Barry Uyterlinde, a chicken and dairy farmer from Brackley, Prince Edward Island, takes a moment to reflect on his time in the chicken industry.
Farming has always been in his life ever since he was young. Born in Truro, Nova Scotia, his family moved to Prince Edward Island a few years later. His family has been farming chicken for over 30 years. About 10 years ago, he bought out the family farm, while also running a 50 cow dairy operation with his son Mark.
The family farm in Brackley now has two 42,000 square-foot chicken barns (two storeys each). “Milking is the more intense operation, we milk them twice a day, with no robots,” he said. “But chicken farming has changed my life.”
“I typically on the ‘gator, and go to the chicken barn, check the water line, and I check the feed lines, make sure everything is going alright,”explains Mark.
“Chicken farming is not as labour intensive as other commodities,” Barry adds. “But it includes many benefits, such as being able to watch and interact with the birds, comparing the differences between the breeds and their performance, the challenges of dealing with the different growing conditions, and then of getting the best flock to market in the best health that you can. An added bonus? I get the by-product of fertilizer for my other crops.” These include corn, mostly, with grasses that are all used on-farm, primarily as feed for the cows.
A life-long supporter in grassroot agriculture organizations such as 4-H and Holstein Canada, Barry said that the strength of the chicken business, its stability, have given him the consistency in operations that have helped build and maintain the rest of the farm. ”It’s about being able to create a future,” he said.
And that future is one with his son Mark. Barry thanks supply management as the reason his son Mark will one day be able to take over the far. His wife Denise couldn’t agree more. “It’s a feeling of relief that supply management is there, because you can pass on something solid to your children. You want the best for your kids” she says.
FUN FACTS ABOUT BARRY