Aviagen’s Global Technical Transfer Team (GTTT) recently released two online tools to help producers of parent stock (PS) through every step of the grading process: a spreadsheet entitled ‘Grading Tool’ and a ‘Grading to Manage Uniformity’ interactive PDF. Grading is a key management task in PS production. Done well, it aids flock uniformity, and a uniform flock is easier to manage and will have better overall performance.
“The Grading Tool and Grading interactive PDF work together as practical tools that complement one another,” said Emma Longley, global technical transfer manager, “easy to use and interactive they help farm managers both with the grading process and with problem-solving.”
The Grading Tool is an Excel-based spreadsheet designed to help farm managers split their flocks into appropriate graded populations; the farmer inputs information on the size of the house, average flock weight and flock variations (CV% or uniformity). The tool will then determine the number of graded populations required, and will advise how the flock should be split between those populations.
The Grading Tool covers houses with adjustable and fixed penning, provides information on stocking density, and sets out feeder and drinker requirements for the graded populations; it also includes a Help section. The second item — the Grading Interactive PDF — is a pdf-based problem-solving tool in question-and-answer format. It leads farmers through the grading process, helping them to understand how the process works, and identifying potential challenges. It also covers post-grading management and monitoring.