Advantages of Automation
During World War II, the world saw an increase in demand for poultry and eggs. To meet the nutritional needs of more people on the same amount of land, and with fewer workers, required new breeding, feeding and management methods. This triggered the development of modern production practices, moving hens from straw floors and farm yards to cages in highly automated barns.
Animal welfare was not a primary concern in those early years, but continued advancements have allowed the industry to focus on the care and comfort of poultry, as well as issues affecting food quality.
Sparks Egg Farms has made the health, welfare and security of our hens a top priority. Our hens are housed in clean, well ventilated buildings where temperature, humidity and lighting are controlled for year-round comfort. Control systems regulate heat, light and humidity for day and nighttime patterns. Music is sometimes piped in to help soothe the flock.
Even manure management is much easier in an automated system. Cage and flooring designs allow waste to drop directly into a manure disposal pit, keeping both the eggs and hens clean and safe from parasites.
When eggs are laid they automatically roll from cages onto conveyer belts for prompt collection and refrigeration, minimizing the need for human disruption of the hens’ environment.
The conveyor belt gently carries the eggs to a central packing area and places them in sanitized flats with the wide end up to keep the yolk centered. Flats are then placed on pallets and stored immediately in a cooler or cool room and chilled to 10° to 13° C. At this temperature, eggs retain their freshness and quality while awaiting shipment to a registered grading station - usually within four days.
A Word from our Poultry Specialist
Ken Severson is the Nutrition and Poultry Specialist for Sparks Egg Farms. Ken takes care to make sure the hens and pullets are fed a balanced diet, and to safeguard their health and welfare.
The 4 Pillars
At Sparks Egg Farms we respect 4 important pillars of responsibility.
Read more on 4 Pillars
Our new facility in Westlock, Alberta, is a proud example of our strong commitment to sustainability.