A couple of weeks ago I announced my new role of Health Ambassador with Chicken Farmers of Canada. As part of my new role, this month I'm focusing on the Chicken Farmers themselves, how the farms operate and inviting you to check it all out and feel secure in the knowledge which is freely available both on and offline.
Chicken Farmers of Canada has launched a new site www.ChickenFarmers.ca which will allow people to get to know the farmers themselves and the conditions in which the farms operate. As a Chicken Farmers of Canada Health Ambassador I've been busy learning all about the Chicken Farmers of Canada, their families and perusing the pages and pages of information that pertains all about their industry. Enjoy this post as I highlight some of the things that really stuck out for me.
Meet Canada's Chicken Farmers
Before I get into some of the facts that jumped out at me, check out this short video that shares some great information about the Canadian Chicken Farmers and their industry.
11 facts about Canada's Chicken Farmers that jumped out at me
- 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 are committed to using sustainable, good production practices, and to leaving the smallest possible imprint on the environment.
- The Chicken Farmers 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.
- Consumers get good value for their money: quality food at reasonable prices.
- From the moment they arrive on the farm to the time they're shipped to the consumer, the quality and welfare of the chickens is their biggest concern. They're given great food, clean water, and allow them to roam freely around the barns.
- What chickens are fed has a direct impact on both the flavor 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.
- There exists a 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 be used a way to help 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.
This is my disclaimer, “Just so you know, I have been compensated to share my ideas on this topic. Sometimes it is in the form of products, or services or even money… But here’s the thing; I won’t share anything with you that I don’t fully support. It doesn't matter what it is, or how much they are willing to give me, if I don’t believe in it, It won’t be on my site. Seriously. You’ll just have to trust me on this.” ~ Moose