Livestock Production
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
While on a recent farm visit, a poultry producer said something that really resonated with me. We were talking about lighting and he referred to the use of incandescent bulbs as “the good old days.”
Published in New Technology
The H3N2 canine influenza virus was detected in dogs in Ontario this past December. Some producers might be wondering if the outbreak poses a threat to poultry. While the strain is of avian origin, experts Canadian Poultry consulted say the chances of it being transmitted to poultry now that it has switched to a canine-adapted virus are small. Thus, they consider any related disease threat to the poultry industry in Canada to be very low.
Published in Barn Management
The Ontario Livestock and Poultry Council have developed a guide to assist municipalities incorporate emergency deadstock disposal provisions into their existing municipal emergency response plans.

The main objective of the planning guide is to provide municipalities with a systematic approach
to:
  • Identify the available disposal options
  • Profile the municipality to determine the extent of any potential disposal problem(s)
  • Select an appropriate disposal method(s)
  • Implement a process to develop and maintain a mass carcass disposal plan.
Ontario Pork and OLPC are partnering to offer workshops with municipalities to walk them through the process of completing a mass carcass disposal plan for their municipality utilizing the Mass Carcass Disposal Guide for Municipalities. While pork is being used as the example, the planning template applies to all livestock and poultry species.

An electronic version is available at http://www.ontlpc.ca/pdfs/downloads/MassCarcassDisposalGuideRevisedMay2017.pdf
Published in Bird Management

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