Baby chicks are delivered to the farm within 24 hours of hatching. When the day old chicks arrive, the chicken farmer makes sure all their needs, like food and water, are met. Before new chickens are placed in the barn, it must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected from the previous flock. This helps prevent disease and keeps the new flock healthy. The barn temperature is kept at a warm 31 °C until the chicks’ down is replaced by feathers.
Chickens can eat and drink from the feeders and waterers whenever they want in a climate-controlled environment. Chicken feed is made from a mixture of cereal grains such as wheat, corn, and barley.
A small amount of vitamins and minerals are added to the feed to help ensure a healthy diet. Ingredient amounts in the feed are adjusted slightly as the chicken matures to ensure proper nutrition. However, no hormones are used. Hormone use in poultry has been banned in Canada since the 1970’s. If medication is required, our farmers must follow very stringent guidelines and procedures.
Food safety is among the top concerns for Canadians, and we believe that food safety begins on the farm. That’s why we’re committed to ensuring that all 2,800 chicken farmers in Canada are responsible for producing quality chicken that meets both the food safety and animal care concerns of our customers.
CFC’s on-farm food safety program ensures that top-notch safety procedures and standardized safety systems will be found on every Canadian chicken farm, allowing Canadian chicken farmers continue to produce a safe and high quality product, as they have been doing for generations. When it comes to food safety, we all have a role to play. For consumers, it’s practicing safe food handling at home, but for us, food safety begins on the farm. Canada’s chicken farmers are proud to grow safe, quality chicken consumers can trust.
CFC’s On-Farm Food Safety Program was first introduced in 1998. It was developed by farmers, for farmers and respects all Canadian regulatory requirements, in addition to our own. The program combines good production practices as well as internationally recognized Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles into chicken production. Over 96% of farmers are certified on the on-farm food safety program, with the remaining four percent comprised mostly of farmers who are new to chicken farming in Canada and who are registered within the program but are in the process of getting ready for their audits.
Raising healthy birds in a humane way is as important to Canadian chicken farmers as it is to those who purchase it. The Canadian chicken industry works closely with its partners to ensure that stringent regulations related to the care and handling of our birds are met and followed. After all, it is in the best interest of all industry members to see that all of the birds are raised the best way possible.
As part of this dedication, Chicken Farmers of Canada has begun implementing an auditable Animal Care Program designed to demonstrate and maintain the high level and standards of the Canadian chicken industry’s on-farm animal care. The implementation of this program has been supported by many organizations, including the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, the Canadian Poultry and Egg Processors Council, the Further Poultry Processors Association of Canada and the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers.