Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Tony Entz of Lone Pine Colony and L.P. Farm Fresh Chicken in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, first saw the Certified Humane® label on products in Sobeys and Safeway.
“I looked it up on the website when I got home,” he recalled. “I read through the standards and thought, we do that, and we do that, and we do that. That’s when I thought, ‘We need to become Certified Humane®.’ You can care for your animals as much as you like, but if no one knows you are doing it, then it won’t motivate people who care about animals to check out your product.”
Tony lives and works with his dad, Peter, on Lone Pine Colony, a Hutterite colony that originated in 1999.
Hutterites are a communal people dating back to the 1500s, originating in Germany, Russia and the Czech Republic. When they migrated to North America, many headed to Canada in 1918, where generations still live in hundreds of scattered colonies. A small number of families live and work together on these Hutterite colonies, where they raise livestock and produce manufactured goods to sell for the benefit of the community.
”Everyone owns everything and everyone helps each other,” said Tony.
400 years of family farming
Tony started helping on the farm when he was just 8-years-old. “When I wasn’t in school, it was the highlight of my day to help care for the animals on the farm,” he says.
Today, Tony and his dad, Peter, handle the day-to-day operations of the 8,000-acre farm in the Lone Pine Colony. They manage 4,000 to 9,000 chickens, depending on the time of year.
Between April and October, Lone Pine Colony raises their birds outside, “in fresh air and sunshine,” said Tony. When the cold weather arrives, the birds are moved inside to heated and well-ventilated barns.
“We have to keep the birds nice and dry during the winter,” said Tony. “It’s much more work taking care of them inside compared to outside. So we are happy to let the birds outside again as soon as it warms up in the spring.”
Becoming Certified Humane®
Lone Pine Colony raises chickens without antibiotics or hormones, which meets Certified Humane’s® standards of animal care. They are also fed a homegrown grain with no animal or soy proteins.
Per Certified Humane® standards, Tony says they added recreational enhancements for the birds, like bales of hay, so they can exhibit some natural behaviors.
“I know they like it,” said Tony. “As soon as we put the bales of hay in the yard, several jumped right up on it. It’s just natural for them to sit on something.”
Tony says farming is hard work, but pleasurable work. “It’s always fun, if you like what you do,” he says. “I like working with animals, and I like working with customers and getting feedback on our products. It makes me feel good to hear people like our products.”
Lone Pine Colony produces L.P. Farm Fresh Chicken products, which are available in local stores in Calgary, Alberta. They ship some of their products to other Canadian Provinces.