask for help when daily struggles become too much to bear."We care about the well-being of our farmers and farm families. We recognize they face unique mental health challenges associated with running a farm business, and want them to know it's OK to reach out for help," said Hardeman.As part of the campaign, Hardeman held a roundtable with members of the agricultural community and had a candid discussion on mental health issues in the sector."Farming can be a tough business, one that sometimes takes a toll on farmers and their families and yet we all know people who have been reluctant to ask for help," said Hardeman. "We want to address the stigma that still surrounds mental health, and help people find the resources that can make a difference."The ministry also supports a number of programs to help farmers, including research to evaluate mental health needs for farmers and farm business risk management programs to cover loss and damage.This is part of the government's commitment to invest $3.8 billion over the next 10 years to develop and implement a comprehensive and connected mental health and addictions strategy. "I want to thank the farmers and farm leaders who participated in our mental health roundtable and showed a great deal of openness and commitment to help tackle this issue and support hopefulness," Hardeman said.
4-H Canada announced a new program Tuesday that will support the emotional and physical well being of rural youth across Canada.Called the 4-H Canada Healthy Living Initiative, the two-year program begins in spring 2019.The collaborate effort is supported by founding partner Farm Credit Canada (FCC), UFA Co-operative Limited, DowDuPont and Cargill, who’ve collectively pledged $150,000 toward the initiative.“This is an investment in young people who will play a large role in shaping the future of Canadian agriculture,” says Michael Hoffort, FCC president and CEO.The first year of the program will see the creation of resources and tools that will support youth facing mental health challenges.It will communicate how to access resources or recognize when a peer needs support as well.The second year will focus on physical health, nutrition and well-being.The approach is intended to help youth both navigate challenges and develop their strengths while focusing on wellness.The healthy living initiative is in response to the critical needs of youth in rural communities in Canada.Young people living in rural and remote communities are at greater risk of experiencing struggles related to their mental and physical well-being.They also lack the resources and services that might be available to those in more urban areas.The goal of this initiative is to support the 25,000 4-H youth members across Canada to lead lives that balance emotional, mental and physical health and remove barriers to access.As part of the two-year commitment, 4-H Canada will also deliver webinars and workshops and assist in the creation of resources that will be made available for the over 7,700 4-H volunteer leaders that are critical mentors and role models in adult-youth partnerships.These resources will train volunteers and offer resources that help recognize youth in distress and provide the access to support they need.“The Healthy Living Initiative means offering youth not only the tools and resources to face challenges, but also opportunities to learn how to thrive,” says Shannon Benner, 4-H Canada CEO.
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
DATE: January 16LOCATION: United Counties of Prescott and RussellDETAILS: OMAFRA is reporting that a chicken from a mixed flock of 100 birds has tested positive for Infectious Laryngotracheitis (ILT). Poultry producers, small flock growers and service providers are urged to maintain enhanced biosecurity in the United Counties of Prescott Russell north of Hwy 417.SOURCE: www.fbcc.ca
DATE: January 8, 2019LOCATION: Riverside Country, Calif.DETAILS: The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed virulent Newcastle disease in a second commercial poultry flock in California. The latest case is in a commercial layer flock in Riverside County. This finding is part of an outbreak in southern California that began in May 2018 in backyard exhibition birds.SOURCE: www.aphis.usda.gov
DATE: December 21LOCATION: CanadaDETAILS: As of December 21st, 22 confirmed cases of Salmonella have appeared in Canada. This prompted the Public Health Agency of Canada to collaborate with provincial public health partners, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Health Canada to investigate the outbreak. The investigation found exposure to raw chicken and turkey products to be the likely source of the outbreak. That's because many individuals who got sick noted eating different types of chicken and turkey before their illness occurred. Almost half of the illnesses, which are genetically related to illnesses that date back to 2017, happened between October and November of 2018.SOURCE: Canada.ca
DATE: December 16, 2018LOCATION: Saint- Felix-de-Valois in Lanaudiere Region of QuebecDETAILS: There have been no additional cases of Infectious Laryngotracheitis (ILT) reported from the Quebec outbreak. An aggressive vaccination program continues. The first confirmed case in this outbreak occurred on June 14, 2018.SOURCE: www.fbcc.ca
DATE: December 14, 2018LOCATION: Leeds Grenville, OntarioDETAILS: A small flock of seven layer type birds has tested positive for Infectious Laryngotracheitis (ILT). Clinical signs first appeared in late November. The virus has been identified as a wild strain. Poultry producers, small flock growers and service providers are being urged to maintain enhanced biosecurity.SOURCE: www.fbcc.ca
DATE: December 5, 2018LOCATION: Perth County, OntarioDETAILS: Further laboratory tests have confirmed the diagnosis of Infectious Laryngotracheitis (ILT) in a Perth county egg layer flock. Birds were previously vaccinated as pullets. Mortality levels are decreasing, and the remainder of the flock appears healthy. Strict biocontainment measures are in place at the farm. Poultry producers and small flock growers are being urged to maintain enhanced biosecurity, particularly in unvaccinated flocks in the 10 km radius biosecurity risk area.SOURCE: www.fbcc.ca
Alternative housing systems have gained in popularity over the past few years due to an increase in outside influences. Consumers have become more involved with farm-to-fork and have driven the egg industry to adopt modifications on how birds are housed throughout their production cycle.
The best time to develop a relationship with all the professionals you need for the operation is when you start planning a facility or expansion. While every producer will develop a relationship with lawyers, bankers, accountants, contractors, processors and equipment suppliers, they often wait to get to know their nutritionist until the first feed order and their veterinarian after their first mortality or production event.
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.
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