Broiler Breeder Farm & Hatchery Tour

You’ll see inside a Canadian broiler breeder poultry farm and learn all there is to know about raising this type of poultry flock. Then, you’ll travel to a Canadian hatchery and learn exactly what happens as the fertilized egg turns into a chick!

Quick Facts:

  • Broiler breeder farms, which are run by broiler hatching egg farmers, raise female (hens) and male (rooster) birds that are the parents of broiler chickens. These hens and roosters mate to produce fertilized eggs (not the same as the table eggs we eat), which are sold to broiler hatcheries for incubation.1
  • Fertilized eggs that hatch into chicks raised for meat production are called broiler hatching eggs. They are fertilized naturally with the male (rooster) mounting the female (hen).2
  • Fertilized eggs are not like the ones you get at the grocery store. The grocery store eggs are unfertilized and come from hens raised specifically to lay eggs for human consumption.3
  • In 2021, there were 232 broiler hatching farmers in Canada.
  • Broiler hatching egg farmers in Canada produced 824.6 million hatching eggs in 2021. Hens begin laying eggs at about 26 weeks of age.
  • Broiler breeder poultry flocks have one rooster for every eight to ten hens to ensure a strong reproduction rate.
  • Broiler hatching eggs are collected several times a day. Only high quality eggs are sent to the hatchery to be hatched into broiler chicks (meat birds).
  • Hens and roosters have different nutritional requirements, so are fed different feed that is nutritionally balanced for their needs.
  • The hatchery picks up fertilized eggs from the broiler breeder farm twice a week.
  • Ontario and Quebec produced 58.4% of Canada’s broiler hatching eggs in 2021.
  • About 90 hatcheries across Canada are licensed for different purposes, such as research, breeding stock, commercial production, and vaccines.
  • In 2021, broiler hatcheries in Canada placed a total of 793 million chicks to be raised on Canadian chicken farms.
  • Canadian broiler hatching eggs stay in Canada and are not exported.
  • Fertilized eggs can take between two and three days to hatch.
  • The broiler breeder poultry industry is governed by supply management to avoid over- or underproduction.