Urgent problem emerging in German layer sector
What to do with 40 million male chicks per year from layer lines, in Germany alone? That was the question raised during the 51st Franchise distributor meeting of Lohmann Tierzucht.
Just a few days earlier the German state Nordrhein-Westfalen banned the killing of male day-old chicks in layer hatcheries, with a transition period of only 1 year. Politicians of the neighbouring state Niedersachsen immediately announced they were thinking to do the same, implying that the ban could be rolled out over the whole of Germany and even beyond.
"Let me be very clear on this subject, we have a very serious and acute problem," managing director of Lohmann Tierzucht Rudolf Preisinger stated.
What hurts the most is that there is no alternative available at this moment. Killing the male chicks immediately after hatching and processing them into pet food or use for feeding zoo animals, is the only viable way. Methods of in-ove sex determination are not yet fully developed and the possibilities to raise the male chicks for poultry meat are slim.
Trials on raising the male chicks with a layer pedigree have shown far from ideal results. A feed conversion rate of 3.5 to 4 and a meat yield of only 1 kilogram after 80 days doesn't bring anything.
"Also from a sustainability viewpoint this is not the way to go," added Preisinger. But on the other hand, when the German legislation is in place, the sector has to comply. Every solution, is welcome.
Read more on the Franchise distributor meeting of Lohmann Tierzucht in the next edition of World Poultry Magazine.
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