Region/Countries: Canada, North America Industry: Agriculture / Timber, Manufacturing Date: October 2019

Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: As farmers upgrade their poultry housing systems, Wisconsin companies can help fill the demand.

New building construction and new housing system installations on farms across Canada have led to growing demand for poultry housing systems. In addition, Canadian egg farmers are making an industry-wide transition from battery cages to alternative production methods. With recent commitments from many of the largest Canadian food companies to source only cage-free eggs in the near future, this market presents a unique opportunity for manufacturers of enriched poultry housing systems, barn environment technology and supplies that improve life quality for poultry and workers.

Egg producers in Canada are turning barns into high-tech chicken operations. Canada is officially phasing out conventional cage systems by 2036, giving operators time to make changes to barns and equipment. Many farmers are switching to enriched housing that accommodate designs for an optimal environment for hens. It's expected that 50% of Canada's laying-hen operations will transition within the next eight years, and 85% to 100% by 2025. Of the 26 million hens currently being raised across Canada to lay eggs and as breeders, only 14% are housed in enriched environments.

Canadian egg producers are looking for long-term options that mitigate the maintenance costs of more complex housing systems. Environmental technologies that improve air quality while protecting equipment represent one promising market for manufacturers; another is housing systems that provide more efficient handling of hens and eggs. 

Repair and maintenance of this type of equipment in Canada is currently dominated by European companies, which are on the list of preferred vendors for the European Original Equipment Manufacturers. There are opportunities for domestic equipment suppliers of aftermarket parts and services that offer cost benefits to long-term maintenance programs.