What is your farm history? Why did you choose to be egg farmers?
“While Marloes grew up on a farm and I worked on one, we were never farmers - this was something we came to later in life. After getting married, we both worked in an urban setting for seven years before we decided egg farming was what we wanted to do. We chose to become egg farmers because we felt that producing high-quality products, like eggs, for the people of Ontario was an interesting and challenging way to grow our business. Marloes now manages the farm on a day-to-day basis, while I maintain employment off-farm.“
What are the main characteristics of your housing system?
“When we began our farm, we decided to build an enriched housing system because we believe it represented the best option for producing high-quality eggs and a quality living environment for the hens. The enriched housing system gives the hens a lot of freedom of movement, while also offering the hens perches and nesting areas. The manure falls on a manure belt away from the hens and the eggs roll out and away from the manure, thus ensuring a sanitary, safe and high-quality product, while allowing the hens more space and enrichments to exercise their natural behaviours.”
What are your day-to-day chores on the farm?
“While Marloes is on the farm full-time, everyone in our family has a role to play. I work on the farm on my days off and our kids help on the weekends. On a normal day, first thing in the morning the barn temperature and egg cooler temperatures are checked. Next we walk the barn to ensure the hens are healthy and content. After that we check to make sure there is enough feed and water for the hens. We look in every housing unit to make sure all the hens are healthy. After breakfast we will check the barn again by walking the aisles and then we collect eggs. Throughout the day we continue to check our hens to make sure they are healthy and content.”