Livestock Production
AGCO Corporation, a global leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of agriculture equipment and solutions, will begin manufacturing Farmer Automatic egg production equipment in North America to better serve its largest market for these products.

The decision also supports Canadian producers transitioning to new Code of Practice standards for the care, welfare and handling of their flocks.

Farmer Automatic’s enriched colony housing and aviary systems will be produced at AGCO’s plant in Bremen, Alabama beginning later this year. The first products will be shipped from that facility in January 2019, with normal distribution to be maintained during the transition.

“Manufacturing in North America is a long-term investment providing enhanced service and support for North American egg producers and a signal to the market that Farmer Automatic will continue to deliver high quality and innovation for years to come,” said Scott Becker, director of North America Commercial Egg for Cumberland Poultry, AGCO’s poultry production equipment brand.

The state-of-the-art Bremen plant manufactures a broad range of Cumberland products used in poultry production facilities, including fans, heaters, tunnel doors, broiler nesting systems, power curtain machinery and environmental controls.

Becker said establishing production in North America provides several important benefits to Farmer Automatic customers, including reduced shipping time, faster response to meet their needs, currency advantages and a full-system solution enabling producers to access the breadth of Cumberland’s product offerings.

Farmer Automatic products were previously manufactured in Laer, Germany. Design and engineering functions will remain in Germany with the creation of the Farmer Automatic Engineering Innovation Center in the area later this year.

Supporting new guidelines
Farmer Automatic systems currently meet new guidelines in the Canada Code of Practice introduced last year requiring all laying hens to be housed in enriched or cage-free systems by July 1, 2036.

“Our Canadian dealer, Clark Ag Systems, works closely with its customers to ensure their systems have enough space, feed, water, nest area and scratch surface to meet the Code of Practice requirements for their production method,” Becker said.

The Eco II System from Farmer Automatic provides all of the required enrichments and easy access to the flock with its large access doors. Farmer Automatic’s Combi II provides a solution for customers who may transition from enriched to cage-free in the future. The Combi II can be operated as both an Enriched Colony System with the doors closed or as a Cage-Free Aviary System with the door open.

For those producers ready to transition to cage-free production today, the Loggia system offers excellent access to the flock, nests and egg belts with walkable floors and low system heights for easy inspection and management. The slight slope of the floor allows system eggs to roll onto the egg belt. The Loggia line was recently expanded to include the new Loggia 3 Plus, providing additional living space with a third tier allowing for greater bird density in many operations.

Pullet rearing is easier with the Combi Pullet, capable of preparing birds to be housed in either enriched and/or aviary systems in the future. Multiple floor mesh sizes for the lower tier allow producers to tailor the system to their operation, and additional half levels create more space for greater stocking densities.

Farmer Automatic systems can be installed in new egg production facilities or retrofitted to existing operations. For additional information, producers can contact Clark Ag Systems or visit www.farmerautomatic-inc.com.
Published in Companies
Chicken Farmers of Ontario (CFO) is providing a second Ontario chicken processor with a new and unique opportunity to supply smaller-sized chickens, ‘Small Whole Birds’, aimed at meeting the demands of distinct Ontario consumer markets, including the increasingly popular Portuguese barbecue restaurants or ‘churrasqueiras’.

“Earlier this year, CFO strengthened its growing suite of processing programs, which are designed to meet new and emerging markets and satisfy the complex demands of today’s consumers,” said Ed Benjamins, chair, Chicken Farmers of Ontario. “With the introduction of CFO’s Small Whole Bird Supply Program, Ontarians can look forward to even more chicken choices on retail shelves, in restaurants and foodservice establishments across the province,” stated Benjamins.

The announcement welcomes a second Ontario processor into this new program. Sure Fresh Foods Inc., of Bradford, Ont., is planning to start processing ‘Small Whole Birds’ for the Portuguese barbeque market in early fall of 2018.

“CFO is pleased to announce that Sure Fresh Foods will target the needs of a specific market which is intended to further enhance the ability of our industry to meet consumer demand for Premium Ontario Chicken,” said Rob Dougans, president & CEO of CFO. “All of our processor programs are designed with the consumer in mind and are developed through strategic consultation across the chicken industry value chain.”

CFO’s Small Whole Bird Supply Program was established with the purpose of meeting the demands of consumer markets requiring chickens that are smaller than what is traditionally grown and processed in Ontario (approximately 1.7 kg versus 2.2 kg). Serving these distinct markets may also require different processing equipment than is used in the mainstream chicken industry to accommodate the smaller size of the bird.

To learn more about how the chicken industry is committed to providing Ontarians with even more choice, check out some of the other Chicken Farmers of Ontario Programs for Ontario Processors by clicking here.
Published in Processing
Development of the avian embryo, or chick, can be categorized in to one of two strategies designed to meet two very different physiological and biological needs. The avian embryo will develop as either an altricial or precocial chick, each with their own specific set of needs necessary to survive after hatch.  
Published in Bird Management
Bill Van Heyst grew up on a mixed farm near Grand Bend, Ont. He remembers looking after 500 laying hens – that was the maximum amount allowed under quota at the time. He also remembers switching over the old tunnel ventilated 1960s vintage poultry barn to battery cages from free-range. If he’d only known then that free-range would be fashionable once again…
Published in Barn Management
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.
Published in Ask the Vet
Sustainability is not a buzzword in farming. It’s a day-to-day reality. If you don’t sustain the soil and greater environment on a farm, you won’t have a future. And if you don’t efficiently use – and maybe re-use – energy, water and other resources, you won’t sustain your farm business financially either, again jeopardizing your future.
Published in Layers
AgSafe has launched a new free safety self-assessment web tool for B.C.’s agriculture organizations and other naturally aligned industries.

The Safety Ready Certificate of Recognition (COR) Self-Assessment website is designed to assist organizations in assessing their readiness for a COR program audit.

The self-assessment tool begins with a questionnaire to be completed by the person responsible for overseeing the Safety Management System in your organization. Once that is done, the tool provides feedback on your readiness for a COR review. The web tool will also help you calculate your organization’s potential WorkSafeBC incentive.

“There are three levels of readiness and depending on your organization’s situation you may need assistance from an AgSafe advisor or consultant to become audit ready,” explained Wendy Bennett, executive director of AgSafe. “This is a resource designed to streamline the process and help employers become more familiar with what they need to do to reduce safety risks in their organization.”

Between 2013 and 2017, 641 agricultural workers were seriously injured and 7 killed in work-related incidents.[1]

AgSafe is committed to reducing the number of agriculture-related workplace deaths and injuries. They are doing this by offering health and safety programs, training and evaluation, consultation and guidance.

As a COR program certifying partner AgSafe offers a Certificate of Recognition (COR) program for large and small employers in British Columbia’s agriculture industry and ensures that WorkSafeBC is aware of all COR certified agriculture employers.

AgSafe’s COR Self-Assessment Tool is also available to companies that are not classified as agriculture, such as landscape professionals, tree services, or animal handling, but have been advised to work with AgSafe for their COR certification.

AgSafe does not charge for use of the assessment tool. Set up your account by going to the COR Self-Assessment website.

For more information about AgSafe services or agriculture workplace safety call 1-877-533-1789 or visit www.AgSafeBC.ca

Published in News
With farms, woods, wildlife and fresh air, rural residents cherish the charm and beauty of the countryside. Many people move from cities seeking peace and a pristine environment in the country.

Most people understand that a rural community includes farmers and that farming is a business. Ontario’s agriculture and food sector employs 760,000 people and contributes more than $35 billion to the province’s economy every year.

This means that certain activities take place according to a production schedule; and some affect residents living close to farms. In almost all cases, farmers and their rural neighbours get along well together. However, there are some exceptions.

For the year of 2015- 2016 the ministry received 107 complaints related to farm practices. Of these, 45 (40 per cent) were about odour, while the others were mainly about noise (26 per cent), flies (19 per cent) and municipal by-laws (nine per cent).

Odour complaints are generally related to:
  • Farmers spreading manure on fields
  • Fans ventilating livestock barns
  • Manure piles
  • Mushroom farms
To manage conflict about farm practices, the Ontario government enacted the Farming and Food Production Protection Act (FFPPA).

This act establishes the Normal Farm Practices Protection Board (NFPPB) to determine “normal farm practices”. When a person complains about odour or other nuisance from a particular farming practice, the board has the authority to hear the case and decide whether the practice is a “normal farm practice”. If it is, the farmer is protected from any legal action regarding that practice.

When people make complaints about farm practices, a regional agricultural engineer or environmental specialist from OMAFRA’s Environmental Management Branch works with all parties involved to resolve the conflict.

The board requires that any complaint go through this conflict resolution process before it comes to a hearing.

Each year, through the conflict resolution process, OMAFRA staff have resolved the vast majority of complaints. In 2015-16, only twelve of the 107 cases resulted in hearings before the board. Of these, only two were odour cases involving multiple nuisances such as noise, dust and flies. Thus, while odours remain the biggest cause of complaints about farm practices, OMAFRA staff working through the conflict resolution process has proved very effective in dealing with them.
Published in Consumer Issues
Turkey Farmers of Canada (TFC) received full government recognition for the TFC On-Farm Food Safety Program under the Food Safety Recognition Program (FSRP) in mid-April.

The recognition process is led by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), with the participation of federal, provincial and territorial governments.

“This recognition represents the culmination of the work or the TFC board of directors, the boards of directors in the TFC eight-member provinces across the country, and Canadian turkey farmers,” said TFC chair Darren Ference. “Consumers can trust that our high quality Canadian turkey is produced through stringent standards. Our systemic and preventive approach to food safety is based on internationally accepted standards and conforms to federal, provincial and territorial legislation, policy and protocols.”

“In completing the recognition process, the Turkey Farmers of Canada have demonstrated a strong ongoing commitment to working with federal and provincial governments to produce the safest, highest quality turkey products possible,” stated CFIA’s letter of recognition.

The recognition serves as a formal declaration that the TFC On-Farm Food Safety Program:
  • Meets the requirements of the FSRP;
  • Is technically sound in that it promotes the production of safe food at the farm level and adheres to Hazard Analysis Critical Point principles;
  • Supports the effective implementation, administration, delivery and maintenance of this technically sound food safety program.

“This recognition is important to turkey farmers, because more than ever, consumers want to know how their food is produced,” said Ference. “We’re proud to demonstrate our high standards.”

"The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is proud to be working side-by-side with industry partners to enhance food safety for Canadian families from farm to fork,” said Lyzette Lamondin, CFIA’s Executive Director, Food Safety and Consumer Protection. “Thank you to the Turkey Farmers of Canada for their commitment to this process.”

Funding for this project was provided through the Assurance stream of the AgriMarketing program under Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative.

Published in News
Avian influenza is sweeping the world this year, and there’s information you need to know to protect your flock.

Check out the Ontario Animal Health Network Veterinary Podcast, featuring Dr. Tom Baker, the Incident Commander at the Feather Board Command Centre, discusses the new strain of avian influenza, reviews the recent cases in the U.S., and go over what commercial producers in Ontario need to know.

Listen now, click HERE!
Published in Disease watch
Actium’s Compost Drums are based on a robust, simple design that is easy to operate and reliable. Our rotating insulated drums helps the composting “bugs” break down organic matter faster.

Composting poultry mortalities creates a clean, pathogen and odor free compost. All that is required is a sufficient amount of a dry carbon source such as dry sawdust to be added to the drum with the mortalities.

Contact us for more information!
www.compostdrum.com (519) 527-2525

Video produced at the 2018 National Poutlry Show by Canadian Poultry magazine.
Published in Companies
Big Dutchman provides equipment to farms around the world and has been the worldwide leader in poultry, egg, and pig production systems since 1938.

They offer practical, economical and environmentally-friendly solutions geared to your future needs. Big Dutchman stands for long-lasting quality, service, and unsurpassed know-how, and as the industry leader, our innovations will continue to positively impact the industries they serve.

For more information, visit: http://bigdutchmanusa.com/

Video produced at the 2018 National Poutlry Show by Canadian Poultry magazine. 
Published in Companies
Proper diagnosis and application of vaccines can reduce the frequency and quantity of antimicrobials used on your farm. Here are a few examples related to immunosuppressive diseases and viral infections that can leave birds more susceptible to secondary bacterial infections.
Published in Bird Management
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.
Published in Broilers
The most sustainable strategy, for both the environment and your staff, is Integrated Pest Management (IPM). IPM is a business-savvy and environmentally friendly approach to pest management that focuses on non-chemical techniques to prevent pest activity, using chemical solutions as a last resort.
Published in Barn Management
Avian influenza (AI) can infect domesticated and wild birds, including chickens, turkeys, pheasants, quails, ducks, geese, and guinea fowl.

Birds become infected when they have direct contact with the ocular or nasal discharge or feces from infected birds or from contact with contaminated surfaces, food or water supply.

There is an increased risk of AI infection to poultry flocks during spring and fall wild bird migration.

AI can be brought into a barn as a result of lapses in biosecurity, and it is most often transmitted from one infected commercial flock to another by movement of infected birds, contaminated equipment or people.

All poultry farmers should monitor bird mortality, and track flock feed and water consumption. Monitor for clinical signs of AI infection, such as depression, decreased feed consumption, a drop-in egg production, swollen wattles, sneezing, gasping, discharge from the nose or eyes, diarrhea or sudden death.

If you have any concerns regarding the health status of your flock, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Key steps to reduce the risk of AI infection in your flock include:
  • Adequate training of farm and company personnel in biosecurity and disease prevention measures.
  • All people entering poultry barns, including farmers, employees and service providers must put on clean footwear, protective clothing and follow all biosecurity protocols each time a barn is entered.
  • Minimize visits to other poultry production sites and avoid co‐mingling of birds from multiple sources as well as contact with outside/wild birds.
  • Avoid exchanging and sharing equipment with other poultry production sites or farms.
  • Ensure all vehicles and farm equipment that access the barn vicinity are properly washed, disinfected and thoroughly dried before use.
  • Ensure that laneways are secured and have restricted access.
  • Prevent wild bird and rodent entry to poultry barns and related facilities.
  • Ensure that bedding is free of contaminants including feces from wild animals.
  • If possible, “heat treat” the barn/litter ahead of chick or poult placement (to 30°C for at least 3 days).
Published in Disease watch
Duck is succulent and rich. It’s also something a little different but not too different. What’s more, new, exciting and convenient products are making it more accessible all the time. Indeed, duck products now go far beyond whole roast duck.
Published in Companies
Iowa State University researchers have completed testing of a key component of a new concept for disposing of animal carcasses following a disease outbreak.

The research someday may help producers facing animal disease emergencies, such as in 2015 when avian influenza resulted in disposal of millions of chickens and turkeys in Iowa and other states.

Jacek Koziel, associate professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering, said animal health emergencies occur around the globe each year due, not only to disease, but also to hurricanes, flooding, fire and blizzards. These incidents often require the disposal of numerous animal carcasses, usually accomplished via burial. In research published recently in the scientific journal Waste Management, Koziel and his team analyzed a method that could help livestock, poultry and egg producers deal more efficiently and safely with crises that lead to sudden increases in animal mortality.

Koziel and his team focused their research on improving on-farm burial, the method most commonly employed for large-scale carcass disposal due to its low cost and ability to quickly reduce the spread of airborne disease and foul odors. But emergency burial can contaminate nearby water resources with chemical and biological pollutants, and many locations in Iowa are considered unsuitable for such practices by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Buried carcasses also decay slowly, sometimes delaying use of burial sites for crop production and other uses for years, Koziel said.

To overcome these problems, the researchers studied a hybrid disposal concept conceived at the National Institute of Animal Science in South Korea following a massive outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in 2011.

The method combines burial with aerobic digestion, a method commonly used for treating sewage in which air is pumped through the content to speed decomposition.

The experiment also included burial trenches lined with flexible geomembranes like those used to prevent seepage from landfills and wastewater treatment ponds to protect water quality. The researchers then injected low levels of air into the bottom of the trench to accelerate carcass decomposition and treat the resulting liquid contaminants.

The experiment tested the performance of the aerobic component of the hybrid method in a lab using tanks containing whole chicken carcasses, water, and low levels of oxygen that occasionally dropped to zero as would be likely in emergency burial trenches.

Results of the study showed low levels of oxygen accelerated carcass decay significantly, reducing carcass mass by 95 per cent within 13 weeks, while similar tests without air produced no noticeable decay. The air and water used for the experimental method create an ideal environment for bacteria to break down the carcasses quickly, a “shark tank,” as Koziel described it.

Chemical contamination in the liquid waste met U.S. Environmental Protection Agency criteria for safe discharge to surface waters. The hybrid method also eliminated two common poultry pathogens, salmonella and staphylococcus. Aeration also reduced odorous gases sometimes associated with mass burial.

Koziel said the the encouraging laboratory results could pave the way for follow-up field studies that will include evaluation of alternative geomembrane liners, aeration system designs and components, and performance testing of the complete hybrid disposal system.

The research was supported by funding from the Korean Rural Development Administration.
Published in Bird Management
After more than a year of construction and planning, business partners Sargent Farms of Ontario and Boire & Freres of Quebec are set to open a state-of-the-art chicken hatchery in Woodstock, Ont. in early May.

The new joint venture, which will operate as the Thames River Hatchery, is the first independent, large-scale chicken hatchery built in Ontario in more than 30 years.

The $15-million project will create approximately 30 jobs and have capacity to produce 20 million chicks per year.

“We’re looking forward to providing high-quality chicks to farmers across the province,” says Bob Sargent, vice president of Sargent Farms. “This facility features the most-advanced technology on the market, which will allow us to enhance quality, animal care standards and sustainability.”

The hatchery’s location on a greenfield site in a Woodstock industrial park offers proximity and convenient access to highways and transportation links to reach a large network of chicken farms across southern Ontario.

“We’ve had tremendous support and encouragement from the community and officials in Woodstock as we moved this project forward from the planning stages to reality,” says Claude Boire, president of Boire & Freres. “We’re thrilled to get to the production stage and play a role in further developing Ontario’s dynamic and growing chicken industry.”

Sargent Farms and Boire and Freres are both family-owned and operated companies with long-standing reputations for commitment to quality, innovation, customer service and community involvement.

“The partnership between our companies in the new hatchery was a natural fit,” says Kevin Thompson, CEO of Sargent Farms. “Both organizations share similar values and philosophies when it comes to business practices. We’re glad to work together on this project and provide farmers top quality chicks, supported by superior service.”

In addition to its investment in the hatchery, Sargent Farms is also carrying out a $10-million project to enhance and retrofit its halal chicken processing facility in Milton.

As it marks its 75th year in business, family-owned and operated Sargent Farms is investing $10 million to enhance and retrofit its halal chicken processing facility in Milton. All processing equipment inside the facility will be replaced with the latest, state-of-the-art technology.

The retrofit will be carried out in stages over three years, primarily during off hours, allowing the plant to continue operating throughout the project.

For more information, please visit www.sargentfarms.ca, www.boire.qc.ca.
Published in Companies
A company has recalled more than 200 million eggs after an outbreak of salmonella was traced to one of its farms in North Carolina.

The federal Food and Drug Administration reported Friday that eggs from the affected farm were distributed to nine states — Colorado, Florida, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia — and were likely connected to 22 reported cases of salmonella infections.

The agency learned about a cluster of salmonella outbreaks in multiple states last month, and investigators worked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state authorities to trace the source of the illness, the F.D.A. said. That led them to an egg farm in Hyde County, N.C., owned by Rose Acre Farms of Seymour, Ind. | READ MORE
Published in News
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