GFM Network News


St. Albert’s Melissa Hills has been enjoying her small backyard flock of brown production layers and heritage breeds since the start of the pandemic.

Winter’s here but pandemic poultry are still a hit across Alberta

Reading Time: 5 minutes Backyard chickens saw a boom during the early days of the pandemic — and the interest hasn’t waned yet, despite the wintry weather. “I’ve had eight incubator package requests already through November and December,” said Tammy Wheatley, owner of The Urban Chicks, a company near Calgary that rents chickens out for the summer. “The pandemic […] Read more

Chicken farmers cut production, but no aid sought

Reading Time: < 1 minute Canada’s chicken farmers have reduced production but won’t be asking for financial help from government, says the Chicken Farmers of Canada. “We’ll take care of this ourselves,” said Benoît Fontaine, the organization’s chair. However, chicken farmers may have to “depopulate flocks” if there’s an escalation in slaughter plant closures and should that happen, they want […] Read more


Piglets aborted, chickens gassed as pandemic slams meat sector

"We have to have less hogs somehow"

Chicago | Reuters — With the pandemic hobbling the meat-packing industry, Iowa farmer Al Van Beek had nowhere to ship his full-grown pigs to make room for the 7,500 piglets he expected from his breeding operation. The crisis forced a decision that still troubles him: He ordered his employees to give injections to the pregnant […] Read more




Chicken welfare program enhanced

Reading Time: < 1 minute Chicken farmers across Canada are rolling out the latest changes to the Raised by a Canadian Farmer Animal Care Program. The program will enhance environmental care and bird monitoring and handling as well as health-care practices, and emergency management and preparedness. “Our Animal Care Program is a clear demonstration of farmers’ commitment to animal care,” […] Read more


Chickens culled as Brazil truckers disrupt commodity exports

Sao Paulo | Reuters — Striking truckers in Brazil have disrupted supply and exports of farm produce from one of the world’s agricultural commodity powerhouses. Brazil is the top global exporter of soybeans, sugar, coffee and chickens. The strike over high fuel prices has paralyzed Latin America’s largest economy, emptied Brazilian roadways and left major […] Read more

Cargill to replace chicken plant’s stunning system

Agrifood firm Cargill has budgeted $22 million to swap out an electric stunning system at its London, Ont. chicken processing plant in favour of a new controlled atmospheric stunning (CAS) system. The CAS system, expected to be up and running this spring, “will help reduce handling stress with chickens, resulting in a higher-quality, more consistent […] Read more



Tyson to test new method to stun chickens

Chicago | Reuters — Tyson Foods will test a new way to render chickens unconscious before slaughter, the company said Wednesday, in the latest sign that heightened concerns about animal welfare are affecting U.S. meat processors. Within the next year, Tyson, the biggest U.S. chicken company, will launch a pilot program at two processing plants […] Read more