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Why Cobb is Winning Favour in Russia

5 October 2012, at 12:00am

Irina Likhacheva, sales director of Cobb Russia, outlines the company's business in Russia in the latest issue of 'Cobb Focus'. The article includes an interview with the chief technologist with one of the company's clients there, GAP Resourse.

The Cobb500, introduced to Russia in 2008, already accounts for around a quarter of the broiler breeding market.

The genetic potential of the Cobb500 is able to achieve high performance results without any special management techniques. At the same time, it is a 'very forgiving' breed that is easy to work with.

Cobb breeding stock has been designed for even growth, with the chicks capable of high uniformity from the first days. Many Cobb customers achieve 80 per cent flock uniformity even before the first selection, because both male and female lines are selected for broiler traits almost at the same level.

The breed has the ability to reach target liveweight on low-density feeds. This facilitates management and growing of pullets, while considerably reducing the cost of production. At the same time, the volume of consumed feed is increased as well as the time of feed consumption which in turn results in improved flock uniformity and eliminates stresses.

It is easy to manage a uniform Cobb flock – that is why the benchmark for production peak has considerably increased and accounts for 86 to 87 per cent or sometimes even higher. The Cobb female has a high persistency (over 80 per cent during 8 to 10 weeks) and high feed efficiency on low density feeds resulting in reduced cost of egg production - an important criterion for the Russian poultry sector.

Another distinguishing feature of Cobb is a high number of hatching eggs - 96 to 97 per cent, on the average, for whole production period. This is achieved through reduced breakage, cracked and double-yolk eggs during the beginning of the laying period. Customers of Cobb also remark on the egg shell quality - the shell remains strong during the whole production period with a favourable effect on hatchability.

Improving livability is one of the priorities for Cobb with experience in Russia showing that mortality and culling for the period from 24 to 60 weeks in the best flocks is no more than six per cent. The high livability of Cobb under recent abnormally high temperatures in Russia has been confirmed this summer. Livability is directly linked to flock economic efficiency:
1% less mortality = 1.5 hatching eggs = 1.2 chicks!

Without argument, the Cobb500 is a leader in fertility. Today, a marked difference in increased hatchability with Cobb – especially after 45 weeks of age - has been acknowledged by all specialists working in Russia with different breeds. In Russia, the average hatchability for the whole production period accounts for over 82 per cent with over 83.5 per cent in the best flocks. This high hatchability is an undoubted merit of the Cobb male.

The male is very active, almost aggressive and does not require any special conditions for good growth and mating. That is why the recommended number of males in a unit has been decreased from 14 to 13 per 100 females – adequate to ensure the right number of males for the main flock and also for spiking.

Although it is relatively recently that the Cobb500 has been used in Russia, the average chick number is recorded at 125 to 127 per hen housed, with 130 in many operations, and 135 chicks on the best farms, up to 62 weeks. And this is just the beginning.

Cobb breeding stock has received deserved appreciation from Russian customers. Today, Cobb broiler breeders are grown in such large-scale operations of Russia as Cherkizovo Group (Lipetsk, Voronezh and Penza regions), GAP Resourse (Stavropol and Krasnodar Krai)), Belaya Ptitsa and Belgrankorm (Belgorod Region), Chelny Broiler (Tatarstan), Severnaya farm (Leningrad region), Verkhnevolzhskaya Farm (Tver region), Elinar-Broiler and Assortment (Moscow region) and Kubansky Broiler (Krasnodar Krai).

In 2012, Cobb shipments went to Mary El (Marijskaya Farm), In April the first flock of parents was delivered to SMENA (Moscow region), while in May first flocks went to Kursk region. All Cobb breeding stock is shipped to Russia from the Netherlands and Germany, but in 2013 day-old chicks will be also supplied from the new Cobb hatchery in the Moscow region.

Cobb's experienced and highly knowledgeable technical specialists assist Russian customers to achieve a high genetic potential of the breed. Cobb customers all over the world highly value Cobb technical service and customer support, with training on all aspects of breeding stock and broiler management provided by the company.

In Russia, Cobb conducts technical seminars for each large customer, with topics chosen by the customer. In March, a technical seminar was conducted at Chicken Kingdom for all specialists and workers of Cherkizovo holding company. The topic was optimal development of broilers, with Cobb represented by Bukreneva Galina, technical manager for Russia and CIS, Patrick van Trijp, technical director for Russia, and Matthew Wilson, technical director of Cobb Europe.

Similar seminars are planned to feature hatchery, incubation, veterinary issues and breeding stock management. Other technical seminars will be conducted for Belgrankorm, Chelny- Broiler and GAP Resourse companies. Such activity provides for close contacts and training of a much larger number of specialists of each company with great benefit for poultry specialists.

Performance results of Cobb breed improve day by day, along with the growth in breed popularity and reputation of Cobb specialists who deal professionally with both technical and commercial issues. The company says it cares for its partners and customers and is always eager to provide support and assistance.

Patrick van Trijp (right), Cobb Europe regional manager, presenting
the award to Pavel Ivanenko, chief technologist for broiler breeders with GAP Resourse

Cobb Premier Breeder Award for Major Russian Producer

GAP Resourse, has been presented with one of Cobb's awards for premier breeder performance.

The organisation has achieved an average 135.4 chicks per breeder to 63 weeks of age and 133.1 chicks per breeder to 61 weeks in flocks on its Druzhba and Novokorsunskaya sites.

The plaque celebrating the achievement was presented to Pavel Ivanenko, chief technologist for broiler breeders with GAP Resourse, by Patrick van Trijp, Cobb Europe regional manager.

'Our Relations with Cobb Remain on the Highest Level'

Group of Agro Industrial enterprises - GAP Resourse - is one of the largest poultry producers in southern Russia.

For a few years now, the company has been using Cobb500 broiler breeders and has achieved the best breeding performance results for 2011 among all customers of this breed in Russia, which was marked by a special award on behalf of Cobb Europe.

This success is featured in our conversation with Pavel Ivanenko, chief technologist for broiler breeders.

Pavel Ivanenko, please, tell us about your company.

"Resourse is producing over 100 different products from poultry meat and, with a wide distribution network, works with the leading market retailers. The company has many commercial and trade representatives located across seven federal areas and its own distribution pool ranging from Moscow to South- Sakhalinsk.

"Poultry production is located on 10 parent and 22 broiler farms with under floor heating."

How long have you been working with Cobb broiler breeders?

"Since the middle of 2008. At that time, we placed the order for 95,000 Cobb day-old breeder chicks - females. Today, the company demand for broiler chicks is satisfied 70 per cent by internal breeding flocks, with the rest supplied as hatching eggs by our business partners."

Why has this particular breed been chosen?

"Cobb500 is considered the most efficient meat breed all over the world. Fast growth, high uniformity and high livability are marked by both breeder and broiler specialists. We achieve 98 per cent of livability in the 20th week and 90 per cent in the 64th. It is very easy to get 92 to 95 per cent uniformity in Cobb replacement flock for 140 days of growth. It is easy to manage a good uniform flock: all chicks can be stimulated at the same time and readily achieve peak production of 85 per cent.

"One further trait of the Cobb breed should also be mentioned – an aggressive male, which helps to ensure a high number of day-old chicks. The Cobb male is noted for its high fertility: peak persistency can be four weeks, as a minimum. Hatchability for the whole flock averages 84 per cent.

"In general, our specialists consider this breed the most efficient one for using both as broiler breeders and broilers. We are satisfied with the results that we achieve both in winter and summer."

What performance results have been recorded in your company in the best broiler breeder flocks?

"164.6 and 162 hatching eggs and 135.4 (63.5 weeks) and 133.1 (61 weeks) chicks have been produced on Druzhba and Novokorsunskaya sites (Krasnodar Krai).

"Hatchability for closed flocks accounted for 83.5 to 84.0 per cent with 90 per cent livability. Amount of consumed feed — 300g per day-old-chick. Uniformity in rearing flocks reaches 90 per cent and livability 98 per cent."

And what about commercial and technical service relations provided by Cobb specialists: are you satisfied?

"Our relations for all the years that we've been working with Cobb has remained on the highest level. This relates to both initial stages of relations to include contract signing and sales administrations as well as technical service to support the breed.

"There wasn't a single issue not answered within the shortest possible time. It is also to the benefit of the breed that Cobb conducts technical training of our specialists. Cobb consultants are quick in organizing seminars and training for the workers of our group enterprises," said Mr Ivanenko.

October 2012