Livestock and poultry in Canada
Farmers across Canada raise a wide variety of livestock and poultry to produce meat, dairy, eggs, fibre, and many other products. Here’s a look at some of the main types of farm animals raised in Canada.
Turkeys and chickens
Turkeys and chickens raised for meat live in modern barns where temperature, humidity, light, and ventilation are carefully monitored to ensure the birds stay healthy. They roam freely around the barn on a floor covered with a soft bedding material (straw or wood shavings). Birds have free access to water and feed. Generally speaking, poultry are fed a mix of grains and oilseeds including corn, soybeans, wheat, barley, and canola, as well as minerals and other nutrients. Once birds go to market, all the bedding and manure is taken out of the barn, and the building is thoroughly cleaned before the next flock of birds arrives. This helps prevent disease and keeps the flock healthy. Meat chickens are called “broilers.” There are three steps for raising broilers, with most chicken farms specializing in one of these steps. First are broiler-breeder farms – that is, a farm where breeding hens and roosters live together, producing the fertilized eggs that will hatch into broiler chickens. Fertilized eggs are then sent to a hatchery, which incubates and hatches the eggs. The hatched chicks (or “poults” in the case of turkeys) then move to a broiler farm where they will stay until they reach market weight.