The Shaver Heritage Story


Donald Shaver’s interest in poultry began when he started raising chickens in his backyard in Canada. He won a national egg laying contest as a young man and began a poultry breeding operation.

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World War II put a halt to his work as Dr. Shaver enlisted and went to Europe as an armored reinforcement officer. He fought his way through Italy, France, and the Netherlands and later rose to the rank of Colonel. His military discipline would later influence his work ethic and management style.


After returning from the war, Dr. Shaver re-established his business and built a global chicken breeding organization for layer and broiler strains. His long term goal after witnessing the hunger and devastation of war was to improve animal production systems.

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The Shaver promotion video shows the growth in promoting and building the Shaver brand. By the end of the 20th century, the Shaver products, marketed as Shaver White, Shaver Brown and Shaver Black, ranked as best egg laying hens in the world. This boosted the sales of Shaver Parent Stock, and created the positive image that the Shaver chickens still have today.

"Winning is becoming quite a habit with Shaver 288. Six consecutive best layer awards in the USDA/ARS summaries. And 9 in 11 years. This means that you benefit. Shaver 288 produces more eggs on lower protein feeds than any other breed. And as protein costs more, you save straightaway. The eggs have harder shells too -- hence less breakage and more profits. Shaver 288 also starts laying larger eggs earlier, and through years of genetic selection it has developed strong resistance to disease. When you add it all up, Shaver 288 means the "Worlds Most Profitable Layer".


Dr. Shaver becomes an Officer of the Order of Canada in recognition of this philanthropic work and contributions to reduce world hunger.

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Dr. Shaver is listed in the American Poultry, Canadian, and Ontario Agriculture Halls of Fame. He is considered one of the most successful entrepreneurial breeders of his generation.

On the occation of 70 years anniversity of the liberation of the Netherlands/Europe, The Dutch Royal Couple, King Willem Alexander and Queen Maxima went to Canada to thank the Canadian Veterans. A royal "thank you" to Dr. Donald Shaver.

On July 28th, 2018, in his 98th year, Dr. Donald Shaver passed away in Kicthener, Ontario, Canada. Thijs Hendrix, Président of Hendrix Genetics, wrote an in memoriam on the passing away of Dr. Donald Shaver.

Shaver History Video