Overview

Poultry farmers raise chickens, ducks, geese, and turkeys. There are two types of chicken farms: one that raises the chickens for meat, and the other one that raises chickens for eggs.

Illustrated chicks walk around the inside of a chicken barn with chicks eating and drinking from the feeders.

Poultry barns have technology that needs to be managed, like these feeders and watering lines that can be raised as the chicks grow.

Large modern poultry farms will only raise one type of bird such as egg layers. Some small farmers might raise different breeds of chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese. There are no big-scale duck and geese farms like there are for chickens and turkeys.

Turkeys walk around a modern turkey barn that has sunlight shining through the top of the barn, and at the bottom on the sides of the barn. There are a number of turkeys in it and feeders and water lines run along the sides.

This is a modern turkey farm where feeders and watering lines run on the sides of the barns for the birds.

Chickens are clustered intheir cages together.
These are layer chickens that are clustered in their cages for security, social interaction, and so the eggs can fall onto a belt that goes to a packaging area.
Chickens walk around the inside of a chicken barn with feeders and water line for chickens to eat and drink from.
These chickens are being raised for meat. The lines going through the barns offer feed and water for the chicks.

Year at a Glance

Farmers buy their chickens or turkeys from a hatchery when they are only one day old. The birds are raised in barns and farmers take very good care of them until they are ready to go to the processing plants.

Farmers enter the control room of a barn in the morning to check that the temperature, humidity, and ventilation are all working properly. Then they enter the barn with clean, barn specific boots to check that there is enough feed and water, and also repair anything that is not working properly.

A man checks the temperature in a chicken barn, while he holds a daily planner.

The poultry barns have a lot of technology that has to be monitored by the farmers.

The farmers record what they see in the barn twice a day including the temperature, humidity levels, and thermal comfort of the birds. Back-up power generators and alarms are tested periodically in case an emergency, such as a power outage, happens and can be dealt with.

A close up of a white turkey stares intently at the camera.

This is a close-up photo of a turkey head!

Turkey farms are especially busy near Thanksgiving and Christmas time. They have to make sure their turkeys are the right weight and size for holidays so they can sell them to grocery stores and local customers.

A Christmas dinner table is shown with a roasted turkey, amongst other dishes.

Christmas and Thanksgiving are busy times for turkey farmers because many people use turkeys for holiday meals.

An illustrated farm family stands in front of their red poultry barn. The family consists of a mom and dad, and their three children. Three chickens stand near the family.
Over 90% of Canada’s chicken farms are family-owned and operated.