At the British Columbia Chicken Marketing Board, our main goal is to raise all BC chickens comfortably and to provide them with the best care and nutrition possible. That is why we have a mandatory animal care program that demonstrates and maintains the high level and standards of the Canadian chicken industry.
CFC’s animal care program provides strict guidelines for the care and handling of poultry. Some of the standards put in place by this program include feed, water, climate control, and lighting.
BC chickens have a healthy diet that consists of corn, barley, wheat, and a lot of protein from soy, canola, and/or bone meal, as well as vitamin and mineral supplements. While the specific feed formula varies from one feed mill to another, all chicken feed is regulated by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. All BC chicken feed is free of hormones and steroids.
All chickens must have constant access to fresh, clean water, delivered through a nipple drinking system. This drinking system grows with the birds, so that it is always at a comfortable height for the birds to drink from. Chicken farmers must clean and disinfect all water lines before each new flock, as well as test their water annually for the presence of bacteria.
Canadian chicken farmers use computer systems in their poultry barns to control the temperature and lighting, as well as provide fresh air. This system is also designed to alert the farmer if any problems with the barn climate should occur. All poultry barns have vents and fans to keep the barn temperature comfortable year-round.
Between flocks, chicken farmers must remove all manure and dust from the barn, as well as disinfect the walls and equipment. Poultry barns should also be washed from top to bottom with water at least once a year. Thorough barn cleaning procedures ensure that each flock starts its life in a clean and safe environment.
All British Columbia poultry farmers follow strict standards for minimizing or eliminating the movement of viruses, bacteria, and other biological organisms from contaminating the poultry. Some of the biosecurity measures put in place include hand sanitize stations at barn entrances; closed, lockable gates; and vehicle wash stations.
If you would like to learn more about animal care for BC chickens, please contact the British Columbia Chicken Marketing Board at 604-859-2811 or complete a contact form on our website. You can also stay up to date with the latest news by following us on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.