Lisa & John Kennedy
Lisa and John Kennedy of Tappen have been chicken farming since 2013. They and their five children keep the farm a family affair, along with their pets – a horse, a dog and a cat.
Can you tell me about your farming operation?
We have a family farming operation – us and our children. Before becoming chicken farmers, we were dairy farmers. Because poultry farming is so different than what we did before, we did a lot of research. We invested in technology to make sure our birds are well cared for. Like all chicken farmers in Canada, we buy the chicks when they are one day old and raise them to a market weight, so there is a sense of ownership in raising a healthy product.
What’s your favourite thing about being a chicken farmer?
We love raising the birds and watching them grow. It’s so rewarding to see the results. We enjoy the flexibility of owning our own business and are proud to raise a safe, healthy, high-quality product for the people of BC.
Can you describe a typical day for you on your farm?
After an early breakfast, we’ll walk through the barn to make sure the birds are comfortable. We’ll check air quality, temperature, water quality, air ventilation and feed supply. We observe the bird behavior and listen to them. You can actually tell a lot from their chirping. In addition, we check the weigh scales to make sure the birds are a healthy weight. Our main priority is to make sure they are comfortable and healthy.
Another part of the business is documentation: everything is tracked and recorded. We monitor the water intake and feed consumption to make sure they are eating and drinking property. We also track barn temperature and humidity. We are audited annually by the BC Chicken Marketing Board to ensure we are following proper procedures.
Can you describe your experiences involved in the BCCMB?
As new farmers, we continue to receive tremendous support from fellow farmers and the poultry industry in general. There is always something to learn in chicken farming! We attend the local growers meetings to keep up to date in industry issues. Even our younger children enjoy attending these meetings and actively listen to the discussions. It’s nice to know there are people out there who we can turn to for advice or help when needed. Everyone works together to produce a quality product.