Alta. announces poultry institute

AIRDRIE, Alta. — A new poultry institute has been established in Alberta to manufacture vaccines and provide diagnostic services for Western Canada.

Western Economic Diversification Canada announced a $2.6 million grant last week to buy equipment for the institute, which is based in Airdrie at an Alberta Agriculture facility. Support has also come from the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency.

The Institute for Applied Poultry Technologies will work with producers and the University of Alberta’s poultry research centre, said Tom Inglis, a poultry veterinarian and a board member for the institute.

Vaccine work will be done in Calgary, while Airdrie provides diagnostic services.

Along with diagnoses, the institute will develop, produce and commercialize made-in-Canada vaccines and promote technology for food safety and biosecurity needs on poultry farms, said Nick Allan, the newly appointed general manager.


Alternatives to antibiotics are mostly vaccines to fight against food safety related bacteria like salmonella and campylobacter as well as immunization against some bird diseases. 

“One of the initiatives is early disease detection,” said Inglis.

He wants to work with producers, who are the first to notice changes in the birds’ health. Diagnosis and treatment can then be offered sooner. 

Live birds can be received in newly designed carriers for diagnosis at Airdrie.


  • Samantha Christopher

    I have a few comments. Think this is a great thing and is much needed for poultry in Canada. WHile this is good for large commercial producers, what about us who are the non-commercial small flock owners? Those like myself who have less than 100 birds in their flock but who still want the tools, vaccines, to protect them. Many of us want to also protect from diseases like MG, ILT, Merecks, but we don’t have access to the vaccines in order to do this. I know for a fact, many of us in BC & AB, we rely on vets to get vaccines. However, many vets will not even accept poultry as part of their practice and the few that do, getting the vaccines through them are difficult. As vaccines are produced with commercial flocks in mind, if we small flock owners want them, we have to agree to buy in flats. I think many of us non commercial small flock owners want to protect our flocks. What we need from manufactures of these vaccines is a plan, a way, to get the vaccines to us with us in mind: product that can protect flocks of less than 100 birds or something along those lines.

    Another idea is information. Take this article that I am responding to. I came across it only because I was doing a search for vaccines available to Canada. Otherwise, I would not know nothing and this is something I would like to have been made aware of as a small flock owner. Again, many of us in Western Canada with non commercial small flocks have been searching for ways to immunize our flocks against disease. We are left out as information like this fails to reach us. I hope that when these vaccines begin to be produced and made available in AB and the diagnostic services become available, information will also be put out to get the word, like maybe in an ad campaign or even by listing on forums like AlbertaChickensEct or Western Canada Poultry Swap.

    Often the comercial poultry operators think its we small backyard flock owners who are the problem where it comes to disease control. Many of us want to protect our non commercial flocks too but we often feel overlooked as we cannot readily get access to the vaccines commercial operators can get. As these vaccines are now going to be made here, please consider us and a way to make the vaccines available to us. The health of our flocks are just as important too.

    Thank you.

  • Susan Tritt

    I am a small flock breeder and sell chicks and grow meat birds as well. I have currently gone through the process of MG testing my flock and as a result now have a flock have the size of the one I had last month. I searched this country looking for Merek’s, MG and other vaccines and am finding barriers such as dose size and availability. Testing is almost unheard of. When I wanted to do live testing on my birds I had to first prove that that was a possibility. I have been working with our provincial Animal Health Centre as well as my local vet. and have faced many road blocks in trying to get vaccines. If you are able to produce vaccines for small flock producers I am sure you would have a huge market requiring them.

  • amanda lilly

    Hi I have a small flock of chickens and I am scared for my chickens trying to keep them healthy. I ve had alot of help in the community for them but their was no Vaccines. If or when they get sick I worry about my family and friends and my animals health very happy to see that you can make these vaccines available for us here . We appreciate this more then you can imagine. You would have my business and lots of Others for these vaccines.

  • Be Hulley

    We have a small mixed farm and under 99 chickens which came to us as vaccinated chicks, I understand that they require vaccinations to guarantee they remain disease free. I would like to purchase a smaller amount of vaccine than a commercial producer.

  • Wendy-Lou Harding

    It would be great to have vaccines available for small flock owners. That way we can help our flocks to be healthy and have peace of mind that we are providing the best care we can for our birds.

  • Susan Woodliffe

    I concur with the above comments. As a small heritage chicken breeder and exhibitor I find diagnosis, medications, protocols and treatments geared to the large producer. In fact many protocols or suggestions for dealing with disease is contrary to what is logical for a small producer and exhibitor. One Alberta site recommends AGAINST vaccinating for ILT and many small producers have heeded this advice. However, when you look at the type of flock, it is obvious the advice is aimed at a commercial flock with high biosecurity and fast turnover of birds. Since I sell and show my birds I cannot maintain the same biosecurity and my stock usually stays with me their whole natural life…often 5+ years. In my case ILT vaccination is a necessity.