Breeding for sustainable economies

The goal of the Economic Pillar of sustainability is for “sustained and inclusive economic growth, food security and improved human nutrition” (International Poultry Council, IPC).This article, the second in our series focusing on the 3 pillars of sustainability, will highlight the strides Aviagen has made in meeting this goal.

Aviagen’s role in the global poultry supply chain is to provide poultry breeding stock to our customers – the world’s poultry meat producers. Fulfilling this role, Aviagen strives to breed efficiencies and offer a wide product range ensuring the economic success of our customers.

Second of the 3 pillars: Economic. Photo: Aviagen
Second of the 3 pillars: Economic. Photo: Aviagen

Breeding economic efficiency

Feed efficiency. Right along with giant strides in health and welfare, Aviagen has made big gains in improving the Feed Conversion Ratio (FCR). As a result, a 2.5 kg broiler today requires 0.5 kg less feed compared to a broiler 15 years ago. This improvement has bolstered economic efficiency, as feed makes up 70% of production costs. Thus, farmers can do more with less by saving on feed production and delivery costs.

Enhanced growth rate. Improvement in growth rate represents another breeding advancement that is beneficial for producers. It means shorter grow-out times, requiring investments in fewer poultry houses for the same number of birds, resulting in lower energy costs.

High meat yield. Throughout the years, Aviagen’s innovative selection techniques have led to increased meat yield. Thus, the modern broiler now produces an extra 69 grams of breast meat than a broiler 15 years ago. This increase in yield helps farmers fulfil the rising demands of their expanding communities more cost-efficiently.

Bird health and robustness. Selection for bird health and welfare results in strong birds with better disease resistance and higher liveability than ever before. Selection in a multitude of environments means producers in the varying regions of the globe benefit from birds with great environmental adaptability that perform well even in the most challenging climates.

Aviagen has made considerable gains in improving the FCR in today's broilers. Photo: Aviagen
Aviagen has made considerable gains in improving the FCR in today's broilers. Photo: Aviagen

The right bird for the right market

Another way we ensure the success of our customers is by providing them with the right bird for the right market. There is great diversity in consumer preferences for poultry meat throughout the world. To satisfy changing demand and remain profitable, our customers must be able to give their consumers a variety of choice, anticipating varying requirements and remaining flexible to react to market changes.

To enable this choice, we maintain a large and diversified gene pool, offering the world’s broadest selection of poultry breeding stock. Our Arbor Acres, Indian River, Ross and Specialty Males product portfolio has been developed for conventional markets, while the slower-growing Rowan Range is suited to niche markets such as organic and free-range.

Knowledge to succeed

The key to our customers’ economic success is their ability to get the best from their birds in terms of health, welfare and performance. We aim to strengthen this success by sharing the latest best flock management practices to help realise the genetic potential of Aviagen birds. Through an extensive and varied offering of training, webinars, workshops and schools, be it in person or virtual, our customers engage with Aviagen customer service teams and specialists, and exchange experiences and ideas with one another. The knowledge gained helps them optimise various management aspects, including nutrition, environmental management and biosecurity, thus influencing bird robustness and well-being and, ultimately, profitability.

We also make essential management information available through manuals, pocket guides, posters, in-depth documentation and other materials that are downloadable through the Aviagen web site.

Championing the economic success of our customers

Aviagen’s role is to help poultry producers around the world feed their communities with a healthy, affordable source of protein. To be effective, they must build businesses that sustain today and in the future. By developing bird traits that boost their economic success, offering them a broad portfolio of breeding stock for diverse market needs, and constantly sharing the latest management knowledge. Our commitment to our customers is to help achieving the current and long-term success of their poultry operations and ensure that their consumers can enjoy a variety of healthy affordable poultry meat options.

Read the first article in the series: Breeding for a sustainable world