Fresh Ideas, Growing Together

Modular Loading FAQs

What is modular loading?
Modular loading is a handling system for loading and transporting birds. It is widely used in Europe and North America. 

How do modules differ from crates?
Module drawers are typically made of molded plastic much like crates. However, they are set in large metal frame that is handled with a forklift. The drawers have much larger openings than crates do, so placement of birds during loading is much easier.

Are any Ontario processors currently using modular loading?
Two Ontario processors are currently using modular loading – Farm Fresh Poultry and Maple Lodge (for end-of-lay poultry). Farm Fresh began using modular loading for broilers in May of 2016. Maple Lodge implemented the system for end-of-lay poultry in February of 2012. 

What are the benefits of modular loading at the farm?
Modular loading offers a number of poultry welfare, quality and productivity benefits and enhances farm workplace health and safety. More specifically, the welfare benefits include reduced handling of birds, shorter loading time, reduced exposure to weather conditions and lower incidence of bruising. Workplace health and safety benefits include enhanced worker comfort and safety due to loading inside the barn and reduced walking, carrying and lifting activities for catchers. A forklift is used to load the modules on the trailer, which eliminates the risk of catchers falling from heights when loading the trailers. 

When will I be required to have my barn ready for modular loading?
This will depend on your processor’s timeline for modular loading implementation. You are encouraged to consult with them to ensure you are fully informed regarding their specific modular loading requirements and implementation timelines. 

Where can I find detailed guidelines for barn renovations?

Specific barn requirements can be accessed by CLICKING HERE. These requirements can also be accessed on the Poultry Services Association and Canadian Farm Builders Association websites. 

How far in advance will farmer-members get notice that their processor is converting to modular loading?
Processors are encouraged to provide as much notice as possible to their farmer-members in advance of moving to modular loading - in order to provide adequate time for them to complete the required renovations.

What do I need to consider if I am building a new barn?
When building a new barn to accommodate modular loading, single-storey barns are highly recommended. Single-storey barns maximize poultry welfare benefits from modular loading due to shorter loading times, less handling of birds and reduced exposure of birds to weather conditions during loading.

What is the best modular loading option for two-storey barns?
At this time, the recommended modular loading option for two-storey barns is side door loading. End door loading with a track system is not recommended and newer modular loading technology is not compatible with the track system. 

Will all processors use the same modular loading system?
Choice of modular loading system is an individual processor decision however most modules have approximately the same dimensions - so as long as loading doors are constructed to the minimum standard, they will accommodate different modules. 

Who will pay for the on-farm modular loading renovations required?
CFO has been working with the Association of Ontario Chicken Processors to develop a cost-recovery solution. The CFO Board expects to share the total solution with farmer-members in the near future.
CFO is preparing to support the modular transformation initiative with “minimum effective regulation”.