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Barn construction and renovation recommendations for Modular Loading

Ontario’s chicken industry stakeholders are collaborating to continually enhance quality, reduce risks, improve productivity and promote the sustainable development of Ontario chicken production. The Ontario chicken industry is transitioning from a crate system to a modular loading system. Modular loading offers a number of poultry welfare, quality and productivity benefits to the industry.

Over the next few years, it is expected that a majority of Ontario’s chicken production volume will be marketed using modular loading. As outlined in the Chicken Farmers of Ontario (CFO) 2015 Annual Performance Report, this industry transformation may require that farmers make significant barn renovations or build new barns. As part of your ongoing discussions with processors, catching companies and CFO, you should ensure you are fully informed regarding specific modular loading requirements and implementation timelines.

Industry stakeholders and government have collaborated on a resource document that provides recommendations when renovating and building new barns. Single storey facilities are best suited to maximize the benefits of modular loading and are the recommended choice for new barns. The resource document also provides guidelines on preparing existing two storey barns for modular loading. 

In particular, before you make operational and investment decisions around new barn construction or renovating an existing facility, it is strongly recommended that you work with your processor and building contractor. When renovating, it is recommended that you engage a professional engineering consultant who will provide structural analysis of the existing barn(s) and any required modifications to the structure to support modular loading on the second floor. Processors and catching companies will require proof in the form of an engineering report (may include stamped drawings) stating the necessary modifications have been correctly implemented before modular loading can occur on second floors. Obtaining professional advice and services regarding barn construction and renovation continues to be the responsibility of the farm owner. 
This communication is intended to inform you of the modular loading initiative and bring to your attention some of the key considerations that may be applicable to you and your farm.

Ontario’s chickens are raised on local farms by independent farmers under supply management legislation. In accordance with its authority to regulate the production and marketing of chicken, Chicken Farmers of Ontario may develop specific policies and regulations to assist the industry transformation to modular loading and ensure sustainability. Having or building barns that are properly equipped for modular loading may become a condition of quota allotment in the future.

CLICK HERE for more information on Ontario’s shift to modular loading (including the resource document that provides recommendations when renovating and building new barns).