Tommy Bagwell, former chairman & CEO of American Proteins, was honored by U.S. Poultry & Egg Association during the 2019 International Production & Processing Expo, where he received the Harold E. Ford Lifetime Achievement Award. This prestigious honor was presented to Bagwell by Tom Hensley, president of Fieldale Farms and outgoing USPOULTRY chairman.The Harold E. Ford Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to an individual whose dedication and leadership over the years have far exceeded the ordinary and impacted both the poultry industry and U.S. Poultry & Egg Association in an exemplary manner. The award is presented non-annually and when the Awards and Recognition Committee unanimously recognizes and endorses the need for occasional, unique recognition for exceptional contributions.“The connecting ties and friendship between Tommy, American Proteins and USPOULTRY are long and deep. In fact, it was Tommy’s father, Leland, who hired Harold Ford, for whom this award is named. It is a privilege to work with Tommy, and we are honored to present this award,” remarked John Starkey, president of USPOULTRYA native of North Georgia, Bagwell earned a degree in economics from Clemson University with a minor in Spanish. He also completed graduate studies in industrial management, business administration and economics at Clemson and the University of Georgia.In 1969, Bagwell began his professional career at North Georgia Rendering Co, now known as American Proteins, Inc. In 1972, upon the death of his father Leland, Bagwell became president. Today, American Proteins services the poultry industry from plants in Georgia and Alabama and supplies feed ingredients throughout the world. American Proteins was sold to Tyson Foods last year.Bagwell has been an active member of the Republican Regents and Republican Governors Association for the past several years. He was appointed a member of the Governor’s Energy Policy Council. He has also served as election observer for the Carter Center in Venezuela and Peru.Bagwell is involved in numerous local organizations. He has been a board member of the NE Georgia Council of Boy Scouts, charter president of the Forsyth County Rotary Club, and served as a trustee of Kennesaw State University, Lanier Technical College and Brenau University. He also serves on the U.S. Poultry & Egg Harold E. Ford Foundation board of directors. In 2014, Bagwell received the Philanthropist of the Year Award from the North Georgia Community Foundation.
As a celebration of exceptional performance and dedication to poultry breeding, Cobb-Vantress recently presented its annual Flock Awards to North American poultry customers who demonstrated remarkable results in 2018.Launched in 2004, the awards program recognizes top-performing facilities in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Central America that are maximizing the genetic potential of Cobb breeding stock. Each year, the Cobb technical services team conducts an annual Sold Flock Breeder Survey to determine the award recipients based on egg production, hatchability, chicks per hen housed and life of flock hen mortality.Cobb representatives announced the winners in January and will host individual ceremonies to present winners with plaques to commemorate their achievements.“With the support of our dedicated technical service team, our customers continue to exceed the possibilities of Cobb breeder performance each year,” said Ken Semon, senior director of technical service for Cobb North America. “Their commitment to excellence is unparalleled, which is evident in the high level of performance these winners achieved last year. All of the winners should be proud of their accomplishments, and our top performers will continue to serve as motivation, driving the North American poultry breeding industry to newfound levels of success.”The full list of 2018 North American winners include: Award                  Cobb-Vantress Customer Location Country Co-National Best, Cobb500 George’s Inc. Harrisonburg, Va. United States Co-National Best, Cobb500 Pilgrim’s Harrisonburg, Va. United States Co-National Best, Cobb700 Tyson Foods, Inc. Noel, Mo. United States Co-National Best, Cobb700 Tyson Foods, Inc. Oglethorpe, Ga. United States Cobb500 Fast Feather Top Flock Producer Pilgrim’s Moorefield, W.Va. United States Cobb500 Slow Feather Top Flock Producer Pitman Family Farms Sanger, Calif. United States Cobb700 Top Flock Producer Peco Foods, Inc. Sebastopol, Miss. United States Cobb500 Package Top Flock Producer Tyson Foods, Inc. Snead, Ala. United States National Best Synergy Agri Group Inc. Port Williams, Nova Scotia Canada Cobb500 Fast Feather Synergy Agri Group Inc. Port Williams, Nova Scotia Canada Cobb500 Slow Feather Cooperative Fédérée De Quebec Victoriaville, Quebec Canada Total Eggs Per Hen Hatched (Mx x 500F) Synergy Agri Group Inc. Port Williams, Nova Scotia Canada Regional Best, Cobb500 CMI-IP – Avicola Villalobos Guatemala City Guatemala Cobb500 Fast Feather CMI-IP – Avicola Pollo Rey San Jose Costa Rica Cobb500 Slow Feather CMI-IP – Avicola Villalobos Guatemala City Guatemala Mexico Best, Cobb500 Buenaventura Villaflores, Chiapas Mexico  “It is a great privilege to be receive the Best Cobb Package award,” said David Pruitt, breeder hatchery manager at the Tyson Foods, Inc. facility in Snead, Alabama, and winner of the Cobb500 Package Top Flock Producer award. “It was a team effort – and one that would not have been possible without the family of one of our dedicated growers coming together after losing their father midway through the flock.”
CBC News has published a comprehensive update on the Polar Egg initiative in Hay River, N.W.T. Click here for Canadian Poultry's origional report on this project. | READ MORE
Water is one of the keys to maximizing the performing of your flock. This being the case, some producers go the extra mile to ensure their birds have access to a top quality drinking source. Here, we look at three producers and their unique approaches to water management.
Trevor MacDonald from Murray River, about 55 kilometres southeast of Charlottetown, proudly holds up one of his newest chickens — a silver spangled Hamburg that he hopes will be a contender in next year's poultry shows.This particular breed originated in northern Europe hundreds of years ago. "It was the first breed I had when I started as a kid and you kind of get attached," MacDonald said.MacDonald, who's a substitute teacher, has about 150 fancy chickens and 50 show pigeons in his coop. But it's the chickens that stole his heart long ago.He started showing them at local fairs 40 years ago. "I got into it as a kid. My dad had a few, a couple of great uncles that were into it at that time and some cousins."For the full story, CLICK HERE
Chanelle Taylor had always wanted to be a veterinarian from the time she could talk. She worked for a small animal clinic in Oakville, Ont., when she was 14 to see what that would be like. As a university student, she’d pass many farms on her way to Guelph and dabbled with a few job opportunities to get some farm experience. Somewhere along the way she discovered that she really loved working with birds of all kinds.
Merck Animal Health (known as MSD Animal Health outside the United States and Canada) announced a collaboration agreement with Rapid Genomics which grants the company exclusive rights to Rapid Genomics’ vaccination verification tool, Viral Flex-Seq. This tool will be utilized in combination with Merck Animal Health’s Innovax range of vaccines, including Innovax-ND-IBD, a unique vaccine that provides long-term protection against three infectious poultry diseases, Newcastle Disease (ND), Infectious Bursal Disease (IBD) and Marek’s Disease (MD), in a single dose. The collaboration was announced at the 2019 International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) being held in Atlanta, Georgia, from February 12-14, 2019.“This partnership will bring together Merck Animal Health’s unique broad vaccine product line and Rapid Genomics’ innovative vaccination verification test, to optimize and enhance disease outbreak management in poultry for improved animal health and welfare,” said Taylor Barbosa, DVM, Ph.D., ACPV, Executive Director, Global Poultry Marketing, MSD Animal Health. “As the poultry industry grows, there is an increased need for improving disease control to optimize productivity and we are committed to growing with the industry to bring innovative solutions to our customers.”Viral Flex-Seq is a product that provides a highly sensitive and accurate result to confirm the presence of the vaccine replication in the bird. Viral Flex-Seq uses next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology, an advanced method of genomic analysis, to specifically detect replication of Innovax vaccines and differentiate them from field viruses.“We are proud and excited to partner with Merck Animal Health, an industry-leading poultry vaccine company,” said Richard Currie, BVM&S, Ph.D., CEO, Rapid Genomics. “This partnership supports our mission as innovators in the field of genomic testing to set the standard for HVT vector vaccine detection and associated infectious pathogen diagnosis.”
Cobb-Vantress announced today the release of new management guides and product supplements as part of the company’s enhancements to its Cobb Academy program. These resources were updated to reflect top-performing flocks, and provide best practices and recommendations to help maximize genetic potential.The refreshed guides and supplements are presented in a color-coded format to ensure that customers and distributors are able to easily find the information they need. All materials were crafted by Cobb’s world technical support and regional technical teams. This highly specialized international group covers a range of disciplines including hatchery, breeder and broiler management; microbiology; veterinary medicine; nutrition; environmental control; and processing.“We’re committed to the success of our customers, taking every action we can to help them succeed and maximize the genetic potential of their flocks — and ultimately their bottom line,” said Robin Jarquin, director of world technical support at Cobb-Vantress. “We know our guides and supplements are an important resource and a popular feature with our customers, so we hope they enjoy the updated materials complete with current data and newly available best practices compiled by our team of experts. We are committing to updating these materials more frequently to ensure our customers always have the best information for their operations.”Cobb’s team updated nine pieces in total, including: Broiler Management Guide Cobb500 supplements: Cobb500 Slow Feather Breeder Management Supplement Cobb500 Slow Feather Parent Laying/Rearing Chart (available in pounds and grams) Cobb500 Fast Feather Breeder Management Supplement Cobb500 Fast Feather Parent Laying/Rearing Chart (available in pounds and grams) Cobb500 Broiler Performance and Nutrition Supplement Cobb700 supplements: Cobb700 Breeder Management Supplement Cobb700 Parent Laying/Rearing Chart (available in pounds and grams) CobbMV Male Supplement Cobb updated these materials as part of its effort to enhance its Academy portal (available at, an extensive database of knowledge collected from Cobb experts across the globe. In addition to management guides and supplements, Cobb Academy also features a library of articles highlighting the latest technical information and industry best practices, as well as a series of videos sharing information directly from the company’s experts.All updated materials are available now in the Academy section of Cobb’s website and on the Cobb Connection mobile app, and will be available in print at Cobb’s booth at the International Production & Processing Expo in Atlanta February 12-14, 2019.Resources are currently available in English, with select pieces in Spanish. Soon, all resources will be available in the various languages Cobb supports.
On the heels of a recent report by Canadian Poultry magazine, which identified a steady and growing preference for chicken as the most chosen protein source among Canadians, the popular global fried chicken chain, Church's Chicken, has announced the addition of four new franchisees to the brand's growing Canadian landscape."The growing chicken market in Canada has been a key component of our expansion strategy in the western hemisphere," said Eduardo Garcia, Senior Director of Americas Business for Church's Chicken. "The fact that we've been able to successfully initiate not just one, but four new franchise relationships, is a testament to the brand's reputation of having a quality product and strong business model."Mian Nadeem will be leading their new franchise operations in Southwest Ontario to include York, Hamilton, Niagara, Waterloo, and Wellington-Peel as well as the municipalities of Oakville and Burlington, where the team also owns a real estate brokerage – The Empire Realty Point, a real estate development company under the same Empire umbrella, and a master franchise agreement with Freedom mobile throughout Ontario.Another new franchisee for the York Region is a group of brothers. This group is a dynamic Ontario-based company headed by three co-entrepreneurs: Arslan Ahmad, Irfan Ahmad, and Rizwan Ahmad. The brothers and partners come from a successful business family with vast experience in retail and customer service. All the brothers are very passionate about the Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) industry, and the Church's brand in particular. "Our group and team are optimistic hard workers who will put in the effort and service it takes to make Church's Chicken Canada's favorite fried chicken restaurant," offered Operating Principal Arslan Ahmad.Leading the development in the Durham Region of the Greater Toronto Area will be a group of investors led by the group's Operating Principal, Mr. Shazaib Shah. In addition to Shazaib, the group's directors are Muneer Khan, Ashraf Salem, and Abdul Khan. Together, the group has more than 20 years of expertise in quick service restaurants and retail markets bringing insight from multiple business disciplines. "What started off as a family dream of being able to one day serve what we love, we are honored and eager to bring the love of bold Texas flavor and quality fried chicken to our home in Canada," said Shah.In Alberta, Fays Enterprises Ltd, under the leadership of CEO Mian Ahmad and operating partner Yasir Saeed, bring a combined 20+ years in the food and retail industry, and are looking forward to extending the Church's Chicken quality food and genuine hospitality experience to the people of Edmonton. "We take great pride in upholding the top-notch industry standards and guest satisfaction people associate with Church's products," said Mian."We're very eager to see all of these new franchisees bring the Church's Chicken brand front and center in consumers' minds when it comes to quality food and superior value," said Tony Moralejo, Executive Vice President of International Business for Church's Chicken/Texas Chicken. "Church's is expanding across Canada building on our already strong presence in Vancouver. Our ultimate goal is to become the top chicken choice for the ever-growing number of Canadians who love eating deliciously prepared chicken."
Trillium Hatchery
Nutrition company Jefo officially announced its plan to build a new 200 000 square feet production plant in Saint-Hyacinthe, Que.This new building, estimated at $30 million, will be located in the Théo-Phénix Industrial Park.The area, acquired in 2018, is strategic due to its proximity to the other Jefo Group facilities, which include a transportation company, a transshipment site, research centres for poultry nutrition, warehouses, the production plant and more."We aim to generate 1 billion dollars in revenue by 2025, so this project is necessary to support our current growth and ambitious goal," says Jean-François Fontaine, vice president of the Jefo Group."In addition to increasing our production capacity, the new production plant will reduce the risk of producing in a single facility."The first phase of the project consists of two production lines, with potential expansion to six lines, which translates to the creation of 20 new jobs in the near future and 60 in the long run.Jefo's current production plant features four production lines that generate more than 5,000 tons of animal feed additives annually.These products are marketed in more than 80 countries.
A replica of an Aviagen hatchery and delivery truck are currently on display in a 9-by-36-foot poultry industry diorama – a miniature model exhibited at the Georgia Poultry Lab in Gainesville since 2017. Aviagen is a sponsor of the diorama, and the hatchery shown is based on the company’s Sallisaw, Okla., facility.With an HO-scale electric train running through its landscape, the diorama depicts the entire poultry value chain – from a pullet farm, breeder farm, hatchery and broiler farm, to a processing plant, feed mill and commercial egg farm. The scene closes at the Port of Savannah, through which poultry is exported to other countries. A video walk-through of the entire diorama is available at public awareness of poultry health and welfareThe diorama helps the lab fulfil its goal of educating the public on an industry that represents a major part of the economy in Georgia, which is the top producer of poultry and broilers in the U.S. Aviagen currently has one hatchery in Blairsville, Ga., and a new hatchery now under construction in Quitman, Ga., is slated to open in the spring of 2019.The Georgia Poultry Lab hosts regular public tours led by poultry health experts, who educate the public on the great care that is taken to keep the industry healthy. The diorama is located in the lab’s mezzanine, where groups can biosecurely view the lab activities below through large windows.“Aviagen is committed to the health, welfare and biosecurity of our poultry throughout the value chain, and this is a commitment we share with the Georgia Poultry Lab. We’re proud to sponsor the diorama exhibit, as it is part of the lab’s efforts to build public confidence in our industry,” explained Aviagen Vice President of Veterinary Services Dr. Eric Jensen.“The diorama gives us an opportunity to explain all aspects of the industry, from live production to exports, to groups that range from middle school kids to international delegations, without going to farms or plants,” added Dr. Louise Dufour-Zavala, executive director of the Georgia Poultry Lab. “It also helps children understand where their food is coming from!”
It’s here – Canadian Poultry’s first roundup of poultry research studies, from compounds in eggs that prevent human health issues to seaweed and insect meal as feed ingredients.
Canada’s poultry industry has complex research needs. Chicken, egg and turkey producers as well as breeders, hatcheries and processors all face their own challenges and demands.
A barn at the University of Alberta Poultry Research Centre in south Edmonton is home to more than 1,600 healthy, clucking chickens.But these fowl aren't ordinary, these are heritage chickens.The classic breeds include the 1957 random-bred Broiler line and the Barred Plymouth Rock, a breed that dates back to 1910.Frank Robinson, a professor of Agricultural Life and Environmental Sciences at the University of Alberta, said commercial farming has made these breeds extremely rare, and some might be extinct without the program.For the full story, CLICK HERE
One of the greatest pioneering poultry breeders, Donald McQeen Shaver, passed away in late July, a few days before his 98th birthday.
Canadian Bio-Systems (CBS) Inc., a Calgary-based feed additive and enzyme maker, has added a new member to its team.The company announced this week it has hired Anhao “Tony” Wang as its nutrition and technical service coordinator.His scope will include contributing to solutions supporting both domestic and international markets.In the final stage of completing his PhD in Animal Science at the University of Saskatchewan, Wang has had a strong research focus on feed and mycotoxin throughout his studies.“Tony brings a strong combination of passion, knowledge and skills that will support our technology platforms and customers across the board,” says Rob Patterson, CBS Inc. technical director.“His academic and research background that is an excellent fit with our continued dedication to optimizing feeding strategies and mitigating mycotoxin risk.”Wang, originally from Fuzhou in southern China’s Fujian province, has been studying in Canada since 2009.He began as an undergraduate at Dalhousie University then completed graduate work at University of Saskatchewan.A key aspect of his graduate research has been uncovering new knowledge of how to improve feeding strategies, including understanding mycotoxin impacts and how to mitigate them.His PhD research focuses specifically on tackling the challenge of fusarium-related mycotoxins in poultry feed.This includes groundbreaking knowledge on timeframes when impacts are more pronounced and when targeted solutions can have the greatest impact.“I am very happy to become a part of the CBS Inc. team,” says Wang. “Since I was young I have always been interested in science and working with animals and the agriculture and food industry. This is the perfect situation for me to start my career.”
Dr. Elijah Kiarie’s interest in farm animals originated from growing up on a small family farm in Kenya. He described obtaining a bachelor’s degree in agriculture, majoring in animal science, as the catalyst for fueling his interest in animal nutrition.
Over the past year, I’ve been documenting my family’s journey converting from conventional housing to an enriched system on Thankfully, the new barn is up and running.
Since last September, Cindy Huitema, egg producer from Haldimand County, Ont., has been documenting her family’s journey transitioning to a new layer housing system with her blog, Cindy Egg Farmerette. In the final installment of her blog, Cindy discusses the process of placing her initial flock and how everyone on the farm is adapting to the new enriched barn and its added technology.
May We Ever Be Finished? Come What May!!!Since I last wrote, we were deeply entrenched in the construction of the Farmer Automatic Enriched Colony Housing for our next flock of pullets that will arrive later this month.All of the kids helped with the housing at some point, but my son John put in the most hours. He has an eye for quality and spots if something was put together incorrectly. This can be anything from a missing perch cap to misaligned waterlines.The feed trough clips, troughing sections, feed chain and feed pans at the ends all had to be assembled in a systematic order.In addition to the various local neighbourhood young people we had working for us, we decided to take the advice of Clark Ag Systems and get a work crew of men from London to accelerate the building process. These fellows are experienced in putting hen housing together and had worked with the lead, Dennis before.Nicole, Charlotte and I worked as a team putting the housing doors together, and then installing them on the top two levels.We made this an enjoyable task by taking turns with who got to be on the scaffold installing them, and the person on the floor fetching doors and pushing the two on the scaffold.   View the embedded image gallery online at: Our barn has three rows of the enriched colony housing and is four levels high. We have space to put in one more row in the future.Each side of each row must be “levelled” by adjusting the legs under each housing door. Ben worked on getting one side levelled, and Philip has had to do a lot of the rest of the rows.This job is one of the more undesirable things to do. You have to be on your knees a lot and working just under the housing with an impact drill with a torque bit, wrenches and crowbar. A laser level is a great aid in doing this task.The wire sections to cover up the top rows had to be installed and fastened securely with plastic zip ties.More work on the manure ends, manure belts and egg elevators and conveyor was done as well.The manure belts took 40 minutes to pull with the aid someone guiding them through by pulling a rope to the front and then mechanically pulled to the back with a motor.Nick worked on making the opening for the conveyor that bring eggs into the pack room and a window for us to have a good view for monitoring the progression of the eggs when they advance into the packing room.He enjoyed the company of anyone who would assist him (let’s be real, the guy likes having someone fetch things for him---right Charlotte and John!).Preliminary work on the encasement for the scissor lift and was completed, and we expect to have in-floor heating installed this week and concrete floors poured in the ante room and egg packing room.During most of April and May, the electricians have been doing the many electrical tasks to make the barn functional and safe. Our last build was many years ago and the rules, rates and safety measures needed to comply for electricians are many and inflated since that time.I have never watched the weather so closely as I did this past winter and spring. The cold temperatures, snowfall, rain and wind all affect the particular task you are doing in or outside of the barn.As spring seems to have finally arrived, getting on the land adds to the pressure to get the barn completed.As a family, we have always wanted to have an open house to egg-ucate people about the direction that egg farming is going.By 2035, conventional housing has been banned and all egg farmers must have progressed to another form of it the colony enriched, free run or free range.We look forward to hosting the Open House together with Clark Ag Systems on Friday May 11. If my time permits and interest is expressed, Egg Farmerette might be persuaded to write another blog posting after our hens are settled, laying and happily clucking in their new habitat.CLICK HERE  to read more about Cindy's experience transitioning from a conventional to an enriched layer barn.
At end of February, we had just surpassed what proved to be a big stumbling block and holdup for us...the big pour of the concrete floor.After letting the concrete floor cure for almost a week, the pads were poured.We decided to put cement pads under each row of hen housing and these were one-and-a-half inches in depth on the edges and two inches in the middle. This is to make it easier when the barn is cleaned each year so that the water runs away from under the housing. Also, floor drains were put in place on the far end of the barn.A few days of curing occurred for the pads, and we were eager to get the construction of the Farmer Automatic Enriched Housing started.We had a couple different work stations—constructing frames, assembling plastic housing doors, and all of the webbing inside the frames was put together.We have lead man, Dennis and another employee, Josh from Clark Ag Systems.Nick has been the general contractor for the building of the barn and has good knowledge of the conventional housing that is in our present barn. He has been an asset with his experience. We also have the rest of the family to help when available and some other workers.The construction of the housing is a huge job and there are many layers to the process. Frames are constructed and assembled with vertical braces that end up being the skeleton of the row. The dividers between each colony are put place and the floor clips and perch holders.The wires for the cage doors, middle divider, and thicker cage floor support wire are fitted out next. Our nephew Jason was wired for these tasks. We decided to use stainless steel wire instead of the galvanized that was supplied, as Nick found that this was a weak area in our present conventional housing.The cage floors, white PVC perches, white PVC waterlines, water cups, re-plastic scratch pads, and nesting boxes with curtains are installed a systematic order. I nicknamed our daughter Stephanie, “Scratch Pad Steffy” as she efficiently put in all the red plastic scratch pads in the first and second levels of rows one and two.Farmerette can proudly say that she put all the perches in for the first and second levels, with some help from daughter Stephanie and Jake, and glued the joints and caps for the ends. I prefer to leave the third and fourth level work to others!We were able to get lots of work done on the Saturday and Easter Monday with it being a school holiday.I hung red nest curtains around the next boxes. There are four nest boxes back-to-back as the nest areas have no lights. The hens prefer to lay their eggs in a dark, sheltered area.   View the embedded image gallery online at: Manure ends are of course extremely important as the removal of manure keeps the air quality good for the hens and ourselves, keeps the eggs clean, and provides a good environment for the hens. The Clark guys handle these areas.Another area that is a little more complicated is the egg elevators that will take the eggs from the egg belts and transfer them to a conveyor that will go into the egg packing room.There were still a few skids of equipment outside and these would have to be brought in the barn when needed. Also, there is room in the barn for a fourth row of housing, but this is not being done now, and is there for any future growth of the egg business. This area has actually turned out to be very beneficial for storage and assembly of parts before they are installed on the housing.Construction of parts also occurs as many of these parts come in pieces that need to be put together. For example, the cage doors have a white plastic centre, then a red left and red right hinge that must be hammered in with a mallet. We need approximately 1,800 of these. Our daughters Nicole and Charlotte did many of these. I also put together the 24 egg belt rollers that go at the far end of the barn.We took black plastic waterline connectors to the house and put a clamp on each end in the evening with the TV to break up the monotony of the job. The warmth of the house made the plastic more pliable when putting the clamps on.March turned out to be a very busy month. We were relieved and happy to see the construction team finish off a back area beyond the main barn that is manure storage as they were here since November. Yippee!!!We have made it to Easter with the hen housing well underway and will hop into April being able to see the finish line for this stage of the process.CLICK HERE  to read more about Cindy's experience transitioning from a conventional to an enriched layer barn.
February turned out to begin very cold, more snow and windy. Any work that could be done inside the new barn building was done when temperatures were not frigid. Some days were too cold to get any work done.Electrical lines for lights got installed on the ceiling and the baffle on the west side. Any work that had to be done on the ceiling or high areas had to be done before the scissor lift got picked up.The arrangement with the scissor lift was that you pay a weekly rate, and when you have it for three weeks, you get the fourth week free. This is what worked for us.From February 4 - 6, the insulation got put in the attic. The first day was very mild with the snow melting on the roof causing a steady stream of dripping off the steel roof. This job had two fellows who were experienced in insulating attics completing the work.We had two overhead doors to be installed – one for the cooler for Burnbrae Farms to do their weekly pick-up of eggs, and the other as a big entrance to the main barn when the birds arrive and then depart after 51 weeks.Timing for this had to be when the interior was completed so that the doors could be fastened to completed walls and ceiling.Again, working in a freezing temperature environment had to be avoided.Both doors got installed February 11 and finishing these up occurred the next weekend.For the entire month, we were anticipating getting the concrete for the floor poured.   View the embedded image gallery online at: I have never watched the weather forecast so diligently, and part of frustrating February was that we wanted the concrete floor to get poured.Nick chose a warmer stretch of weather later in the month to start using propane to run the heater to begin thawing the ground.Preparation work to level the floor for concrete took place on February 23 and continued early in the next week. The weather forecast had sun and mild temperatures for that week.Once again, loads of stone were brought in, a bobcat brought stone inside, and a roller flattened out the floor to make it level with the help of laser level that was set up on a tripod in the corner of the barn.February 28 brought a 13-degree day, and the concrete floor was finally poured.There were a dozen guys doing the pour, running the concrete pumping truck, and spreading and levelling the concrete.The first concrete truck came by 8:00 A.M. and the last truck load was done by 12-noon. A truck came every half hour. All of this activity brought curious neighbors to sneak a peek at all the action going on.The next couple days were filled with finishing the concrete with power trowels to give it a smooth finish.March came in like a lion on the 1st with a snowstorm in Haldimand County, about 15 centimeters of snow, and the first snow day for school kids.... so, we were glad that this big job was done.Cindy Egg FarmeretteCLICK HEREto read more about Cindy's experience transitioning from a conventional to an enriched layer barn.
My fifth blog starts off at the New Year.Christmas gives those of us in agriculture time to enjoy faith, family, friends and farm. As holiday festivities took over between Christmas and New Year’s, we had minimal time to make any progress.Many businesses have limited holiday hours, and employees take time away from their jobs, including our construction crew. It ended up being too cold to work anyway.But we continued to care for our hens 24/7. Our kids, Charlotte and John, returned home for the holidays and they helped out as well.Back to our new enriched housing project.Last April, we met with Harold Meadows of Clark Ag Systems. Together, we decided to go with the Farmer Automatic Enriched Colony Housing system for our new layer barn.At that time, you must decide on a date to have the equipment arrive at your farm.It comes from Laer, Germany packed in Maersk containers, travels by ship to Montreal, by rail car to Brampton, Ont. and then goes through customs. Finally, it arrives at your farm via transport truck.We had originally (optimistically and probably naively!) picked a delivery date in December, but later changed that to January 2nd.In November, we realized that we would not need the layer housing equipment until perhaps February and wanted to postpone the date.This was impossible. The company in Germany is very organized in filling the order and the container had already been loaded and was en route on the high seas.Rarely are they wrong about timing, unless Mother Nature interferes!We received one day’s grace and the first container arrived January 3rd.Of course, this turned out to be one of the deep freeze weeks, with temperatures plummeting below -18°C.Our loader tractor was first used to take each box, which sits on a pallet, to flatbed trailers that Nick had arranged to temporarily put the various packages on.The loader tractor was having trouble working, and we started using the “Gradall” machine that B. Jorna Construction had on site to move lumber, etc. for the construction tasks.The second container arrived in the late afternoon.   View the embedded image gallery online at: Between loads, the Masterfeeds truck brought feed and Nick came in for a break. I told him he was talking funny and asked him what was the matter. He said, “My face is frozen!” A hot chocolate helped to warm him up so he could smile again.Charlotte and John cleared out what will be the new cooler in order to make a temporary holding place for all of the parts. This also gave the equipment a place to be protected from winter weather.The various skids then got moved on January 4th to the cooler area.The week of January 8th brought many visual advances: the Tile Red steel getting put on the east and west sides; insulation and white plastic was put on pack room walls; the scissor lift arrived to be used for high jobs; a vapour barrier was put on the barn ceiling below trusses and walls; and hurricane clips installed (did you know that each clip can withstand 1,100 pounds of uplift pressure?).Our daughter Nicole helped install them – at least eight nails each on the base of the barn, lots of squats and no blue fingers when she was done.During the rest of the month, insulation was placed on all walls, white vinyl planking was installed everywhere except the cooler and three to five lighting rows were installed.As I write this blog, the facia, soffit and some electrical are in the works.With insulation and walls of the large main barn almost completed, we moved all of the skids and boxes of housing equipment from the cooler to the back of said barn.This was done on a warm, sunny day before snow returned near the end of January. The cooler still needs to be insulated, and its walls finished.I repeat a previous comment that the animal care and egg gathering must still be carried out in the old barn.Additionally, yearend arrived and this brings extra bookwork. I got a good start on the last quarter at the beginning of December, but then had to finish in January. I also am keeping track of the new barn costs separately for our own records.I finished this on January 22nd and filed my HST rebate at 2:50 pm. This filing included the many barn build expenses thus far and was, of course, more work for me in a quarter than ever before. Our rebate was $17,000-plus higher than our usual filing with Revenue Canada.We were having afternoon break and at 3:20 a Canada Revenue HST office employee called to inquire about the large jump in our rebate filing.I explained what we were doing, and I believe initially he would have wanted me to forward some proof to him of our venture.However, I also told him about the coming changes in the egg industry with respect to the deletion of conventional housing by 2035.I told him he could read about what we were doing in my blog! He was very interested and was going to check it out. No further documentation was required of me. Yippee!So, with Jack Frost nipping at our noses, we hope February sees less of Old Man Winter – not holding my chilly breath!CLICK HERE to read more about Cindy's experience transitioning from a conventional to an enriched layer barn.

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