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Balanced Breeding

by 5m Editor
2 July 2012, at 8:47am

UK - Globally, demand for parent stock is expected to rise by around three per cent each year over the next decade. Of course, this is good news for the world poultry industry, which has become the leading supplier of low cost meat to consumers, writes Jim McAdam, UK Breeding Programme Director of Aviagen Limited.


Jim McAdam, UK Breeding Programme Director, Aviagen Limited

This increasing demand also presents some very specific challenges, particularly for primary breeders like Aviagen.

While three per cent is the average, in emerging markets like Central Asia and Eastern Europe, demand is expected to grow by 12 per cent and 13 per cent respectively.

Furthermore, poultry producers face a variety of pressures, including the threat of disease and the volatile nature of raw materials, and different markets have different resource levels and approaches to management. This combination of factors means that production environments can vary greatly.

Aviagen strives to distribute birds with high genetic value across these global markets. However, without a level playing field it is vital that a balanced breeding programme is put in place.

Through time, with market demands evolving rapidly, the number of breeding goal traits has greatly increased, covering not only production traits but also traits related to bird welfare, physical and metabolic support, liveability and health. The modern breeder has an array of selection tools, and our capacity to accurately identify superior production traits as well as improve welfare performance and other criteria is crucial if we are to meet that growing global demand for poultry.

A single pedigree male is ultimately responsible for around 50 million broilers or 70,000 metric tons of poultry meat. Consistently selecting the right candidates to produce the next generation is what makes and keeps the primary breeder successful in the global market place.