The Manitoba Egg Farmers Learning and Research Centre at the University of Manitoba's Glenlea Research Station.

The new 22 thousand square foot facility is the first interpretive egg/layer research, education, and training facility in Canada.

Agriculture Minister Derek Johnson says the Province partnered with the Government of Canada through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to provide $1.5 million in funding to support ongoing research at UM through the Glenlea Research Station.

"We look forward to seeing this research put into action in advancing Manitoba’s egg production industry."

Manitoba Egg Farmers Chair Catherine Kroeker-Klassen says the facility is equipped with the latest state-of-the-art equipment, smart internet cloud-based technologies and is designed to foster collaborations to advance Manitoba’s egg industry for the next 20 years and beyond.

She says they had visitors in mind when they developed the facility with large one-way windows providing people with a chance to watch the hens' natural behavior without disturbing them.

"On the aviary side, they're in a larger area together. On the enriched side, you're going to have hens in small colonies, small unis, about 22 to 24 birds in each of those units, whereas, on the aviary side, they're a couple thousand."

She notes with biosecurity measures for farms the facility provides a real opportunity to see where their eggs come from.

"Not only can they see those hens in their housing, but they can also see the journey that the egg takes from where it's laid in those nesting boxes. They can see it move through the conveyor belts and into the egg packing machine, and then all stacked up and into the refrigerated cooler room to wait for pickup."

The Farm and Food Discovery Center where this barn is located sees thousands of visitors every year. Field trips, homeschool groups, and the general public come out for things like Open Farm Day, and other events where they can see how animals are raised on farms. 

Kroeker-Klassen says they can see the cows and the hogs, and now they can come to see the laying hens as well.