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Raising Healthy Egg Laying Hens

Ken Severson is the Nutrition and Poultry Specialist for Sparks Egg Farms. He takes care to make sure the hens and pullets are fed a balanced diet, and to safeguard their health and welfare. Few things give us more satisfaction than our pride in raising healthy hens.

 

Raising Chicks to be Healthy Hens

A well balanced diet of grains, proteins, vitamins and minerals, plus fresh water and comfortable surroundings are essential for a hen's health and egg production.

 

Despite being small, we raise white Leghorn hens because they are productive layers. These hens lay white eggs. We also raise Rhode Island Red hens which lay brown eggs. 

 

Hens begin egg production at five to six months (19 weeks) of age and continue to lay for about 12 months. A hen will lay approximately 320 eggs during its laying cycle. We raise multiple flocks, staggered in age, so we have a steady supply of layers and eggs to market.

 

Each stage of a hen's development requires special care and attention. Chicks are hatched at hatcheries, then we raise them in our pullet barn (pullets are less than 19 weeks of age). 

 

The hens are housed in clean, well ventilated buildings where temperature, humidity and lighting are controlled for year-round comfort. Control systems simulate conditions for day and night. Every aspect from feed to egg collection is controlled and monitored by our poultry specialists so our hens have a comfortable, safe environment, allowing them to behave in natural patterns.
 
It may seem ideal to think we could raise hens in free range conditions without controls, but in order to produce food products in a responsible way we must make sure we keep hens free from coming into contact with pests such as flies or wild birds that may carry disease. Even contact with human caregivers is limited as a bio-safeguard.

Litter management is also critical for control of pest and disease risk. We have designed a system to allow waste to drop from the cages into a manure disposal pit, removing this on a conveyor system, keeping both the hens and the eggs clean and safe. 
 
To minimize disruption of the hens' environment, egg collection is done automatically on moving belts, generally twice a day. Eggs are gently carried to a central packing area for prompt refrigeration.  


 
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Poultry Specialist

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.

Read more

 

Food Safety & Animal Welfare

The 4 Pillars


At Sparks Egg Farms we respect 4 important pillars of responsibility.

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Sustainability

Sustainability


Our new facility in Westlock, Alberta, is a proud example of our strong commitment to sustainability.

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