24 September 2020 - Page 17

NOVEMBER 09 2017
NI Poultry Conference, Loughry Campus
arket trends and challenges
LEFT: Robert Huey,
Chief Veterinary
Officer for NI, Peter
Morgan, Poultry
Education Trust,
and Professor Ian
Brown, Head of
Virology at Animal
and Plant Health
Agency, Weybridge,
and Director of EU/
OIE/FAO International
Surgenor and Joanne
McStraw from Kilco
conventional fast growing broiler whose
performance has evolved vastly over the past
decades, a direct result of selective breeding
focused on key performance and welfare
traits such as growth rate, FCR, leg health and
metabolic disorders.
“This focus reflects the needs of a growing
world population, increasingly seeking out
ever cheaper sources of meat derived protein.
As markets mature and birds of conventional
genetics are harvested at earlier ages,
integrations have started to supply the needs
of more socially developed segments of society
through the production of ever more diverse
This trend is set to continue as numerous
US stakeholders, including Burger King and
McDonalds commit to produce their chicken to
higher welfare standards by 2024. “Separately,
there is also wider interest and uptake of slower
growing types of meat chicken on the basis of
meat quality, taste and welfare attributes.
Slower growing broilers have been increasing
in numbers across Western Europe and the
USA in recent years and there has also been
interest emerging in other developed markets
around the world.
“With this continued diversification, the
management of integrated poultry companies
is set to become ever more complex and
“On one hand the conventional bird, as it
moves ever closer to a feed conversion ratio
of one, requires increasingly sophisticated
housing and management practices to ensure
that it achieves its full genetic capacity. Best
practice in incubation, nutrition and technical
management play critical roles in achieving
the fast growing broilers full potential.
“Conventional parent stock management also
needs to be adapted to reflect their increasing
appetite and metabolism if maximum broiler
chick output is to be achieved.
“Add to this the increasing
number of birds managed by
each site supervisor and the
subtle differences in the
management of slower
growing birds then it is
clear that the requirements
of the poultry meat facility
manager has also evolved
significantly to require
a multifaceted skill set to
challenge even the most
competent of stockmen.
“The commitment from poultry
meat industries across the world to
dramatically reduce the levels of antimicrobials
used in their operations, decrease the scope
for errors in management even further. Once
used as a safety net to maintain ongoing
production efficiencies, their widespread and
rapid reduction or removal is another example
of the industry’s ability to meet the ever
evolving demands of the consumer.
“Further, it reflects the confidence of industry
and governments in the ability of poultry
businesses to advance management practices
to counter the need for their use.
“This confidence is already being realised in
the US, UK, Australia and many other nations
where significant reductions in antimicrobials
have already been achieved while the
performance of flocks continues to advance.
“The ongoing threat from highly pathogenic
avian influenza has continued to be globally
disruptive in both domestic and export markets
for both poultry meat and breeding stock
supplies. North East Asia continues to suffer
the effects of regular outbreaks, particularly
but not exclusively in winter months when the
virus is most active.
“Many millions of poultry have been culled
following both reactionary and precautionary
strategies to bring outbreaks under control.
“This continues to force continued
evolution in bio-security standards, not just in Asia but also
throughout Europe. The success of the UK industry to
limit outbreaks to a small
number of cases, controlled at
source, illustrates the levels
of advancement required to
face the threat successfully.
Not just in facility design and
control features but with well
communicated rapid reaction
protocols that quickly close
opportunities for virus spread.”
Mr Millar concluded: “As poultry meat fast
approaches becoming the number one meat
protein source consumed globally, it’s clear
that industries and governments will have to
continue to rise to the ever increasing number
of new challenges.
“Its past performance though provides
illustration to the sector’s dynamism to
react, so rather than being seen as a threat to
expansion the current challenges are being
seen as an opportunity to deliver even more
efficiently produced products.”
to the success of
poultry production is
the genetic potential
of the conventional
fast growing


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