Investment in Technology and Training for Aviagen27 March 2013
GLOBAL - Over the last 50 years the poultry industry has changed dramatically, there is no denying that. Advances made in technology have played a big role in this. At an industry level, Aviagen has been responsible for a number of firsts, including lixiscopes to look at leg strength, oximeters to test respiratory systems and the implementation of genomic selection in the commercial breeding programme.
Now though, consumer technology is crossing the boundary into business. More and more poultry producers rely on technology such as smartphones and tablets to manage their business and contacts. Recognising this trend, Aviagen developed a Ross App, which was initially launched in the UK and was recently followed by a European version, such has been the demand. Compatible with phones and tablets running Android or Apple operating systems and with a PC and Mac version also available, the App covers the Ross European Performance Objectives for the Ross 308, Ross 708 and Ross PM3 at both breeder and broiler level and also contains a built-in European Performance Efficiency Factor (EPEF) calculator and a number of other useful tools including a unit convertor which incorporates industry-specific calculations.
This idea of updating technology and new techniques has been a common theme for Aviagen over the past few months: The company has also made significant investments at its Spelderholt research and development facility in the Netherlands. The latest of these is a newly equipped hatchery to add to the existing Broiler and PS houses. This addition now makes Spelderholt a self-contained, fully-comprehensive research facility covering all aspects of breeder, incubation and commercial broiler performance.
Students at the Aviagen Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) School, which took place in the Netherlands this month, enjoyed the opportunity to visit the new Spelderholt hatchery as part of their training programme.
The third module of the School, the focus was on Hatchery and Incubation Management to optimise hatchery performance. Following the successful broiler and breeder modules which were organised in 2012, this first module of 2013 gave poultry professionals the opportunity to learn from experts through a mixture of lectures, presentations and interactive, problem-solving workshops.
The highly-interactive school encouraged high levels of student participation and included various workshop sessions involving: embryo staging, identifying infertile eggs, chick quality assessments and hatch debris breakout. Heering, day-old chick transport vehicles specialists, provided one of its transportation trucks for students to see first-hand, with Gerrit van der Linde from the firm also one of the module’s guest presenters.
14 specialists from Aviagen and industry experts covered topics such as the science of incubation, optimising egg handling, hatchery design, health and hygiene, with students encouraged to share their own experiences and learn from each other as well as the speakers.
Dr Dinah Nicholson, Global Manager of Hatchery Development and Support, led the module and said: “We were delighted to welcome our attendees to Amsterdam for the inaugural Aviagen Hatchery and Incubation Management Module. With delegates from 19 countries within Europe, Asia and Africa as well as world leading specialists in poultry incubation, we aimed to strike a balance between classroom learning and practical opportunities, working individually or in teams during the week.
“That was the reason for our trip to Spelderholt. It gave us the chance to see some of the latest equipment in a real hatchery setting, something our students found invaluable. Having practical examples and knowledge at your fingertips is why technology is vitally important to modern poultry farming.”
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