Agriculture genetics and quota
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Agriculture: Genetics and Quota. Broilers (Meat Birds). White rocks are the most common breed Convert feed into muscle Most muscle is on the breast, wings and upper legs (drumstick) the most expensive meat and easiest to prepare Costco $3.39/ lb for boneless chicken breasts.

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Broilers meat birds
Broilers (Meat Birds)

  • White rocks are the most common breed

  • Convert feed into muscle

  • Most muscle is on the breast, wings

    and upper legs (drumstick)

  • the most expensive meat

    and easiest to prepare

    • Costco $3.39/lb for boneless chicken


56 day old broiler


Day old chick


  • Processed at approx. 45-55 days old (8 weeks)

  • Under right conditions, broilers will gain

    1/10th of a pound per day

  • 99.99% of broilers in Ontario are housed


  • 22 ° C, all the water and feed they can drink. Lights always on. Lets put on the weight!

  • Lets take a tour of a modern broiler barn


  • Defined – governing body sells or buys “chicken units” to regulate supply and demand

  • Ontario chicken quota began in 1965 as a way to maintain “fair” prices for farmers.

  • Quota was givento producers based on barn sq/ft per farm

  • Currently chicken quota is $160 / bird unit with the smallest needing to produce 91 000 chickens per year to qualify

  • Simply, you need $ 2.4 million just to think about commercial chicken farming

  • You may keep under 300 birds without quota

Source: Sustain Ontario

Production within ontario
Production within Ontario

  • All decisions are governed by the Chicken Farmers of Ontario (CFO)

  • 1, 114 commercial chicken farmers

  • 195 million chickens produced in 2012

    or 175 000 chickens/farm

  • In 2012, 12 new farmers were welcomed into the chicken business. HORRAY!

  • 10 farmers were either in the chicken business through family already or sold dairy quota

Source: Chicken Farmers of Ontario

Laying hens the egg producers
Laying Hens – the Egg Producers

Black Sex Links

ISA Reds

White Leghorns

Laying hen production
Laying Hen Production

  • Laying hen production begins at 20-25 weeks of age

  • She will lay 320-340 eggs/year in her first year

  • A grade A egg weighs 56 grams

    • Or 1/32 of her body weight

  • After she reaches 1 year of age she moults she is removed and make way for the next batch

  • Moulting is when chickens loose their old feathers and grow new ones.

Production continued
Production Continued

  • All commercial eggs must be candled and graded like this

  • 430 egg producers in Ontario producing over 200 million dozen eggs annually (2.4 billion)

  • Layer quota is $250 per bird unit.

  • As long as your are under 100 birds, you are exempt from quota

  • Conventional Housing –vsFree range housing

  • This is not allowed in Canada but should be… Where the best eggs are made

Raising chickens outdoors
Raising Chickens Outdoors

  • Excellent way to keep grass cut and improve the quality of your grass

    • Chickens manure is 65% nitrogen = green grass

    • Chickens eat most kitchen scraps (meats, salads, rice)

    • Do not like citrus rinds, but love chicken

Salatin moving a bottomless broiler pen
Salatin moving a bottomless broiler pen

Salatin s chicken pasture from the air notice the colour of the land
Salatin’s chicken pasture from the air – notice the colour of the land

Hawks and owls
Hawks and Owls

Northern Harriers/Great Horned Owls

Typical hawk attack – head missing

Bylaws cambridge kitchener waterloo
Bylaws – Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo

  • Currently chickens are not allowed in many Canadian cities reasons because city officials think they

    • Attract rats, are noisy, smell etc.

    • The real reason city officials do not allow this is because of misinformation.

    • Hens are allowed in all U.S major cities including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles along with Victoria and Vancouver in Canada.

Try it
Try it!

  • "Until a person's spent time with them, you just don’t know what you're missing. They’re hilarious. They’re awesome pets -- pets with benefits, because the eggs are tremendous." She also appreciates their appetite for insects. "Good luck to any mosquito that tries to lay an egg -- they will find it!" she says. "I look at having chickens as a way things ought to be. I look at them as an extension of my kitchen."

  • Kelly, who prefers not to give his last name due to hen security, is another urban chicken keeper who got started in "the search for a better egg," he says. Now, his four hens give him at least 20 eggs a week; his children (ages five and seven) collect them daily. "For us, it’s not a matter of saving money; it's an issue of sustainable food, and delicious food."

    Henonyomous, May 8th, 2013