let's talk farm animals

Livestock on the road – how you can help in an accident

By Jean Clavelle

Wtransport PICell, it’s that time of year.  Cattle are coming home from pasture, calves are being weaned and sent to feedlot and horse enthusiasts are enjoying the last few pleasant riding days left of the season.  No one plans to have one, but accidents do happen especially when animals are involved.  And whether you are the one involved in a motor vehicle accident or an innocent bystander it’s important to know what to do and how you can help when livestock are on the loose.

The top 5 things you need to know about livestock in an emergency:

  1. Livestock do not understand lights and sirens mean pullover.  This will definitely not make them stop.
  2. When an animal feels cornered, it will fight or try to run.
  3. Livestock view us as predators and their natural instinct is to flee from predators.
  4. Prey animals are herd animals and become extremely agitated when isolated or separated from other animals.  Single animals are extremely dangerous animals.
  5. Once livestock are excited or scared it will take at least 20 to 30 minutes to calm them back down.
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Posted by Farm and Food Care on October 4th, 2013 :: Filed under animal handling,Animal welfare,Beef cattle,Broiler Breeders,Chickens,Horses,Misconceptions,Pigs,Poultry,Sheep,Transportation,Turkeys,Uncategorized,Veterinarians,Weather
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Farm Animal Council of Saskatchewan pleased with the success of another ‘We Care’ Billboard Campaign!

By Jean Clavelle

TBillboard campaign June 16his year marks another triumph for the “We Care” billboard campaign initiated by the Farm Animal Council of Saskatchewan (FACS).  The program, which began in 1996, feature beef, bison, horse, chicken, egg and swine producers with their animals and are posted around busy thoroughfares of Saskatoon, Regina and Moose Jaw.

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Posted by Farm and Food Care on September 20th, 2013 :: Filed under Activism,Agricultural Advocates,Agriculture Education,Animal care,Beef cattle,Broiler Breeders,Canada,Chickens,Consumers,Dairy cattle,eggs,Faces of Farming,Farm life,Future of Farming,Horses,Media,Pigs,Pork,Poultry,Sheep,Speaking out,Uncategorized
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Hot enough for ya?

In this blog post, Eastern Ontario egg farmer Stephanie Campbell talks about the challenges of keeping farm animals cool and comfortable during the heat of summer months. Watch www.dinnerstartshere.ca for more blogs from some young Ontario farmers.

By Stephanie Campbell

Is it hot enough for ya? I’m sure you’ve heard this saying many times this summer, but did you ever think that it could apply to farm animals as well? For most farmers, when the weather is very hot, it not only means that is can be uncomfortable for them to work in (especially if they have hay to do), but they also have the task of making sure their animals stay cool as well. This is why most barns have very good ventilation systems.

Fans on the side of an egg barn

Fans on the side of an egg barn

In my barn, we have an air exchange system with big fans and vents that turn on and off automatically based on the temperature of the barn. This ensures that the temperature remains as steady as possible to ensure the hens stay happy and comfortable. The air is fully exchanged every seven minutes. Even with this air exchange, on very hot days (i.e. days over 35 degrees Celsius), sometimes the barn can get a little warm. For this reason we have extra big fans (think wind machines in old movies) to keep the air fresh and moving through the barn.Read the rest of her blog here at http://www.dinnerstartshere.ca/blog/entry/hot-enough-for-ya

 

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Posted by Farm and Food Care on August 16th, 2013 :: Filed under Barns,eggs,Housing,Uncategorized
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Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

People have long wondered which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Jacob Pelissero is an Ontario egg and pullet farmer. Pullet is the term used to describe a young hen from the time she is a few days of age to 19 weeks of age when she’s old enough to start laying eggs.
eggs2
In this blog, he attempts to answer that question. (Spoiler alert - he thinks it is the chicken.)

You can see his post here - www.dinnerstartshere.ca/blog/entry/which-came-first

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Posted by Farm and Food Care on June 17th, 2013 :: Filed under Chickens,eggs,Poultry,Pullets,Uncategorized
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Chicken lungs

Did you know that farm animal veterinarians are extremely specialized? A poultry veterinarian will be an expert in caring for chickens or turkeys, but usually won’t be as experienced in treating a beef cow or a pig.

Today, we want to draw your attention to a blog written by Mike, an Ontario chicken veterinarian.

You can learn more about Mike and his interesting choice of careers at http://mikethechickenvet.wordpress.com/about/

Here’s a link to his latest blog – Chicken Lungs

“Anyone who knows me knows of my hate-hate relationship with running. I have started running in the past year, and have decided that it is the most ridiculous activity known to man. You can’t score goals, you can’t look cool, and you will NEVER make it to Sportcenter (Usain Bolt excluded….I mean….he IS Usain Bolt).

The main reason I hate running is because I suck at it. I’m strong, but my aerobic capacity is lousy. I wish I was a bird. If I was a bird, my trachea (windpipe) would be 2.7 times as large, reducing air resistance. My rate of breathing would be about 1/3 of what it is currently, and I would take much bigger breaths.

This is the first part of the system that makes the bird respiratory system much more efficient at gas exchange than mammals (especially this particular mammal). ”

To read more go to…http://mikethechickenvet.wordpress.com/2013/04/16/chicken-lungs/

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Posted by Farm and Food Care on May 23rd, 2013 :: Filed under animal handling,Animal welfare,Chickens,Laying hens,Poultry
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Ontario egg farmer says her hens stay up all night

By Jeanine Moyer (Seaforth) - Carol Leeming is a professional egg farmer. And in addition to caring for her flock of 42,000 hens, she’s a mom, wife, career woman, motorcycle enthusiast and self-proclaimed ag-vocate (an advocate for agriculture). T

his busy woman has been involved in agriculture and poultry all her life and is proud to produce the highest quality food possible for egg-lovers to enjoy. Leeming and her husband Bob have been egg farmers near Seaforth, ON for more than 25 years.

Egg farmers Carol and Bob Leeming and their family (Photo by Angela Smith)

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Posted by Farm and Food Care on March 28th, 2013 :: Filed under Agricultural Advocates,Animal care,animal handling,Chickens,eggs,Innovation and technology,Laying hens,Poultry
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Breaking down the options for your breakfast

by Kristen Kelderman

One of my favourite traditions growing up was our Sunday night breakfast for dinner and curling up to watch the Walt Disney special on CBC. Often we would grab a dozen eggs and whip up some delicious omelets for everyone to enjoy and my sister and I would fight over whose turn it was to crack the eggs.

Since then I have cracked my fair share of eggs, but never have I really questioned where my eggs come from or where do the chickens live and what kind of care are they given?

Growing up on a farm, I never second guessed this and assumed that much like my family; chicken farmers care for their birds just like we do with our Holstein cows.

But consumers today are much more engaged and want to know more about their food and how it’s raised. And this is a fantastic opportunity for Ontario farmers to tell their story! While many people are concerned about what type of eggs they buy- free run, free range, enriched or conventional- they often don’t understand the implications that come with the associated housing systems.

The Coalition for Sustainable Egg Supply (CSES) is evaluating the tradeoffs that exist between the different housing systems and how they impact the environment, animal health and well- being, food affordability, food safety and worker health and safety. This research follows two flocks over three years on a commercial farm at the same location with three different housing systems, an aviary, an enriched system and a conventional system.

While the preliminary data has just been released, it provides some very intriguing results regarding environment, animal health and well-being and food affordability. When compared to aviaries, conventional and enriched systems had better air quality with lower levels of ammonia and dust particulates.

Eggs coming in, by conveyor belt, from a Canadian laying hen barn.

And when considering the health and well being of the birds, there were varying results in which system had the most fractured wings, the most breast bone deviations, overall feather coverage and highest incidence of foot problems.

Overall each system had associated health pros and cons, but one did not stand out ahead of the others. The interesting information from this research is that this is the first time food affordability data has been collected on a commercial sized farm.

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Posted by FFC on November 22nd, 2012 :: Filed under animal handling,Animal health,eggs,Housing,Research,Uncategorized
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Meet the face of September in the Faces of Farming calendar

 by Patricia Grotenhuis

Farming is just in the blood for some people, as is the case with Jim Patton, a sixth-generation farmer from near Alliston.

Patton was not always sure he was going to farm.  He decided to attend the University of Guelph after doing a project on the importance of agriculture in his final year of high school.  He graduated with a diploma in agricultural business, and returned to the farm. 

Broiler breeder farmer Jim Patton

Once Patton returned to the farm, he began making changes to modernize the family’s business.  Patton is featured as the month of September in the 2012 Faces of Farming Calendar, published by the Farm Care Foundation, because of his dedication to making improvements. 

In 1998, Patton began keeping broiler breeder chickens. These are roosters as well as the hens who lay fertilized eggs that will hatch into chickens raised for meat. In 2000 he added raising pullets (young hens) to the farm.  In addition to the birds, Patton also grows corn, soybeans and wheat.  He makes it a point to go to as many industry conferences and workshops as he can, including a three-day training course at the University of Alberta and a no-till(age) conference in Cincinnati.  He sets a personal goal to bring at least one idea home to implement on the farm from each event that he attends. This interest has also led him to the Innovative Farmers of Ontario association – where he now serves as a director.

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Posted by FFC on September 19th, 2012 :: Filed under Broiler Breeders,Chickens,Education and public awareness,Environmental Farm Plan,Family vs factory farming,Farm life,Innovative Farmers of Ontario,Pullets,Uncategorized
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Changing markets for changing times

 by Patricia Grotenhuis, Lifelong farmer and agricultural advocate
In recent years, interest in local foods and what farming practices are being used has created a shift.  Consumers are starting to seek out farmers who sell direct through farmers’ markets and on-farm stores, and farmers are spending more time connecting with consumers.

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Posted by FFC on July 22nd, 2011 :: Filed under Animal care,Chickens,Consumers,Farm life,Feeding the world,Turkeys,Wildlife
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BC Egg Farmers Care for the Right Reasons

BC egg farmers care for the right reasons. There is more to caring for hens than meets the eye.

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Posted by Farm and Food Care on October 16th, 2009 :: Filed under Animal health,Education and public awareness,eggs,Poultry
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