New Technology
August 14, 2017, U.S. - The company has implemented the U.S. meat industry’s most extensive third-party remote video auditing (RVA) system, is fielding what is believed to be the world’s largest team of animal well-being specialists and is introducing a pilot project for controlled atmosphere stunning (CAS) at two of its poultry facilities this year.

“Ensuring the well-being of the animals in our care is a core part of our broader sustainability journey and these initiatives are the latest examples of our leadership in this important area,” said Justin Whitmore, chief sustainability officer for Tyson Foods. “We’re also piloting other potential innovations as we become the world’s most sustainable producer of protein.”

“Animal welfare is part science, part compassion, and it requires management commitment to learning, training and constant monitoring,” said Dr. Temple Grandin, professor of animal science at Colorado State University and a member of Tyson Foods’ Animal Well-Being Advisory Panel.

To help monitor live bird handling, the company has rolled out the industry’s largest third-party RVA program in the U.S., covering 33 poultry plants.

The company is using Arrowsight, a leading provider of remote video auditing technology and data analytics services, which has extensive animal welfare monitoring experience.

Video from cameras in Tyson Foods’ chicken plants is analyzed by trained off-site auditors and data feedback is provided daily, weekly and monthly to plant management to deliver excellence in animal welfare practices.

Tyson Foods also is launching an innovative RVA pilot project to assess on-farm catching of birds for transport to processing facilities. Video will be audited and analyzed by Arrowsight for adherence to humane treatment of animals, allowing immediate follow-up if any concerns are identified.

In addition to video monitoring, Tyson Foods is also the first in the industry to employ animal well-being specialists across all its beef, pork and poultry operations. The company has trained and deployed nearly 60 dedicated fulltime animal well-being specialists. This includes at least one at every processing facility that handles live animals, to work collaboratively with our Office of Animal Well-Being and our plants to ensure best-in-class training and 2 practices.

Half of the specialists are also involved in supporting animal well-being on the poultry farms that supply the company. The specialists have experience in either processing plant or live chicken operations and will have continual training. They have participated in animal welfare webinars and a week-long summit. They are also taking a certification course through the Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization (PAACO).

Tyson Foods also will launch two pilot projects within the next year to test a process called controlled atmosphere stunning. Support of the use of gas as a more humane way to render the bird unconscious before processing has increased over the past several years among scientists, veterinarians and animal welfare advocates, since it eliminates the handling of conscious birds.

The company will evaluate the results of the pilot program to determine if CAS is a reasonable alternative to the existing method before it makes decisions about deploying it at other facilities. Tyson Foods is also piloting research into chicken house lighting and enrichments for the birds (e.g. perches). In addition, the company continues to work with its poultry breeding suppliers on the important relationship between breeding and bird health. It has also conducted work on enhanced poultry nutrition and ventilation.
August 2, 2017, Lucknow, Ont. - The optimally balanced feed and current environment are often not sufficient to satisfy the animals' need for activities during forage and feed intake. This leads to restlessness in the barn and misguided pecking activities.

Restlessness, plumage damage and injuries or even cannibalism are commonly the result. "Manipulability materials" are intended to give the animals the opportunity to live out their natural behavior. Such activity materials have an effect when the treatment of the beaks is given up.

PECKStones provide laying hens, turkeys and broilers from the first day of life, the possibility and the incentive to deal with the material. They work on it by picking and wearing out the beak tip in a natural way.

When using PECKStones, stress-triggering interactions between the animals can be avoided and the risk of feather pecking can be minimized. In addition, the animals have the possibility to add to their diet, magnesium and sodium according to their individual requirements. As these elements play a role in nerve activity, this can help to calm the animals.

PECKStones are also an added, individually accessible source of calcium. This is particularly important in the evening hours when filling the calcium storages for egg formation at night.

Application:
  • Chicks and broilers from the first day of life – place the stones directly on the ground
  • Pullets and young turkeys, laying hens – place the stones on the inverted bowl
  • Larger turkeys depending on the age – place the stones at the activity level by means of the hanging element (can be supplied)
  • For 500 to 800 animals, at least one PECKStone should be provided
  • PECKStones can also be stored, they have a long shelf life when kept in a dry and rodent-free storage

Key points:
PECKStones...
  • Reduce stress-triggering interactions between the animals
  • Secure active preoccupation by consuming the material
  • Prevent behavior deviations
  • Promote activity and agility
  • Satisfy the animals' need for individual intake of minerals
  • Contribute to calcium supply for a strong egg shell
  • Support natural beak wear
The stones are manufactured in Germany by VILOFOSS
July 26, 2017, McKinney, TX - Global Re-Fuel is an energy technology company that is poised to make a significant impact on poultry farming. Its PLF-500 biomass furnace offers a pioneering farm technology that addresses financial, health and environmental issues facing the agriculture industry.

Global Re-Fuel’s warm-air biomass furnace – now in use on a farm in Texas – converts raw poultry litter into energy, providing heat to broiler houses while creating a pathogen-free organic fertilizer.

“A ton of litter has the equivalent energy content of 67 gallons of propane. Extracting that heat and using the ash as fertilizer is a really good situation, which not only helps farmers, but is also beneficial to the environment,” says Glenn Rodes, a farmer who has used the technology on his Virginia poultry farm.

As the number of poultry operations in the U.S. increases, so do the attendant problems. Today, there are more than 110,000 broiler houses in the country, with that number expected to exceed 131,000 by 2024, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) growth projections of the industry.

More than 32 billion pounds of poultry litter were generated in 2015. That number is expected to grow to more than 37 billion pounds per year by 2024, which will exacerbate the soil nutrient overload that contributes to runoff pollution into US waterways.

In addition, poultry farms require a great deal of propane to heat broiler houses, with the average broiler house using about 6,000 gallons of propane each year.

In 2015, more than 8.5 million tons of CO2 were emitted from burning propane to heat broiler houses, and that number is projected to grow to almost 10 million tons by 2024, according to the USDA. Global Re-Fuel’s technology eliminates nearly 100 percent of propane usage, reducing CO2 emissions by more than 70,000 lbs/yr/house.

“The Global Re-Fuel PLF-500 increases farmers’ operating margins, decreases pollution, eliminates propane usage – which reduces CO2 emissions – and improves poultry living conditions,” says Rocky Irvin, a founding member of Global Re-Fuel and a poultry grower for more than 10 years. “It’s good for the family farm and the environment.”
July 25, 2017, Gainesville, GA - Cantrell, a poultry processing equipment, parts and service company, recently made an upgrade to its CWCS-8400 Wing.

The Cantrell Wing Segmenter now features stainless steel doors which offer better visibility of machine operation and easy access for adjustment. The stainless steel doors can be retrofitted to older machines.

The Cantrell Wing Segmenter is capable of processing up to 185 wings per minute on a processing line or as a standalone application. The Wing Segmenter properly orients the wing at various line speeds for accuracy on each individual cut. The shackle transfer eliminates misfeeds. Processors can cut tips, flats and drummettes at one location. The CWCS-8400 is capable of handling varying sizes of wings.

When run in cone line operations, the only person who touches the wing is the employee who cuts it off the bird. This is a labor savings for processors. When configured with a cone line, the track and shackles run in front of the employee who hangs the wings in the shackle. The shackle line is routed overhead to the cutting head of the machine, which solves the problem of transporting the wings away from the cone line.

In an offline situation, Cantrell’s wing system can be loaded on both sides and configured with a cutting wheel on each end, making it possible to double the cutting capacity to 340 wings per minute.

The Segmenter is designed to allow adjustments during operation and easy access for blade replacement. The CWCS-8400 is energy efficient and the open design makes for easy cleaning.

For more information, please contact Cantrell at 800-922-1232, 770-536-3611, or visit the website at www.cantrell.com.
Smart agriculture is one of several terms used to refer to the expansion of precision agriculture. Poultry producers have adopted some precision agriculture tools, particularly as they relate to the in-barn environment and monitoring barn conditions.

Smart agriculture is the combination of precision agriculture and big data to provide livestock producers with online, continuous and automatic monitoring of animals and their environment to support optimal management.

It uses a broad range of components – big data, robotics, drones, sensors, etc. – that have to be harmonized to provide real-time measurement or estimation. This allows farm managers to immediately react to data and information.

Livestock processing and input sectors are also adopting smart management features in their businesses. However, the poultry sector has been slower than other livestock industries to adopt them. Part of this delay is because very little research and innovation needed to develop poultry sector-specific technologies has been conducted in Canada.

Also, poultry producers may not fully recognize how these tools could enable their sector to generate higher efficiency and productivity. Applying smart agriculture tools to a cow or sow is easier to understand than how they might apply to a chicken or turkey. It is easier to apply monitoring and decision-making systems to large animals that have significant value and that can be fitted with individual monitoring devices.

Yet, there are a few Canadian universities conducting research on smart agriculture applications for poultry. Dr. Martin Zuidhof of the University of Alberta is developing a precision feeder system for broiler breeders to ensure more consistency in bird condition when egg laying begins in order to improve flock production.

What’s more, the University of Guelph’s Dr. Suresh Neethirajan is developing rapid diagnostic tools for use at the point of care, such as within the poultry barn, to identify disease outbreaks without the delay required for laboratory analysis.  

The Canadian Poultry Research Centre (CPRC) recently added smart agriculture tools to the list of categories for its annual call for Letters of Intent (LOI). It is also investigating methods to identify potential industry issues that might be addressed using this comprehensive approach to management information and decision-making systems.

CPRC 2017 Board of Directors

CPRC’s full board returned for 2017 and has been busy working on the 2017 call for LOIs. It has also been hard at work preparing for the expected Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s call for proposals for a new Science Cluster program under the 2018 to 2023 Agricultural Policy Framework and issues that arise from the ongoing administration of the 38 active research projects.

CPRC is grateful to its member organizations for their continued support of its operations and its appointees to the board of directors. Board members include: Tim Keet, chair and Chicken Farmers of Canada representative; Helen Anne Hudson, vice-chair and Egg Farmers of Canada representative; Erica Charlton, representing Canadian Poultry and Egg Processors Council and the third member of CPRC’s executive committee; Murray Klassen, representing Canadian Hatching Egg Producers; and Brian Ricker, who represents Turkey Farmers of Canada.

CPRC also appreciates the ongoing support and input from staff appointed by member organizations to support their representatives on the board of directors.

CPRC, its board of directors and member organizations are committed to supporting and enhancing Canada’s poultry sector through research and related activities.  For more details on these or any other CPRC activities, please contact The Canadian Poultry Research Council, 350 Sparks Street, Suite 1007, Ottawa, Ontario, K1R 7S8, phone: (613) 566-5916, fax: (613) 241-5999, email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or visit www.cp-rc.ca.

The membership of the CPRC consists of Chicken Farmers of Canada, Canadian Hatching Egg Producers, Turkey Farmers of Canada, Egg Farmers of Canada and the Canadian Poultry and Egg Processors’ Council. CPRC’s mission is to address its members’ needs through dynamic leadership in the creation and implementation of programs for poultry research in Canada, which may also include societal concerns.
July 10, 2017, Langham, Sask. - Farmers who want to check out the newest technology, explore unique crop test plots or improve their dairy and cattle know-how will find all that and more at the Ag in Motion Western Canada's outdoor farm expo July 18 to 20.

Located 15 minutes northwest of Saskatoon, along Highway 16 near Langham, Ag in Motion features more than 350 exhibitors, 100 acres of test crops and the newest technological advances in farm equipment.

Ag in Motion is one of the only shows in Western Canada that allows farmers to watch equipment in action on the field, says Show Director Rob O'Connor.

"Farmers conduct their business outside in the field. Here's an opportunity to see equipment working, see it outdoors, see the crops growing. Decisions are made in the field and that's really what farmers do," says O'Connor.

Ag in Motion visitors will be among the first to see Dot Technology Corp.'s autonomous DOT Power Platform, which is expected to change farming as we know it.

"I don't think there's been anything that has the potential to change how we practise agriculture more since the GPS was introduced to farming," says O'Connor. "I really think that 20 years from now, how a farmer actually farms will be changed because of this technology."

Among the innovations on display at Ag in Motion are improvements in tires for high horsepower tractors, grain bin fall protection and increased fertilizer absorption.

Test crops by 25 companies will feature many varieties and highlight the effects of combinations of inputs.

Daily seminars in the Agri-Trend Knowledge Tent will feature financial and succession planning and precision ag.

Livestock Central will offer sessions on cattle handling, livestock and forage, a dairy day and fencing demonstrations.

Among the speakers at the expo are Glacier FarmMedia's Director of Markets and Weather Information Bruce Burnett, who will update farmers daily on the latest news, and Jolene Brown, presented by RBC, who will address mistakes that break up family businesses.

Now in its third year, Ag in Motion doubled in size last year and has expanded this year by over 50 new exhibitors. And new this year, onsite internet and cellphone service lets visitors and exhibitors stay connected.
July 6, 2017, Guelph, Ont. - Chicken hatcheries around the world will soon have access to a unique, new, made-in-Canada technology that holds the potential to revolutionize the business.

The non-invasive scanning technology – that will identify the gender of day-old eggs before they are incubated – is set to streamline the hatchery process, create new tech-sector jobs and redirect resources previously used to raise male chicks.

Research funded by the Egg Farmers of Ontario through the Agricultural Adaptation Council was conducted at McGill University to bring the concept of gender identification of unhatched eggs to full-scale commercialization. The project is in its second phase. That’s work to fine-tune the scanning system in preparation for a commercial application that would be available for sale to hatcheries in Canada and around the world.

“This is a very sophisticated technology that includes state-of-the-art visioning,” says Tim Nelson, CEO of Livestock Research Innovation Corporation, the group partnering with Egg Farmers of Ontario to bring the technology to market. “There is a tremendous amount of design work that goes into creating this new system that, at full capacity, could scan and identify male and female, and fertile and non-fertile eggs at 50,000 eggs per hour.”

The knowledge that comes from being able to identify the gender of day-old eggs will give hatcheries new information. Female eggs can be incubated for hatching and infertile or male eggs can join the table or processing stream.

“This new technology will offer tremendous new opportunities to Ontario’s hatchery industry,” says Harry Pelissero, general manager of Egg Farmers of Ontario. “Redirecting day-old male eggs opens new market opportunities, and focuses hatchery resources of energy, water and other resources to hatching female eggs. It’s really going to be a game-changer.”

Commercialization of the technology will involve working with established hatchery automation companies, as the new technology requires custom-fitting to each hatchery, and is expected to create up to 30 jobs in Ontario, including visioning system technicians.

“We’ve already had interest and requests from hatcheries around the world that are very excited about the potential of this new technology,” says Pellisero. “We are now moving into testing prototypes in Ontario hatcheries to be sure the accuracy and speed we have in the lab can be achieved at the commercial level. We expect to go to market in 2018 with the first commercial hatchery application.”

This project was funded in part through Growing Forward 2 (GF2), a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. The Agricultural Adaptation Council assists in the delivery of GF2 in Ontario.
May 30, 2017 - Steve Parsons has been a part of the chicken industry throughout his entire life, and his company, Greengage Lighting Ltd, is using LED systems to help poultry and swine farmers further improve the efficiency and productivity of their operations.

Parsons sat down with Jamie Johansen during ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference, where he gave a presentation on his company through his participation in the Pearse Lyons Accelerator Program.

Greengage supplies an induction-powered system that makes LED lights and sensors for poultry and swine.

It uses patented inductive technology, a magnetic conductive system that converts energy into LED lights on a wave spectrum that has been aligned to the requirements of a chicken. READ MORE
May 25, 2017, Lexington, KY - During ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference, 70 speakers, including the brightest international minds in science, agriculture, technology and business, highlighted technologies that have the potential to revolutionize agriculture and make the next big leap in productivity possible.

Across all agricultural sectors, digital technologies and applications are emerging that are disrupting production systems and supply chains, creating radically different business models and enabling farmers and agribusiness to work with levels of precision and insight that were previously unimaginable.

“Technology will change beyond belief,” said Dr. Pearse Lyons, founder and president of Alltech. “Things are changing at a rapid pace, and companies need to start thinking like startups: go and grow fast.”

Sharing his perspective from more than 36 years in business, Dr. Lyons listed his five key elements for success in this ever-changing marketplace: Speed, leadership, culture, training, and a unique dynamic of “fun”.

“We’re in the midst of an agri revolution — it’s happening right here, right now, and it’s exciting,” said Robert Walker, CEO of Keenan, who addressed attendees on disruptive and data-driven technologies.

During his talk, Walker highlighted how Keenan, an agriculture manufacturing specialist, partners with technology companies such as Vodafone and Intel to provide farmers with instant information on their herds’ feed ration through cloud computing.

Peter Diamandis, founder of the XPrize Foundation and co-founder of Singularity University, addressed attendees on disruptive innovations, highlighting that the only constant is change, and the rate of change is increasing.

“To stay ahead in any industry, companies and entrepreneurs must think in an exponential way, as it’s exponential technology that will transform every industry,” he said.

Diamandis was awarded the Alltech Humanitarian Award, which is bestowed annually to someone of strong character who uses their accomplishments to positively influence and inspire other people.

The three-day conference also heard from George Blankenship, former executive at Tesla Motors, Apple Computer and GAP Inc., Lisa Bodell, founder and CEO of futurethink, Jack Bobo, senior vice president and chief communications officer at Intrexon, and many more.

The conference will return to Lexington, Kentucky, May 20–23, 2018.
May 15, 2017, Alpharetta, GA - The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) recently approved the distribution of Selisseo®, the first pure source of organic selenium capable of meeting nutritional requirements in the Canadian market.

The purity of the proprietary organoselenium-based product, which has been tested in numerous trials, has been shown to consistently deliver more selenium while increasing the availability of selenocysteine (SeCys), thus providing animals with high antioxidant capabilities.

Selenium is an essential nutrient and powerful antioxidant that plays a critical role in metabolism, reproductive health and immunity by fighting oxidative stress.

Organic selenium is more easily integrated into body metabolism than other currently available selenium sources such as inorganic selenium salts and selenium-enriched yeasts.

For more information, visit: http://www.adisseo.com
Poultry production generates dust, ammonia and odour emissions that have the potential to impact air quality both within the barn and in the environment.

The subject of emission control was addressed at EuroTier, the world’s largest trade fair for animal production, in November 2016. The fair takes place every other year in Hanover, Germany.
When Canadian Poultry introduces new technologies for the farm, we often leave readers wondering “where are they now?” months or years later. Well, wonder no more. We’ve tracked several seemingly groundbreaking innovations and now we’re bringing you updates on how those innovations have panned out since we first presented them in our pages.
In January, new broiler producer Brent Pryce welcomed more than 20,000 birds (14,000 quota) into his brand new barn in Walton, Ont.

“I grew up on a farm, with my grandfather starting with dairy and then cash crops and some pork and beef, and always wanted to get into farming,” Pryce says. “I worked towards this through starting up a few different businesses like road dust control, a rental business, vehicle undercoating, and then decided last summer to take the plunge to buy quota and build a barn.”

Construction started in September 2016 and finished in December 2016.

“Our sons, Russell and Clinton, are the reason Catherine and I did it, so that they can have a future in farming if they want it,” Pryce adds. “We’re starting with the goal of producing 2.2 kilogram birds, with four kilograms as the ultimate goal.”

Pryce chose a cross-ventilation barn design with a heating system that’s brand new to North America – one he’s seen working well in other barns he’s visited. Pryce also believes it will help save on heating bills and electricity, which is quite costly in Ontario, and provide excellent humidity control.

Weeden Environments was a main contractor for the project. Nathan Conley, the firm’s manager for Ontario and the northern United States, says the cross-ventilation design offers a lower building cost than longer and narrower tunnel barns. “Many of Brent’s neighbours and friends are very happy with their cross-ventilated buildings,” he says. “We recommended that two sides have modular side wall air inlets for consistent control over incoming air during minimum ventilation. The air from both sides travels up and along the ceiling [the warmest part of the barn] and therefore it’s conditioned before it reaches the birds and the litter. We then use stir fans to produce consistent temperatures throughout.”

Conley says when warmer weather arrives, a continuous double baffle inlet on one side of the barn will be employed; this set-up creates the same amount of wind chill over the birds as continuous baffle on both sides of the barn. Val-Co HyperMax exhaust fans were chosen for the barn, which Conley says are high-performing and very energy efficient.

A first in North America, the barn’s forced air propane heating and humidity control system is provided by Mabre. Mike Neutel, CEO of Neu Air Systems in Woodstock, Ont., says the systems are used all over the world. The set-up includes two 600,000 Btu Mabre propane furnaces with Reillo burners.

“In poultry barns, typical heating systems are tube heaters and box forced air heaters,” Neutel says. “Some growers have these heaters vented to the outdoors and some vent the products of combustion in the barn.”

He notes the contaminants contained in this air are very harmful to birds, and the exhaust also contains tons of moisture – 0.82 litres of water for every litre of liquid propane burned, and 0.65 litres of water for every litre of liquid natural gas.

Mabre heating systems exit exhaust through chimneys while maintaining a high efficiency of 92 per cent, Neutel notes, while the forced air blowers provide excellent air circulation, which is key in maintaining proper humidity levels. A very even temperature, often within a degree throughout the entire barn, is achieved, but no draft is created. Return air going back to the furnace incorporates fresh outside air through a louver, while heating and mixing this air through an exchanger.



All of this, Neutel says, was important to Pryce. “[He] also commented during his decision process that the low ammonia levels will make it a safe environment for his children to manage the barn when they get older without having to worry about farmer lung,” Neutel adds. Mabre systems maintain humidity between 50 and 60 per cent, even with outside humidity levels of 90 per cent, which Neutel says keeps ammonia levels very low.

Mabre is available with natural gas, propane, wood pellet and wood chip options. More than 200 wood pellet systems have been installed in Quebec poultry barns.

In terms of how popular the cross-ventilation systems will become, Conley notes that in Ontario, producers are moving away from two and three-story barns for easier cleaning and to incorporate modular loading systems. “In the U.S., longer tunnel-ventilated barns are the norm, because the barns are larger and the temperatures higher,” he explains. “With this design – used there and around the world – the barn operates the same as a cross-ventilated barn, where air is brought in via sidewall inlets and exhausted out the sidewalls, but when hotter weather arrives, we gradually transition into tunnel to generate air speed down the length of the barn to create wind chill over the birds to cool them. I think that you’ll begin to see a trend of tunnel-ventilated buildings popping up over the next few years as we continue to see hotter, longer summers and the need to control heat stress becomes greater.”

In late January, Pryce reported in on barn performance and his first flock, which had arrived three weeks prior. “So far, I’m really happy with the heat unit and the environment in there is great. Right now is when you see things start to slide a bit, but it’s the same as the first few days the chickens came in. Usually you don’t really take young kids in a barn, but I’m pretty comfortable with taking my young kids in. The carbon dioxide and humidity levels are bang on.”
As many of us have heard on the news recently, food security in Northern Canada is a serious problem. Most people in the Far North are completely reliant on food produced in the south. Food is generally very expensive, but fresh fruit and vegetables in particular cost three to four times what they would elsewhere. Numerous new greenhouse initiatives are underway to address the problem – most of them employing high-tech green energy solutions and extremely high levels of insulation.
Growing volumes of data are being collected throughout the food production chain. But although this data could present big opportunity for agriculture, it’s not being used to its full potential, according to the international sales director of a software company that specializes in the protein industry.     
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