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Aviagen Promotes Balanced Breeding

18 January 2012, at 10:12am

GENERAL - Aviagen SweChick recently held a series of roadshow presentations in Scandinavian countries, including Sweden, Norway and Denmark, to promote the importance of balanced breeding in the broiler industry.

The events, attended by 110 people in rearing and production, focused on the fact that there is more to breeding than simply growth. In recognition of rising feed costs, nutrition was also on the agenda along with hatching and chick quality. Speakers included Aviagen’s UK Breeding Programme Director Jim McAdam, Technical Service Managers Ian Dowsland and Dave Watts as well as Nutrition Specialist Leonardo Linares.

Jim McAdam said: “Sustainability is a very important topic for any business at the moment. Balanced breeding highlights how the work Aviagen does in research and development, often pioneering within the industry, has been about much more than just bigger birds for many years.

"One example would be the implementation of X-ray screening to improve leg quality in the late 1980s. Given such a long history of selection for welfare characteristics, we now select for more health traits than ever before because healthy birds in a good welfare driven environment are the ones that produce the best performance.

“The popularity of these events shows that the hard work we undertake putting them together is very much appreciated. We understand the needs of our customers and the demands placed on their businesses and that is why we try to offer the right support.”

Nutrition Specialist Leonardo Linares added: “A good example is the importance of parent nutrition for chick quality. The knowledge of how different nutrients affect chick quality is important for poultry breeders. It gives them an understanding to be able to have more progressive discussions with their feed suppliers and negotiate better deals as well as improving performance.”

In Ian Dowsland’s presentation, he focused on the management around egg handling, storage and selection plus pre-heating of hatching eggs. He stressed that such management helps improve chick quality.

Thomas Carlson, Managing Director, Aviagen SweChick, said: “For Aviagen SweChick it is important that we get an understanding of what breeding is all about. In Scandinavia there is a common misconception that breeding is simply about ‘growth’ and nothing else. It is important that we help to raise awareness of the importance Aviagen places on welfare characteristics in addition to the well-recognised economic traits.”

“Knowledge is a key factor for success. These roadshows are an effective way of presenting a message to a wide audience. This will help us at Aviagen SweChick with our aim to make our customers more successful and profitable.”

Bernt Kr Snapa, MD Nortura Samvirkekylling, Norway, an Aviagen SweChick customer, said: ”These meetings have great value for us. Our farmers, supervisors and hatchery managers get direct contact with experts from Aviagen and receive information first-hand. It allows us to pose questions direct to the experts from Aviagen and get the answers in the meeting.

"We can also tell them about Norwegian demands and legislation and what we expect from Aviagen now and in the coming years. We believe that these meetings reduce the distance between Aviagen and the Norwegian market. It also shows that Aviagen cares about their customers.”