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Cobb has a long-standing commitment to animal welfare. We are dedicated to the health and well-being of the chickens that we breed, raise and distribute worldwide. To achieve this goal, we have clear standards and expectations for animal handling and care at our farms and hatcheries, and we work with many researchers and poultry experts to continuously advance poultry health and poultry well-being.

Learn more about Cobb’s Commitment and Focus

EDUCATION AND AWARENESS

HEALTHY BIRDS

COBB CARES

Healthy Birds - Cobb

Raising and producing healthy birds for our global customers is our main goal. As one of the premier broiler breeder genetics companies in the world, Cobb is focused on the use of innovative research and technology to select the best birds for the next generation of chickens. To achieve our commitment to continued genetic progress, we evaluate each pureline chicken for traits that will positively improve the health, welfare and production of each subsequent generation of breeder and broiler chickens. Of the many traits involved in our selection program, more than 55 receive special emphasis and over half of these are directly related to health and welfare characteristics.

How Cobb Cares

OUR COMMITMENT TO HEALTHY BIRDS

R&D Focus for Healthy Birds

R&D Focus for Healthy Birds - Cobb

Scientists, geneticists and farmers work together at Cobb to identify the best pureline birds for our breeding programs to improve each generation of chickens. Choosing individual chickens for the next generation is important for Cobb’s success and our goal of improving the characteristics and welfare outcomes for future breeder and broiler chickens. Of the many traits that we involve in our selection program, more than half of these are directly related to health and welfare characteristics. On Cobb Research & Development farms, over 20 PhD geneticists choose the most desirable pureline birds for breeding by:

  • Evaluating physical characteristics of individual chickens,
  • Analyzing data collected during traditional genetic selection,
  • Examining the family information of selected chickens,
  • Incorporating advanced technology to improve the accuracy of the process by examining the DNA profiles of the selected chickens.


R&D Focus for Healthy Birds - Cobb R&D Focus for Healthy Birds - Cobb

Selection based on physical characteristics:

We individually handle and carefully evaluate the physical characteristics of each pureline chicken during the selection process on Cobb R&D farms. Selection starts with phenotypic selection which focuses on desired anatomical features and physical characteristics. During this selection process, highly trained staff members select individual chickens based on health, welfare and growth criteria. The phenotypic selection process includes:

  • Physical examination – evaluating each chicken for size, physical features (eyes, beak, feathering, skin, etc.), leg straightness, and body weight. This selection feature improves welfare quality in chicken genetic lines by removing any pureline birds with undesirable anatomical and physical characteristics.
  • Leg conformation and gait – selecting chickens for stance and walking ability. This selection feature improves bird mobility by reducing the incidence of skeletal abnormalities in chicken genetic lines.
  • Cardiovascular function – assessing chickens for blood oxygen saturation. This selection feature improves the cardiovascular function by selecting the chickens with the best values.
  • Skeletal integrity – examining the bone structure of the legs of chickens with advanced technology. This selection feature improves leg health by reducing the incidence of bone abnormalities that may develop during the early growth period of chickens.

Selection based on genetic merit:

After selection based on physical features, Cobb geneticists then estimate the genetic merit of each chicken based on a combination of performance data, family history and DNA profile. Innovative technology, including DNA analysis, is used by Cobb scientists to choose the healthiest and best pureline chickens while also excluding any birds that may have a genetic link to undesirable health conditions or disease. The resulting genetic merit estimate is used to select the best chickens for multiple health and performance criteria. Finally, pureline chickens with superior physical attributes and superior genetic merit are used to create the next generation of chickens.

R&D Focus for Healthy Birds - Cobb R&D Focus for Healthy Birds - Cobb

Learn more about Cobb’s Commitment and Focus

EDUCATION AND AWARENESS

HEALTHY BIRDS

COBB CARES

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