Aviagen Welcomes European Customers to Scotland

EUROPE - Aviagen's recent Euro Seminar focused on ‘Managing for Potential’.
calendar icon 13 May 2015
clock icon 5 minute read

‘Managing for Potential’ was the theme of the Aviagen® European Technical Seminar held recently at Edinburgh’s National Museum of Scotland, where customers enjoyed a series of presentations over two days focused on genetic potential, best practice management and topical subjects and opportunities for the broiler breeding industry in Europe.

The company welcomed 140 delegates from 22 countries, representing a fifth of the global chicken breeding industry to Scotland, alongside speakers who included both Aviagen experts and fertility specialist Murray Bakst from the US Department of Agriculture.

Alan Thomson

The event was hosted by Alan Thomson, Regional Commercial & Technical Manager, responsible for coordinating technical support to Aviagen’s customers across Western Europe.

Discussing the event, he said: “We planned the seminar agenda to allow a flow of presentation subjects starting from the R&D and Genetic roots of biological potential to topical management, nutritional and health influences.

“The objective was to share understanding and rationale behind current advice on technical management of breeding flocks as well as providing an update on new technical advances and niche markets and products.”

“However, we were careful to make sure this wasn’t all about listening to presentations. We wanted this to be informative and enjoyable with plenty of chances to network both formally and informally and the feedback has been incredibly positive.”

Alfons Koerhuis, Chief Technical Officer for Aviagen opened the event with an update on advances made across the research and development process and the influence on potential biological performance. He was followed by R&D Director Magnus Swalander who looked more specifically at breeder traits and the interaction of genetics relative to environmental influences, including an overview of Aviagen’s behavioural study of the complex social network chickens employ.

Italian delegate, Alberto De Zane from AIA commented: “It is important we are up to date on what is happening within the pedigree programme. We need to plan for the future of our business and it is so good to hear what is happening within Aviagen so I really appreciated Alfons’ talk.”

Murray Bakst’s two-part presentation focussed on the biology of fertility which gave a fascinating insight to the process of embryo fertility and growth. His presentation was followed by Dinah Nicolson, Global Manager for Hatchery Support, who looked at new science and technology related to optimum storage conditions for eggs and the facts behind the innovative SPIDES technique.

Attendee Richard Corbett of Corbett Farms Ltd in the UK said: “I learned a lot from Murray. These events are always worthwhile, it is good to meet industry peers and colleagues old and new but I never imagined the science behind breeding was so complex. It is great to still be learning new things in this industry.”

The first day was rounded off by Dan Pearson, Veterinary Health Director for Aviagen in Europe. Dan covered a wide range of topical health subjects for broiler breeders, including information on ESBLs and Campylobacter.

Afterwards, there was a chance to relax in the dramatic setting of Stirling Castle, where guests enjoyed a gala dinner and some Scottish hospitality, as the evening concluded with a traditional pipe band escort from the castle.

Nina Yngwe from SweHatch in Sweden, said: “It was very well organised. It was lovely to spend time with so many people in the industry and the visit to Stirling Castle was a real highlight of the event.”

The Wednesday session opened with Sergio Guerra, Technical Systems Manager for Aviagen in the US, who presented on the value of data capture and analysis, explaining how Aviagen uses data software to trend and analyse flock information for use both in support of customers and internally in assessing field performance.

Sergio was followed by Leonardo Linares, who updated the delegates with a practical session highlighting advice on key features of breeder flock nutrition including influences on feathering, egg size and male feeding.

The day was concluded by Otto van Tuijl, Technical Director of Aviagen EPI and Craig Morton, Global Product Director, who gave a joint presentation on the European industry trends for slower growing and speciality birds as well as an update on Aviagen’s newer mainline product options.

Stephan Klassen-van Husen from Wimex in Germany said: “I really enjoyed the presentation on nutrition because the practical advice was very useful. It was nice to see what the future of the industry might look like too. The event was very well organised, the location was great, the food was great and the weather was great. We are all brothers and sisters of the poultry industry gathered together.”

Mr Thomson concluded: “As well as thanking everyone involved with the planning and delivery of this event I would especially like to thank all those who attended, for taking the time out of their businesses to be with us for the seminar. I planned to make the event informative and enjoyable and I am sure that everyone will have found value in the technical presentations as well as gathering some great memories, thoughts and inspiration from the two days.”

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