Alberta Farm Animal Care Association
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Alberta Farm Animal Care was founded in 1993, which makes this coming year AFAC’s 25th anniversary!! AFAC was created by the livestock industry for the livestock industry in Alberta. Throughout the past 25 years, AFAC has developed into the collective voice of the livestock industry on all matters of livestock welfare. As the topic of animal agriculture grows larger every day, it is our job as an industry to work together as a united front to tackle this issue. As
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The history of the housing systems in place in egg production leads back to the 1920’s when egg production took place on general farmyards, these would include smaller farmyard flocks and a few establishments with larger flocks. During these times hens were commonly kept outside and were commonly raised alongside other livestock. As time went on farmers faced numerous challenges as flock sizes started to increase. In the 1930’s mortality increased to over 20% and
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Winter might be slowly creeping into your mind right now and before you know it we will be pulling out those winter jackets and starting to think about tackling that Christmas shopping list. As you prepare for winter, it is imperative you prepare your chicken coop for winter, too. Chickens generally do quite well in winter provided that the breeds you have are suitable for our Canadian climate and that they are provided a dry,
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September 20, 2018

The Dairy that Strives to be Different

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When a person hears the words ‘dairy farm’ one of the first things that comes to mind is probably the signature black and white Holstein dairy cattle. But as you walk on the property of Primrose Farms, there isn’t a purebred Holstein cow in sight. Primrose Farms is one of the only Fleckvieh dairy farms in Alberta and that is something that they are very proud of. The Fleckvieh breed originates from Lower Bavaria, Germany
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When colder temperatures hit and chickens are ‘cooped’ up, they are prone to becoming bored. This can lead to behavioural issues you may not normally see in your flock such as egg eating, feather pecking, and even cannibalism in severe cases. Chickens generally do quite well in our Alberta winters, provided that the breeds you have are suitable to our climate and that they are provided a dry, draft-free, warm shelter with access to water that is
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Can There ‘Bee’ Welfare Concerns with Beekeeping? As an employee of Alberta Farm Animal Care, animal welfare is something that is always very high on my radar, so when I became a Beekeeper this past year, that didn’t change. Now, as you are reading this, you are probably thinking one of three things: 1. Bees are insects- who cares? 2. I hate bees! OR 3. Of course, bee welfare is important; bees are vital to
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The 2018 Livestock Care Conference marks a milestone as AFAC celebrates 25 years. Welcome messages for the conference provided perspective on 25 years of progress, touching on the evolution of AFAC and farm animal care as well as the importance of continued collaboration and progress moving ahead. Perspectives on progress    “AFAC is such an integral part of our livestock industry in Alberta today,” says Dianne Finstad, agriculture and rodeo reporter and longtime friend to
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The East Olds Dairy Farmers group won AFAC’s Award of Distinction for Communication and Lakeland College earned the Award of Distinction for Industry Leadership. Both Awards of Distinction are presented to individuals or groups who have made exceptional contributions to progress in farm animal care in Alberta and beyond. East Olds Dairy Farmers Group  The East Olds Dairy Farmers Group is comprised of multiple dairy producers looking to constantly better themselves and leave a mark on their
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Featured speaker brings message encouragement to industry to continue to tell the good news in livestock  World renowned livestock welfare and handling expert Dr.  Temple Gradin kept the crowd at the 2018 Alberta Farm Animal Care Livestock Care Conference enthralled as she spoke about animal welfare and many issues the industry faces today. Having worked in the industry for more than 45 years, Grandin says she has much change, but one key issue remains—not enough people in the
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This summer we met Dylan Biggs, the owner and operator of TK Ranch, at a low-stress cattle handling workshop. Upon meeting Dylan, the opportunity to visit his ranch for a day came up and without hesitation we took it! TK Ranch has been operating since 1956, and today three generations live and work on the ranch. For over 50 years TK Ranch has been committed to producing sustainable, quality beef for Albertans. The ranch was
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The Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Pullets and Laying Hens requires that: “All hens must be housed in enriched cage or non-cage housing systems that meet this Code’s requirements by July 1, 2036.” Faced with this upcoming requirement, producers have many questions to consider: Enriched cages or non-cage housing? Renovate an old barn or build new? How will my management practices change? Will my feed costs go up or down? How
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March 16, 2018

Big student presence at #LCC2018

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What is the future of farm animal care in Alberta? A lot of progress has taken place over 25 years. Continual improvement is the key to the future. The next generation has a strong role to play in defining the path forward. That is why it was so important to have strong student participation at the 2018 Livestock Care Conference. In all, 49 students participated in the Meet the Experts session and attended the conference.
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Working together. Breaking down silos. Pushing the pace of innovation. Telling our story. These are just a few among many areas of advancement discussed and showcased at the 2018 Livestock Care Conference, which was attended by over 200 people representing many key sectors and stakeholders of the Alberta livestock industry and farm animal care community. The conference featured a number of top speakers and addressed many hot topics shaping the future of farm animal care in
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March 15, 2018

Changing face of the swine world

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Drs. Jennifer Brown and Egan Brockhoff shared a raft of exciting findings and research related to pig health at the 2018 Alberta Farm Animal Care Livestock Care Conference in Olds, Alta., March 15, 2018. Dr.  Brown spoke candidly about how the shift towards antibiotic free systems will be important when producers are moving onto new systems compliant with changing industry standards and expectations. “We have to think about them in a different way again,” said Dr. Brown regarding
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March 15, 2018

Driving innovation with poultry

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Dr. Clover Bench spoke about the history of poultry health at the Alberta Farm Animal Care Livestock Care Conference in Olds, Alta., March 15, 2018. She explained how one of the biggest shifts since the 1930s has been a move away from curiosity-based research to traditional scientific research covering a multitude of welfare areas.    With battery cages and automation on the rise since the early- to-mid-60s, the next 15 years saw a shift into investigating
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October 3, 2017

Open Farm Days

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Nowadays, the producer and the consumer are floating further and further apart, and interaction is a rare sight. Alberta Open Farm Days is a weekend that allows members of the public to visit farmers that are willing to open their doors for the event! The two-day event, which was held August 19-20,  allows consumers to see with their own eyes where their food comes from and ‘meat’ the farmers that produce it! There were 101 locations
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