Chickens raised for meat are free to roam on floors, un-restricted in barns, as pictured on the right.
Chickens are not given any hormones. In fact, hormones are not even available in Canada and their use is illegal.
Chickens eat a healthy balanced diet. It consists primarily of grains (corn, soya, wheat) and a protein-mineral supplement. All ingredients are government approved.
The birds are raised in climate - controlled barns to protect them against hot summers, cold winters, predators and disease.
Chickens are free to roam, but usually prefer to stay in one area. The birds have access to clean water and nutritious feed 24 hours a day.
Chickens are full grown in about six to eight weeks. Farmers produce five or six flocks a year.
Ontario chicken farmers thoroughly clean out all organic material from their barns between each flock. Disinfection of the barns is also an important element of the food safety program. This gives our farmers the distinction of having one of the highest cleanliness standards in the world.
A clean bedding of soft straw or wood shavings is put on the barn floor before the new, day-old chicks arrive.
The vast majority of Ontario chicken is produced on family farms.
Ontario produced about 439 million kilograms of chicken in 2006; imagine, that could be 823 million quarter chicken meals per year!
There are approximately 1,100 chicken farmers in Ontario