Each day, chicken farmers check the barns where the chickens are raised. The farmer walks through the temperature and humidity-controlled barns to check that the birds are comfortable and healthy. Broiler chickens do not live in cages; they are protected from our harsh climate in barns where they can move around freely, or are free-range with access to the outdoors, as well as indoor protection from weather and predators. Chickens raised in Canada are housed according to national codes of practice or the care and handling of farm animals.
Young chickens arrive on the farm from a hatchery as chicks and grow to market weight with other birds as part of a flock. Once birds go to market, all the bedding and manure is taken out of the barn, and the building is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before the next flock of birds arrives. This approach helps prevent disease, and keeps the flock healthy.
Not just anyone can walk through a chicken barn. This is because chicken farmers need to protect their birds from outside germs that could easily spread through the flock. As well, farmers are required to adhere to standards for food safety and the care and handling of chickens. All chicken farmers in Canada follow a national On-Farm Food Safety Program and Animal Care Program, recognized by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and National Farm Animal Care Council.