Aviagen Puts Hatchery Work into Sharp Focus10 November 2011
MALAYSIA - Practical problem-solving was one of the key topics at the third annual meeting of Aviagen's Hatchery Support Working Group held in Kuala Lumpur recently.
The meeting was organised by Aviagen's incubation specialist team, Dinah Nicholson, Nick French, Eddy van Lierde and Steve Tullett. It was attended by representatives of the company's production and technical teams from across the globe. This year saw 29 people from across Aviagen's business regions come together to share information on hatchery issues, with the aim of increasing knowledge, sharing common problems and refining solutions.
Dr Dinah Nicholson, Global Manager, Hatchery Development and Support said: "As a small hatchery specialist team, we have to maximise our effectiveness to Aviagen and our customers. These meetings are an invaluable way of lifting the knowledge of all the Aviagen people dealing with internal and customer technical support. With our worldwide reach we are able to look at hatcheries operating in all climates and circumstances. This gives us the opportunity to learn from each other about the common issues we all face.
"Meeting regularly, we can share information and the advice we are giving and make sure that everyone is up to date. We get feedback on field priorities and can evaluate how best to tackle them with the people on the ground. This session will help inform our hatchery support and research strategies going forward."
During the meeting, the attendees worked in small teams and were asked to work on a simulated hatchery issue, requesting appropriate data, analysing it to find the problem and them agreeing in their teams what advice should be given to the customer. This exercise highlighted the need for good records and biological monitoring as detailed in the recent 'How To' series of publications from Aviagen. The same teams also worked on an exercise describing and evaluating chick quality. Other sessions covered the importance of calibration, using hatch debris break-out data to improve the process, trials results and upcoming hatchery technical literature and genetic selection progress in hatchability and fertility.
Dr Nicholson explained: "Information is key – small changes in practice can have big effects on hatch and chick quality. Before attending the meeting, everyone filled in a questionnaire about what field issues they were seeing. Among the commonest were uneven setter temperatures and poor hatch after longer egg storage. This sort of information helps us to prioritise trials and to refine our advice in these areas to improve the technical service we can provide.
"We owe a huge debt of thanks to our expert speakers from other parts of the business – Victor Olori, Susan Bibby and Tommy Krogh. We are also very grateful to Mr Lee of Yithai Poultry who was extremely helpful in supplying chicks to make the practical chick quality evaluation exercise possible."
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