Nov. 15, 2016

Canadian Aid for Chernobyl: Belarus Orphanage Hen House Project


As a family-run farming organization, we aspire to achieve the highest standards in environmental protection, work place safety and animal welfare. We also believe in giving back, supporting many local community programs as well as national and local charities like Canadian Aid for Chernobyl.

The Idea

Dave Shaw, a local business man and family friend, is the unassuming hero behind Canadian Aid for Chernobyl whose mission is dedicated to providing humanitarian aid and medical assistance to those affected by the world’s worst nuclear disaster. Their primary focus is on the most vulnerable victims – the children – improving life in the village of Chausy and its orphanage and offering a healthy respite, dental and medical care in Canada to those who continue to live each day amidst the extreme radioactive pollutants.

Hen House Project

The ‘Hen House Project’ was Dave’s inspiration. He approached Burnbrae Farms looking for help. The hen house would provide the children in the orphanage in Belarus with three key benefits:

1.Eggs, chicken, and meat to feed the orphans.

2.Income from the sale of goods not consumed at the orphanage.

3.Training in poultry care and husbandry for the children, opening doors to potential employment opportunities in agriculture.

Our Poultry Team was immediately inspired and enthusiastic to help! Members met to decide on the design and style of the house and agreed that it would simulate a mini commercial hen house. The plans included an area for both laying and meat chickens - a conventional style house for 100 laying hens and space for 50 broilers on the opposite side.

Education and Training

One of our suppliers, Clark Ag Systems generously donated the cage system to house the laying hens. Hens were sourced from Aviagen, again generously donated. Feed was locally sourced from a commercial mill. There were other contributors including Egg Farmers of Ontario, Elanco, and Hendrix Genetics. The hen house was built locally in Canada, thoroughly tested and then disassembled and shipped via container to the orphanage in Belarus. With the detailed plans, it was easily re-assembled once it arrived. Helen Anne Hudson and her daughter Audrey from Burnbrae travelled to Belarus to assist with the arrival of the hens in their new home. They worked very closely with the children and staff of the orphanage to educate them in caring for the hens and collecting the eggs.

One of a Kind!

The hen house is one of a kind in Belaris, Canadian Aid for Chernobyl and the orphanage are very proud of it. The children have the hens to care for, fresh eggs and chicken to improve their diets, a source of income as well as agriculture training and experience for future employment opportunities. Burnbrae and the Poultry Team were proud to work with Canadian Aid for Chernobyl and all the amazing companies who donated their equipment and time to this incredible project.