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.
As ‘Raised Without Antibiotics’ (RWA) chicken production grows – and the elimination of antibiotics for growth promotion and health protection continues within Canada’s broiler industry – the need for alternatives also grows.
The level of early chick mortality (ECM) is one of the crucial factors that determines the quality of chicken production and, hence, the economic return from a poultry production unit. Yolk sac infection (YSI) has been reported as the most frequent cause of ECM, and in recent years significant increase in ECM due to YSI has emerged as a threat to broiler operations in parts of Canada.
By the end of 2018, Canadian chicken farming will reach two significant milestones related to the use of antibiotics.
Location - Stratford, Ont.
Sector - Broilers
The broiler housing and equipment industry continues to develop, introducing new technologies in line with trends in modern management, communication and ventilation systems. As you might expect, early adoption in markets such as Europe and North America, which have high labour and utility costs, easily justifies investment in these modern technologies.
Feeding young broiler breeders around the world generally involves restriction starting when the chicks are one week or a few weeks of age. This is done so that they grow at a rate that supports their health and welfare – one that prevents obesity, lameness and reproductive problems.
The laying hen industry in Canada is at the beginning of a 20-year transition. Following the lead of worldwide efforts to improve laying hen welfare, in February 2016 the Egg Farmers of Canada (EFC) announced that a move away from conventional egg production to alternative production methods would begin.
Over the past year, I’ve been documenting my family’s journey converting from conventional housing to an enriched system on canadianpoultrymag.com. Thankfully, the new barn is up and running.
Whole bird turkey sales in Canada have declined quite a bit over the last few years, especially during the last two. Still, the turkey sector in Canada and in the U.S. continues to find success building consumption of other products.
Chefs Plate celebrated Thanksgiving 2018 with the official announcement of an ongoing national partnership with Turkey Farmers of Canada that will see Canada’s number one meal kit company exclusively use Canadian turkey year-round. In addition, Chefs Plate will donate a meal to its charitable partner, Second Harvest, for every order placed at www.chefsplate.com that will deliver between September 30th – October 13th.
Chicken farmers across Canada are rolling out the latest changes to the Raised by a Canadian Farmer Animal Care Program (ACP).
The International Egg Commission and its members support, and will promote, the responsible use of all antimicrobials to allow for the long-term safe production of eggs, safeguarding the availability of eggs and egg products for the world’s consumers.
More poultry producers are switching to LED lights in their layer barns for the power savings, versatility, durability and brightness they offer in comparison to all other options. Lighting is important in broiler, turkey, pullet and layer production, but especially important in egg production these days because of the new systems hens are being housed in. It’s all about making sure, in these new housing set-ups, that egg laying in the nest boxes is maximized.
Undercover video. Two words that will send shivers up the spine of anyone who works in agriculture and food. There have been well over 200 undercover videos in the U.S. and 16 in Canada since 2012 targeting agriculture from farms through to processing. While it’s human nature to hope one never focuses on you, your company, suppliers or customers – it’s always better to be prepared.
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…
Once producers make a final decision between whether they want to build cage-free or enriched housing for their flock, what next? Every farm is unique and every barn is custom designed, so decisions of all kinds still lie ahead.
Across the country, egg producers looking to comply with the phase-out of conventional layer housing are facing a big decision of whether to invest in aviary or enriched housing. For many producers, the choice is challenging: not only do both systems provide management benefits and drawbacks, the single most critical factor – future consumer demand – remains a huge wildcard.
Canadian farmers are leaders in producing safe, high-quality agricultural and food products for Canadians and people around the world. The sector is a major driver in creating good, middle-class jobs, and is one of Canada's key growth industries.
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