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How's the weather in there?

Combining farm chores with new technology

When it comes to conversation starters, weather is a standard go-to, and when it comes to farmers, this is especially true.

Farmers are constantly talking about the weather, because it plays a major role in their livelihood and in the well-being of the animals they care for.

No one has enjoyed the harsh minus twenty-something weather we’ve been having in Ontario this winter, but have you considered how farmers have to alter their routines to ensure the colder-than-desired weather isn’t impacting them or their animals?

Did you know, that just like in your home, egg farmers use thermostats to control the temperature of their barns? Farmers monitor the temperature in their barns to ensure the hens are kept at a comfortable and consistent temperature, regardless of the bitter cold that we may experience outside.

Some farmers have such state-of-the-art technology they monitor this information directly from their phones! The best part about this? If anything out of the ordinary happens, like a drop in temperature, notifications or alarms can be sent out to tell them about it. So even when they’re outside the barn, they know what’s going on inside.

Marcel Laviolette uses these technologies in his egg-laying barn in eastern Ontario. “Warning alarms, anything will be controlled and sent to us so we can maximize bird welfare.” he says. Watch below as he explains more about his state-of-the-art barn. “What we’re seeing here right now is our state of the art monitoring system.  So it tells us if there is any power outage, feed intakes, water intakes, bird weights – it’ll tell us anything happening 24/7 and right up to our phones so we can have access anywhere we are.”

Farmers can also use computer systems in the barns to measure air quality and lighting and even monitor feed and water intake of the hens.

Bob Ottens farms with his brother Dave, and they use the computer systems in their free run barns. “We have computer systems to manage lighting, feed and water.” 

So as you can see, it’s not Old MacDonald’s farm anymore!

If you would like to see more about either of these egg farming families or their farms, visit getcracking.ca.

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