Two years ago, I got to do one of my most favourite activities as a CFC Ambassador. I got to interview a Chicken Farmer! John Opsteen is very passionate about the safety of his chickens and the safety of the product is he producing.
Read the full interview here — Keeping our families safe is a Chicken Farmer’s #1 Priority
Not everyone is going to be able to chat with a Chicken Farmer about things related to chickens, chicken farming and the chicken industry in Canada. This is where the Chicken Farmers of Canada comes in.
Our main responsibility is to ensure that our 2,700 farmers produce the right amount of fresh, safe, high quality chicken to meet Canada’s needs.
Our second responsibility is to represent the interests of chicken farmers and the Canadian chicken industry. CFC plays a key role in developing, partnering or managing programs for Canada’s chicken farmers that prove our producers continue to grow the high quality chicken that Canadians trust.
Who are Chicken Farmers?
- 2,700 farmers pride themselves on raising safe, fresh, high-quality chicken that Canadians can trust.
- Chickens in Canada are raised on sustainable and innovative farms from coast to coast.
- Farmers and their families provide a public good through being responsible stewards of the land and we are committed to using sustainable, good production practices, and to leaving the smallest possible imprint on the environment.
- Our industry provides benefits for communities in rural and urban areas. It means economic and social sustainability for the towns and regions whose future is tightly intertwined with the success of the Canadian agricultural sector. Farmers provide direct jobs as well as jobs for those who work in processing, retailing and those companies that provide service and inputs. For more information, watch this short video.
- Consumers get good value for their money: quality food at reasonable prices.
What happens on the farm?
- From the moment they arrive on the farm to the time they’re shipped to the consumer, the quality and welfare of our chickens is our biggest concern. We give them great food, clean water, and let them roam freely around the barns.
- What chickens are fed has a direct impact on both the flavour and nutrition of the meat, so it’s important that all chickens are fed the right way. The main ingredient of all chicken feed (over 88%) is grains and grain by-products, protein-producing seeds, and meal made from them such as canola or soybean meal. So, in essence, all chicken is “grain fed.” In much smaller quantities (around 10%), various other protein sources such as meat and bone meal/vegetable fats, are added to improve the nutritional content, taste and texture of the feed. In much, much smaller quantities (1.5%), mineral and vitamin supplements are commonly added to prevent any nutrient deficiencies. For more information, see “What Chickens Eat”.
- Chicken farmers in Canada are subject to an auditable Animal Care Program, which monitors and enforces the high animal care standards on Canadian chicken farms.
- The government-recognized, mandatory, on-farm food safety program also emphasizes animal health, cleanliness and safety throughout each step of the production cycle.
- No chickens are ever given hormones or steroids in Canada – the practice has been illegal since the 1960s.
- Antibiotics can used help to maintain healthy birds or treat sick ones, thereby ensuring a safe food supply for consumers and to prevent any potential food safety problems. Government-verified withdrawal times and random testing mean that the chicken that you buy in grocery stores or in restaurants does not contain any antibiotic residues. The chicken industry proactively manages antibiotic use in order to provide continued confidence to consumers and government. More information on antibiotics can be found here.
Lots more information available!
The Chicken Farmers of Canada want everyone to know exactly what is going on! They have a great website with a lot of information and a place for your to ask questions!