Exactly 70 years ago, the layer breeding company H&N International was founded in Kirkland, USA. To celebrate its 70-year success story and launch its new company logo, distributors and customers gathered in a two-day event, prior to the animal production tradeshow, VIV Asia 2015 in Bangkok.
The anniversary celebration attracted H&N customers from over 20 countries. Vice president Mr Rich Wall of H&N, first drew a historical picture of the company over the past 70 years. Also he presented an overview on current trends on the global egg market.
H&N Managing Director and Chief Geneticist Prof Dr Rudolf Preisinger, summarised current trends on consumer behaviour and the way in which H&N is responding to these trends.
Birth of the "Nick Chick" Leghorn.
The history of H&N dates back to the year 1945, when its then geneticist, Dr Arthur Heisdorf started his own poultry breeding business. Up until that time, he worked as a geneticist at Kimber Poultry Breeding farms, Aside from selling Kimber birds, Heisdorf began importing samples of different strains from leading breeders from America, as well as from Europe and Japan. He crossed these with Kimber Leghorn and found one that "nicked" (combined well) with the Kimber blood. That was the birth of the "Nick Chick" Leghorn.
In 1947, Heisdorf partnered with the brothers Bert and Cliff Nelson and established Heisdorf& Nelson Poultry Breeding Farms, known as "H&N Nick Chick". Heisdorf later acquired all shares from the Nelson brothers.
In 1971, Pfizer acquired the company. This lasted until 1987 when H&N was sold to Lohmann. From that moment on, its name was changed to H&N International GmbH. The breeding activities were moved from the US to Germany and up until this very day, the company is still operating globally under this name.
Competitive and successful
Preisinger addressed the competitive strength of H&N products. Over the past 10 years, H&N realised an increase of over 85% in its total parent stock sales as compared to a 38% increase in total world egg production over a similar 10-year period. The Asian and European markets are particularly strong markets. Both recent and long-term performance independent layer tests in Czech Republic, show excellent results for H&N in terms of persistency, number of eggs per hen housed and eggshell strength.
H&N International Managing Director, Javier Ramirez, highlighted the relevancy to be closer to final Parent Stock customers and their demands. This means further Investments will be made to increase GPS sourcing in and from Europe, North America and Asia.
The company will further increase collaboration with universities and create a larger R&D team, thereby searching for possible synergies with its sister brand Lohmann.