A new hatchery that is a joint venture between Canadian companies Sargent Farms and Boire & Freres is set to open in Woodstock, Ontario, in May.

The hatchery, which will operate under the name Thomas River Hatchery will have a capacity for 20 million chicks annually, and will employ about 30 people, reported Inside Halton.

“We’re looking forward to providing high-quality chicks to farmers across the province,” Sargent Farms vice president Bob Sargent said. “This facility features the most-advanced technology on the market, which will allow us to enhance quality, animal care standards and sustainability.”

 “We’ve had tremendous support and encouragement from the community and officials in Woodstock as we moved this project forward from the planning stages to reality,” added Claude Boire, president of Boire & Freres. “We’re thrilled to get to the production stage and play a role in further developing Ontario’s dynamic and growing chicken industry.”

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The plans for the Thomas River Hatchery were announced in July 2016.

At the time, Henry Zantingh, chair of Chicken Farmers of Ontario, stated: “We are pleased to see this kind of investment in hatchery capacity and infrastructure in the Ontario chicken industry value chain.Our chicken farmers have a strong relationship with their local hatcheries and depend heavily on the quality and service we receive from our chick suppliers in order to ensure that our production meets the evolving needs of our customers and our consumers.”

Headquartered in Wickham, Quebec, Boire & Freres is a family owned and operated company that services more than 40 percent of the Quebec broiler chick market and runs the largest broiler chick hatchery in Canada, according to the company’s website.

Sargent Farms, also a family-run business, was founded in 1943. Its products are certified by the Halal Monitoring Authority. The company is headquartered in Milton, Ontario.