Training the future of the poultry industry

Aviagen EMEA Production management school sets out to boost breeder performance and economic returns for customers.
calendar icon 11 September 2018
clock icon 4 minute read

Aviagen® completed its seventh Breeder Module of the Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) Production Management School during the week of Aug. 26-Sept. in Edinburgh, Scotland. The goal of the module was to optimise parent stock (PS) performance and health and welfare, while stimulating economic returns for producers. This year’s School brought together 34 participants from nearly 20 countries around the globe, and for the first time welcomed a student from Mauritius in Africa.

“We were pleased to see a great mix of students this year from throughout Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia. Whether new to the industry or poultry veterans, all were able to reap information and practices that they could take home and improve operations at home,” said Michael Longley, School Director.

Learning through real-life approach

The breeder module enabled students to learn by doing. It used a case-study format based on a fictional company to investigate the key ingredients to running a successful poultry business. Tutorials and workshops blended theory with hands-on practice, underlining these management areas that have a major influence on flock health and performance:

  • Ventilation management enabled students to apply best ventilation practices to produce the ideal environment for healthy birds at the right stocking density.
  • Nutrition explored how to optimise nutrient availability and delivery for healthy birds.
  • Financial benchmarking covered best management practices for cost-efficient production.
  • Veterinary health demonstrated how taking good care of the birds is critical to flock health, welfare and disease resistance.
  • Critical age management showed the interactions between the flock, its environment, and critical time-dependent management decisions.

Using lessons learned during the case study, students were asked to prepare and present their own business strategy aimed at improving production and profitability.

Glenn Bushell, Commercial and Technical Manager UK and Breeder School Director, added. “I was impressed with the level of engagement and quality presentations of this year’s students. It was great to see them make new friends and create lasting networks. They are the future of the industry, and it was an honour to be a part of their learning, as they explored best practices for enhancing their businesses and providing the highest possible care for their birds.

Likewise, student Toby Arkell, Area Manager (Broiler Breeder Rearing), Avara Foods, UK, shared his opinion of the school. “The Breeder Module has been extremely rewarding. It has allowed me to spend lots of time with industry experts in all areas of parent stock management. The school experience allowed me to evaluate our own breeder performance and consider ways to potentially improve it. One key thing I have taken away is to always make a straight forward, measurable action plan when aiming to improve a flock, whether during rearing or production. This plan allows for greater efficiency and a higher potential for goals to be reached. The school has also given me tools to develop myself as a manager who oversees several staff in different locations. Not only were the tutors extremely knowledgeable, but I also learned from other course participants, many of who I will keep in touch with. A brilliant week that I would highly recommend.”

About Aviagen

Since 1923, Aviagen® has established itself as the world's leading poultry breeding company, developing pedigree lines for the production of commercial broiler chickens under the Arbor Acres®, Indian River®, and Ross® brand names. The Rowan Range® and Specialty Males® are specialty breeding stock from Aviagen that offer greater flexibility for customers to meet specific or niche market requirements. The company is based in Huntsville, Alabama, USA with a number of wholly-owned operations across the United Kingdom, Europe, Turkey, Latin America, India, Australia, New Zealand, and the U.S., and joint ventures in Asia. Aviagen employs more than 4,600 people and has a distribution network serving customers in more than 100 countries.

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