UK poultry breeding programme gets investment boost

Aviagen has recently completed the first phase of a more than 35 million Euro investment in its UK breeding program, with the aim of benefitting Aviagen’s customer base through the provision of  broilers and breeders of the highest genetic merit and product quality.  

As the demand for Aviagen products continues to grow worldwide, the company’s infrastructure is being strengthened accordingly.  “Continual investment in our facilities is an integral part of our strategy,” says Alfons Koerhuis, chief technical officer, Aviagen Group, “and we are consistently strengthening our balanced breeding program to optimize the health, welfare and production traits of our core products. At the same time, we continually develop our range of products so that we can offer our customers a product portfolio to suit different market requirements. All of this requires ongoing and substantial investment in our facilities.”

The company’s pedigree farming base in the UK, which is one of the two breeding programs at the core of Aviagen’s operation, now has the advantage of more than 40% additional space as a result of a series of farm expansions. This allows for even higher selection pressure and associated delivery of genetic progress for customers worldwide. 

The expansion and upgrades to existing facilities have brought with them increased space for state-of-the-art technology to aid Aviagen’s balanced selection process. This includes further expansion of transponder-based feed intake data capture as well as novel selection techniques for leg health, yield and meat quality. “With feed being the largest poultry production cost, improved FCR brings huge economic and sustainability benefits. We have always put FCR at the top of our agenda for our selection, and this increased investment allows us to deliver even higher amounts of progress to the field – which is good both for producers and for the environmental impact of the broiler industry,” comments Magnus Swalander, general manager, Aviagen.

All farms feature the latest design features, including cross-ventilated buildings, high insulation, efficient heating and temperature control with the construction of covered walkways providing industry-leading biosecurity and welfare.  

In addition to the investment at pedigree level, a brand-new GGP farm has been built with one of Aviagen’s contract farmers.  Investment in the new facility, which can house 20,000 birds, is in excess of 1.75 million Euro and adds another 5% production capacity to the company’s high-generation facilities in the UK. The new farm is designed to the most modern specifications and uses innovative technology to provide the highest welfare standards and achieve excellent biological performance.

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