Global Re-Fuel’s warm-air biomass furnace – now in use on a farm in Texas – converts raw poultry litter into energy, providing heat to broiler houses while creating a pathogen-free organic fertilizer.
“A ton of litter has the equivalent energy content of 67 gallons of propane. Extracting that heat and using the ash as fertilizer is a really good situation, which not only helps farmers, but is also beneficial to the environment,” says Glenn Rodes, a farmer who has used the technology on his Virginia poultry farm.
As the number of poultry operations in the U.S. increases, so do the attendant problems. Today, there are more than 110,000 broiler houses in the country, with that number expected to exceed 131,000 by 2024, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) growth projections of the industry.
More than 32 billion pounds of poultry litter were generated in 2015. That number is expected to grow to more than 37 billion pounds per year by 2024, which will exacerbate the soil nutrient overload that contributes to runoff pollution into US waterways.
In addition, poultry farms require a great deal of propane to heat broiler houses, with the average broiler house using about 6,000 gallons of propane each year.
In 2015, more than 8.5 million tons of CO2 were emitted from burning propane to heat broiler houses, and that number is projected to grow to almost 10 million tons by 2024, according to the USDA. Global Re-Fuel’s technology eliminates nearly 100 percent of propane usage, reducing CO2 emissions by more than 70,000 lbs/yr/house.
“The Global Re-Fuel PLF-500 increases farmers’ operating margins, decreases pollution, eliminates propane usage – which reduces CO2 emissions – and improves poultry living conditions,” says Rocky Irvin, a founding member of Global Re-Fuel and a poultry grower for more than 10 years. “It’s good for the family farm and the environment.”
The Cantrell Wing Segmenter now features stainless steel doors which offer better visibility of machine operation and easy access for adjustment. The stainless steel doors can be retrofitted to older machines.
The Cantrell Wing Segmenter is capable of processing up to 185 wings per minute on a processing line or as a standalone application. The Wing Segmenter properly orients the wing at various line speeds for accuracy on each individual cut. The shackle transfer eliminates misfeeds. Processors can cut tips, flats and drummettes at one location. The CWCS-8400 is capable of handling varying sizes of wings.
When run in cone line operations, the only person who touches the wing is the employee who cuts it off the bird. This is a labor savings for processors. When configured with a cone line, the track and shackles run in front of the employee who hangs the wings in the shackle. The shackle line is routed overhead to the cutting head of the machine, which solves the problem of transporting the wings away from the cone line.
In an offline situation, Cantrell’s wing system can be loaded on both sides and configured with a cutting wheel on each end, making it possible to double the cutting capacity to 340 wings per minute.
The Segmenter is designed to allow adjustments during operation and easy access for blade replacement. The CWCS-8400 is energy efficient and the open design makes for easy cleaning.
For more information, please contact Cantrell at 800-922-1232, 770-536-3611, or visit the website at www.cantrell.com.
About two dozens workers and activists gathered in front of Montreal's St-Joseph Oratory on Sunday afternoon to highlight their cause.
One worker from Guatemala says he ended up making less than minimum wage for a job catching chickens on a Quebec farm since he wasn't paid for travel.
Through an interpreter, Henry Aguirre added he couldn't understand his work permit because it was written all in French.
The activists say workers should be given permanent residency or open work permits so they aren't limited to one employer.
The Canadian government has said it is implementing new measures to improve working conditions for temporary workers, including increased inspections and more efforts to inform workers of their rights.
H. Hein Foods will be receiving funding support to implement new equipment to improve efficiency, expand capacity to meet increased demand and diversify production for poultry, beef and pork products, and Basha International Foods Inc. will receive two grants, to aid in increasing capacity to debone whole chicken leg meat.
Other agri-food processors in Calgary receiving federal-provincial support include:
- CadCan Marketing & Sales Inc. - to purchase equipment to develop a gluten-free pellet formula for its air-puffed, low-fat and gluten-free snack products.
- Just BioFiber Structural Solutions - to purchase and install a commercial-scale plant to turn hemp stalks into building material.
- Village Brewing Co. Ltd. - to add a canning line and centrifuge to its craft brewery.
"Agri-business is a key driver of growth in the Canadian economy and a source of well-paying jobs for the middle class. Our government is proud to support these innovative projects that will support Canadian farmers and the broader supply chain through their increased production of value-added agri-food," Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
These investments help achieve the federal government's plan to create good jobs in food processing and help food processors develop products that reflect changing market tastes and new opportunities.
In 2016, Alberta's value-added sector, including food and processing manufacturing sales, was worth $14.6 billion and was the largest manufacturing employer in the province, representing more than 22,400 jobs.
These grants are made through Growing Forward 2 (GF2). GF2 is a federal-provincial-territorial partnership with a mandate to drive an innovative, competitive and profitable Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector. In the past five years, Growing Forward 2 has invested more than $406 million in Alberta's agricultural sector.
“Where is all the chicken?” asks Guiherme Salera of the Portuguese Chicken Guys, a downtown restaurant. “We are calling all our suppliers, scrambling.”
The eateries, called churrasqueiras (a Portuguese word that translates to barbecue restaurant), have over the decades become a popular dining option in Toronto; dozens of the family-owned shops thrive across the city and the suburbs. But several restaurateurs say that for the past few months they have been unable to find the 1.1-kilogram chickens that taste the best.
At its heart, their beef seems to result from a clash between taste and efficiency.
Canadian farmers prefer to raise heavier chickens, because they get paid by weight. Abattoirs have set up their shackle lines — where workers slaughter, defeather, eviscerate and chill the chickens — to process the bigger birds. It takes about as much time to process a small bird as a big bird. READ MORE
Smart agriculture is the combination of precision agriculture and big data to provide livestock producers with online, continuous and automatic monitoring of animals and their environment to support optimal management.
It uses a broad range of components – big data, robotics, drones, sensors, etc. – that have to be harmonized to provide real-time measurement or estimation. This allows farm managers to immediately react to data and information.
Livestock processing and input sectors are also adopting smart management features in their businesses. However, the poultry sector has been slower than other livestock industries to adopt them. Part of this delay is because very little research and innovation needed to develop poultry sector-specific technologies has been conducted in Canada.
Also, poultry producers may not fully recognize how these tools could enable their sector to generate higher efficiency and productivity. Applying smart agriculture tools to a cow or sow is easier to understand than how they might apply to a chicken or turkey. It is easier to apply monitoring and decision-making systems to large animals that have significant value and that can be fitted with individual monitoring devices.
Yet, there are a few Canadian universities conducting research on smart agriculture applications for poultry. Dr. Martin Zuidhof of the University of Alberta is developing a precision feeder system for broiler breeders to ensure more consistency in bird condition when egg laying begins in order to improve flock production.
What’s more, the University of Guelph’s Dr. Suresh Neethirajan is developing rapid diagnostic tools for use at the point of care, such as within the poultry barn, to identify disease outbreaks without the delay required for laboratory analysis.
The Canadian Poultry Research Centre (CPRC) recently added smart agriculture tools to the list of categories for its annual call for Letters of Intent (LOI). It is also investigating methods to identify potential industry issues that might be addressed using this comprehensive approach to management information and decision-making systems.
CPRC 2017 Board of Directors
CPRC’s full board returned for 2017 and has been busy working on the 2017 call for LOIs. It has also been hard at work preparing for the expected Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s call for proposals for a new Science Cluster program under the 2018 to 2023 Agricultural Policy Framework and issues that arise from the ongoing administration of the 38 active research projects.
CPRC is grateful to its member organizations for their continued support of its operations and its appointees to the board of directors. Board members include: Tim Keet, chair and Chicken Farmers of Canada representative; Helen Anne Hudson, vice-chair and Egg Farmers of Canada representative; Erica Charlton, representing Canadian Poultry and Egg Processors Council and the third member of CPRC’s executive committee; Murray Klassen, representing Canadian Hatching Egg Producers; and Brian Ricker, who represents Turkey Farmers of Canada.
CPRC also appreciates the ongoing support and input from staff appointed by member organizations to support their representatives on the board of directors.
The membership of the CPRC consists of Chicken Farmers of Canada, Canadian Hatching Egg Producers, Turkey Farmers of Canada, Egg Farmers of Canada and the Canadian Poultry and Egg Processors’ Council. CPRC’s mission is to address its members’ needs through dynamic leadership in the creation and implementation of programs for poultry research in Canada, which may also include societal concerns.
The antimicrobial use (AMU) strategy eliminates the preventive use of Category II antimicrobials by the end of 2018, and sets a goal to eliminate the preventive use of Category III antibiotics by the end of 2020.
Chicken Farmers of Canada's policy will maintain the use of ionophores (those antimicrobials not used in human medicine) along with antibiotics for therapeutic purposes to maintain the health and welfare of birds.
"Chicken Farmers of Canada has been a leader in antimicrobial stewardship, and this strategy provides continued confidence to consumers, customers, and to governments," said Benoît Fontaine, Chair of Chicken Farmers of Canada. "This strategy provides a sustainable means of meeting consumer expectations, while maintaining the ability for farmers to protect the health and wellbeing of their birds."
Consumers can be assured that Canadian chicken is free of antibiotic residues, and has been for decades. Canada has strict regulations with respect to antibiotic use and withdrawal times to ensure that chicken reaching the marketplace does not contain residues, which is monitored by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
This decision builds on the objective of eliminating the preventative use of antibiotics of human importance, guided by a comprehensive strategy that involves reduction, surveillance, education, and research.
The AMU strategy is consistent with the Canadian government's Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance and Use.
Chicken Farmers of Canada is responsible for ensuring that our 2,800 farmers produce the right amount of fresh, safe, high-quality chicken and that our farmer's views are taken into account when important agriculture and policy decisions are made.
Hawley is a graduate of the Prince's Operation Entrepreneur program, one of Charles's charities in Canada that helps veterans transition to civilian life. In Hawley's case, that transition has led him from the battlefield to the farmer's field — his own organic poultry and vegetable operation.
Hawley and his wife, Carolyn Guy, were among the beneficiaries of the program who met the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall in Trenton, Ont., during the royal couple's three-day tour of Canada. READ MORE
Pathogens that enter a feed mill can be disseminated to other locations, creating the potential for an animal-health issue.
Enforcing a biosecurity plan is necessary to minimize adulterants and produce feed that is safe to distribute. For tips on evaluating a feed mill biosecurity plan. READ MORE
The latest probe was launched after a concerned citizen in Abbotsford filmed footage of a chicken farm, according to a media release from Animal Justice, a legal advocacy group for animal-welfare cases.
On June 28, a woman was walking her dog on a public street early in the morning when she passed a chicken farm and spotted workers picking up chickens upside down and allegedly throwing them into crates and jamming them shut while chickens were still protruding.
The footage filmed by the passerby has since been passed on to the B.C. SPCA, along with an official complaint filed by Animal Justice. The group is now pushing for charges under B.C.’s Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. READ MORE
For example, people about to enter a poultry house will put on their boots, coveralls, hair nets, but then remember they need a piece of equipment that’s in another house. They quickly retrieve it and bring it into another building without cleaning it first.
That’s a breach of biosecurity, Sander told Poultry Health Today.
The intent is to try and do the right thing, but too often biosecurity isn’t viewed holistically, continued the veterinarian, who primarily works with layer producers. READ MORE
Exposure to stressors in the poultry production environment, along with infectious diseases (viral or bacterial) that impair immunity, contribute to an overall reduction in flock health, causing a decrease in productivity.
Among the different viral diseases, infectious bursal disease (IBD), Marek’s and chicken infectious anemia (CIA), are the mainly recognized and implicated viruses, causing direct negative effects on the immune system, thereby increasing susceptibility to other diseases and interfering with vaccinal immunity.
In immunosuppressed birds, vaccine take can be decreased or post-vaccine reactions can be excessive, allowing secondary bacterial infections, like E. coli, to enter and manifest, thus requiring antibiotic treatment.
It is therefore imperative, to reduce immunosuppression to enhance the immune system, and to establish barriers to the most common routes of infection by avian pathogens. And this can only be done by building a good and solid immune foundation.
How to establish a good foundation? A solid immune foundation not only enhances the immune system, but also prevents entry of other pathogens by establishing barriers. This can be done by passively protecting the progeny through breeder vaccination programs and by protecting growing chickens against immunosuppressive diseases, and their economic consequences.
Many of the vaccinations performed in the field are being moved to the hatchery, which can be done either in ovo, as early as 18 days of embryonation, and at day-old of newly hatched birds. READ MORE
Located 15 minutes northwest of Saskatoon, along Highway 16 near Langham, Ag in Motion features more than 350 exhibitors, 100 acres of test crops and the newest technological advances in farm equipment.
Ag in Motion is one of the only shows in Western Canada that allows farmers to watch equipment in action on the field, says Show Director Rob O'Connor.
"Farmers conduct their business outside in the field. Here's an opportunity to see equipment working, see it outdoors, see the crops growing. Decisions are made in the field and that's really what farmers do," says O'Connor.
Ag in Motion visitors will be among the first to see Dot Technology Corp.'s autonomous DOT Power Platform, which is expected to change farming as we know it.
"I don't think there's been anything that has the potential to change how we practise agriculture more since the GPS was introduced to farming," says O'Connor. "I really think that 20 years from now, how a farmer actually farms will be changed because of this technology."
Among the innovations on display at Ag in Motion are improvements in tires for high horsepower tractors, grain bin fall protection and increased fertilizer absorption.
Test crops by 25 companies will feature many varieties and highlight the effects of combinations of inputs.
Daily seminars in the Agri-Trend Knowledge Tent will feature financial and succession planning and precision ag.
Livestock Central will offer sessions on cattle handling, livestock and forage, a dairy day and fencing demonstrations.
Among the speakers at the expo are Glacier FarmMedia's Director of Markets and Weather Information Bruce Burnett, who will update farmers daily on the latest news, and Jolene Brown, presented by RBC, who will address mistakes that break up family businesses.
Now in its third year, Ag in Motion doubled in size last year and has expanded this year by over 50 new exhibitors. And new this year, onsite internet and cellphone service lets visitors and exhibitors stay connected.
July 7, 2017 - Given the high value of chicken breast meat in many markets, poultry processors need to ensure that any factors that may reduce product quality are thoroughly addressed.
The non-invasive scanning technology – that will identify the gender of day-old eggs before they are incubated – is set to streamline the hatchery process, create new tech-sector jobs and redirect resources previously used to raise male chicks.
Research funded by the Egg Farmers of Ontario through the Agricultural Adaptation Council was conducted at McGill University to bring the concept of gender identification of unhatched eggs to full-scale commercialization. The project is in its second phase. That’s work to fine-tune the scanning system in preparation for a commercial application that would be available for sale to hatcheries in Canada and around the world.
“This is a very sophisticated technology that includes state-of-the-art visioning,” says Tim Nelson, CEO of Livestock Research Innovation Corporation, the group partnering with Egg Farmers of Ontario to bring the technology to market. “There is a tremendous amount of design work that goes into creating this new system that, at full capacity, could scan and identify male and female, and fertile and non-fertile eggs at 50,000 eggs per hour.”
The knowledge that comes from being able to identify the gender of day-old eggs will give hatcheries new information. Female eggs can be incubated for hatching and infertile or male eggs can join the table or processing stream.
“This new technology will offer tremendous new opportunities to Ontario’s hatchery industry,” says Harry Pelissero, general manager of Egg Farmers of Ontario. “Redirecting day-old male eggs opens new market opportunities, and focuses hatchery resources of energy, water and other resources to hatching female eggs. It’s really going to be a game-changer.”
Commercialization of the technology will involve working with established hatchery automation companies, as the new technology requires custom-fitting to each hatchery, and is expected to create up to 30 jobs in Ontario, including visioning system technicians.
“We’ve already had interest and requests from hatcheries around the world that are very excited about the potential of this new technology,” says Pellisero. “We are now moving into testing prototypes in Ontario hatcheries to be sure the accuracy and speed we have in the lab can be achieved at the commercial level. We expect to go to market in 2018 with the first commercial hatchery application.”
This project was funded in part through Growing Forward 2 (GF2), a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. The Agricultural Adaptation Council assists in the delivery of GF2 in Ontario.
IBV exists in the field as many different types, defined as serotypes or genetic types. In addition, the term “variant” is often used to describe a newly identified but not yet characterized type of the virus.
Currently, the best strategy for managing the disease is the use of modified live IBV vaccines. However, because different serotypes or genetic types of IBV don’t cross-protect, the disease is very difficult to control. Selection of appropriate vaccines requires knowledge about the virus type that’s causing disease in the field. READ MORE
Many families are enjoying teenage chickens this summer after purchasing baby chicks at spring Purina®Chick Days events. In a matter of a few weeks, chicks go from cute cotton balls to pin-feathered chickens adjusting to their long legs and new feathers.
“Backyard chickens are considered teenagers from 4 to 17 weeks of age,” says Patrick Biggs, flock nutritionist for Purina Animal Nutrition. “The teenage stage isn’t talked about much in the backyard chicken world, but it’s a very important growth phase. These weeks are a lot of fun; they’re filled with quick growth, defined personalities and backyard exploration.”
Since exciting changes can be seen during this phase, there are often many questions. Here are three of the most common questions received by Purina this spring about teenage chickens:
Is my chicken a boy or a girl?
As birds develop, their gender becomes much more obvious. New primary feathers develop along with new names. Pullet is the term for a teenage female, while a young male chicken is called a cockerel.
“Between 5-7 weeks, you should be able to begin visually distinguishing males from females,” Biggs explains. “Compared to pullets, the combs and wattles of cockerels often develop earlier and are usually larger. Females are typically smaller in size than males. A female’s primary flight feathers on her wings are generally longer, but the developing tail feathers of males are bigger. If you are still uncertain of gender, you’ll be sure who the males are when you hear them attempting to crow.”
When can chicks go to the coop?
“Keep chicks in the brooder until week 6,” Biggs recommends. “As chicks grow in the brooder, keep birds comfortable by providing one to two square feet per bird. The temperature should be between 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit to help them get ready to move outside. Your chicks require less heat because they are now larger and can better regulate their body temperature.”
Biggs recommends the following tips for transitioning birds from brooder to coop between weeks 6 and 8:
1. Remove supplemental heat.
2. Move brooder into the coop.
3. Release chicks into the coop with the brooder still available for an option.
4. Supervise chicks outside of the coop in small increments.
5. Keep young chicks separate from older birds until they reach the same size.
What do teenage birds eat?
Many new flock raisers this spring wonder about switching feeds as birds grow. Biggs advises keeping the feeding program similar from day 1 through week 18.
“Continue feeding a complete starter-grower feed through 18 weeks of age,” he says. “Starter-grower feeds are higher in protein and lower in calcium than layer feeds. Look for a starter-grower feed with 18 percent protein and no more than 1.25 percent calcium for laying breeds. Meat birds and mixed flocks should be fed a diet containing at least 20 percent protein.”
Too much calcium can have a detrimental effect on growth, but a complete starter-grower feed has just the right balance for growing birds. The building blocks birds receive from their feed are put into growing feathers, muscle and bone. Prebiotic and probiotics support immune and digestive health, while added marigold extract promotes brightly colored beaks and leg shanks.
“Ideally, wait until birds are 18 weeks old before introducing treats and scratch,” says Biggs. “It is important that birds receive proper nutrition in early development. If you can’t wait to spoil your birds, then wait until the flock is at least 12 weeks old. Keep the treats and scratch to a minimum – no more than 10 percent of total daily intake from treats to maintain nutritional balance.
Biggs emphasizes that feeding growing birds is simple.
“After moving birds to the coop, continue feeding a complete starter-grower feed and complement with scratch for a treat,” he says. “Then, watch your pullets and cockerels grow and change each day.”
The investment plan includes new hatcheries, egg production facilities, a modern transportation fleet, and the skilled workforce needed to support these areas of operations. This follows previous investments in grandparent facilities in Kansas and Nebraska.
The proposed turkey hatchery in Beresford, SD represents an investment of approximately $25 million and will have capacity for 35 million hatching eggs.
This new hatchery will be used in addition to Hybrid’s aligned network of hatcheries throughout the U.S. and Canada. The new hatchery, plus the capacity within the aligned partners, offers the capability of hatching 60 million eggs for the commercial market.
The facility will be outfitted with cutting-edge equipment, featuring Petersime incubators, to ensure the highest biosecurity and poult quality.
Beresford is located approximately 35 miles south of Sioux Falls, SD and is well connected to the interstate system to transport day-old poults to the USA market.
Access to a skilled workforce and the support of the local community were elements of the decision process for Hendrix Genetics.
With this newest hatchery announcement, as well as upcoming plans for future investments, Hendrix Genetics aims to strengthen their global supply chain and network of owned and aligned distribution.
The Beresford hatchery will join their network of owned, aligned, and contracted hatchery capacity set up to supply the strong demand for Hybrid genetics in the USA.
What began just over a year ago with the announcement of a parent stock hatchery in Beatrice, NE has grown into a full-fledged investment in a US supply chain. Construction is scheduled to begin in August 2017.
Infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) can be spread by aerosol, ingestion of contaminated feed and water, and contact with contaminated equipment or clothing.
The IB virus is not transmitted directly from the hen to the embryo in the egg. Variant virus strains, very different to the commercial vaccine virus strains, continue to be isolated.
Clinical signs can include: increased mortality with or without respiratory signs, stall in growth rate, decrease in egg production in laying birds, and increased condemnations.
The virus is fragile, easy to kill if exposed to warmer temperatures or disinfectants, but it will survive longer if protected in organic material.
Properly implemented biosecurity is the poultry producer’s first line of defence against IBV. Your farm biosecurity protocols should be well thought out, stringently implemented and continuously followed.
The following is a list of suggested biosecurity measures for Ontario poultry farms:
- Each farmer, employee and every person entering any poultry barn must put on clean footwear, protective clothing and follow all biosecurity protocols.
- Minimize visits to other poultry production sites and avoid any commingling of birds.
- Avoid exchanging equipment with other poultry production sites.
- Ensure all vehicles/farm equipment that access the barn vicinity are clean and that the laneway is restricted/secured.
- If possible, have a pressure washer or a hose available to wash tires and equipment, and make this available to all service vehicles and visitors.
- If possible, “heat treat” the barn/litter after cleanout and introduction of new bedding, and in advance of bird placement (to 32˚C or 90° F for a minimum of 2-3 days).
Although commercial IBV vaccines are not directly protective against variant strains, they may provide some local immunity; therefore, it is recommended to use a robust vaccination program in accordance with your veterinarian’s recommendations.
Industry is investigating regulatory requirements to import vaccine to protect against the new strain that has been isolated.
Should you suspect any health concerns in your flock, talk to your veterinarian to determine best health management measures.
Additional information on IBV is available at:
Animal protection groups argue it definitely is: Birds that are not confined to small wire cages can at least spread their wings and engage in natural behaviors like dust-bathing and perching, even if they never see the light of day.
But egg producers and researchers caution that the switch is not as simple as just opening those cage doors — and that mobility brings with it a new set of concerns for chickens’ welfare that most farmers have never confronted.
A major 2015 study of three different hen-housing systems found that mortality was highest among birds in cage-free aviaries and that they also had more keel bone problems. READ MORE
KFC tests plant-based chicken in U.S.Kentucky Fried Chicken became the first national U.S. quick service…
EFC launches new national marketing platformEgg Farmers of Canada is excited to announce the launch…
Dozens occupy turkey barn in Alberta to protest animal living conditionsDozens of activists from Western Canada came to a turkey…
Keith Robbins leaves Poultry Industry CouncilAfter six years as executive director, Keith Robbins has left…