Canadian Poultry Magazine

Features 100th anniversary Key Developments
Progress of Poultry Industry in Canada Reviewed

January 1929

October 17, 2012
By Canadian Poultry


The enhanced standing of Canada’s poultry industry has of recent years become very noticeable, its activities receiving considerably more public attention than formerly.  The effect of Canada’s participation in world poultry congresses was to bring home to Canadians for the first time adequately the outstanding quality of the Dominion’s relatively high standing internationally in this regard.  Proof of the latter was given in selecting Canada for the holding of the third congress.  This was followed up by some remarkable performances on the part of Canadian hens culminating in a hen of the University of British Columbia farm becoming the world’s champion layer with 351 eggs a year.

One immediate effect has been the demand to come from all directions for Canadian poultry.  In the last fiscal year poultry to leave Canada for improvement of stock totaled 24,911 with a value of $43,619, rising to this figure from 7,343 worth $36,479 the year before.  Most of these birds went to the United States though some were shipped to the United Kingdom and other countries.  Within the past couple of months four consignments of British Columbia poultry have left for Government experimental farms and private breeders in Japan and one hundred birds left Halifax for Trinidad, consigned to the Gov’t there for stock improvement.  Recently President Calles of Mexico purchased 176 B.C. hens to stock his farm near Mexico City, paying $5,550 for these birds, all of which had records of more than 300 eggs a year.

 With this there has been a corresponding increase of interest in egg and poultry production.  This may be readily appreciated from the fact that eggs originated on the farm in Canada in 1922 totaled 194,058,468 dozen worth $48,490,578 whereas in 1927 production is estimated to have been 253,277,277 dozen worth $80,110,010, an increase in the period of 59,218,759 dozen and $31,619,432 per year.  Hens on farms in the period have increased from 29,945,484 to 43,491,000.  In egg production the Province of Ontario has a wide lead, producing last year about 43 percent of the Dominion’s tool.  Following in order come Quebec, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

Pacific Coast Opportunity

The egg situation in Canada is a somewhat peculiar one, there being at the one time both an import and an export largely due to seasonal demands in different sections, and this throws into relief the opportunity existing in the Dominion for engaging in the poultry industry.  Increasing Canadian production is reducing the import of eggs, though this is still voluminous.  In 1923 imports totaled 8,319,622 dozen worth $2,508,504 and by 1926 these had been reduced to 3,341,591 dozen worth $977,127, these coming from the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Newfoundland, China, Japan, United States and Alaska.

The latest available trade figures show that in the twelve months ended by July there was a further reduction of 1,054,022 dozen worth $490,115 from 2,964,422 dozen worth $1,284,873 the year before.  Export of eggs, though fairly well maintained from 1923 to 1926 declined in 1927, and experienced a further drop in 1928.  Exports in the twelve months ended July were 843,622 dozen worth $288,906 as against 1,688,765 dozen worth $654,789 in the previous year.  The reason for this has been increasing Canadian consumption, which, according to authorities has been very substantial.

In glancing over the Dominion the increasing attention being paid to the industry seems very general.  British Columbia, which a few years ago was importing eggs, last year sent between 60 and 70 carloads to other parts of Canada and elsewhere and in the first seven months between 200 and 225 carloads were exported.  The Pacific coast province, which through the mildness of its winter has peculiar advantages for following the poultry industry, is apparently moving to seize this opportunity.  Through the standardization of eggs here, British Columbia was last year able to secure a premium for its products over imports from the southern states on the Montreal market.  British Columbia has followed the example of the Prairie Provinces in adopting co-operative eggs and poultry marketing and is alert to the possibility of becoming the source of supply for other sections of the Dominion in the winter months.

One cannot at the same time disregard the progress of the Prairie Provinces, whose farms are producing nearly one-third of Canada’s eggs.