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Poultry World edition 8 of 2021 now online

This 8th edition of Poultry World highlights concerns from the owner of one of the largest chicken and food producers, the 2 Sisters Food Group, regarding Britain’s food crisis. The edition investigates ethical concerns with in-ovo gender determination, the dynamics of cage-free housing, the role and potential of plant-based additives and organic minerals, as well as the importance of good feather cover.

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British ‘chicken king’ warns of a serious food crisis

Founder, owner and president of one of the largest chicken and food producers, the 2 Sisters Food Group, Ranjit Singh Boparan, says Great Britain may be facing its worst food crisis in 75 years as chicken and turkey shortages are noticeable. But, he warns, worse is yet to come.

Nicknamed Britain’s ‘chicken king’, Ranjit Singh Boparan’s company processes over 10 million birds a week. Empty shelves started with the pandemic but, he says, the operating environment has deteriorated “profoundly”. Photo: ANP
Nicknamed Britain’s ‘chicken king’, Ranjit Singh Boparan’s company processes over 10 million birds a week. Empty shelves started with the pandemic but, he says, the operating environment has deteriorated “profoundly”. Photo: ANP

Ethical concerns remain with in-ovo gender determination

The technology of in-ovo gender determination of incubated eggs, which can provide a beneficial substitute for the large-scale culling of male chicks in layer hen production, raises ethical concerns relating to the sensitivity of the embryo and the use of screened-out eggs.

In-ovo technology, which enables male chicks to be identified within the egg during incubation, is preparing for market on a large scale. Photo: Koos Groenewold
In-ovo technology, which enables male chicks to be identified within the egg during incubation, is preparing for market on a large scale. Photo: Koos Groenewold

Organic minerals promote broiler leg quality

Minerals play an important role in the development of leg bones of poultry, and leg bone health is important for the health and welfare of the birds as well as for processing yields. Wageningen University and Research takes a closer look at the effect of organic macro minerals on bird leg health.

According to the university, organic minerals are absorbed faster and better in a broiler’s gut than inorganic minerals. Photo: Studio Kastermans
According to the university, organic minerals are absorbed faster and better in a broiler’s gut than inorganic minerals. Photo: Studio Kastermans

Cage-free US egg industry: sooner rather than later

In 2018, the Farm Animal Confinement Initiative was approved and so, from the end of 2021, laying hens, nursing sows and veal calves in the state must be housed in systems that “comply with specific standards for freedom of movement, cage-free design and minimum floor space”. However, the law has reach far outside of California.

The state of California has the largest population (around 40 million people) of any state in the U, and a large proportion of the eggs consumed by Californians are produced within the state. Photo: Marcel van den Bergh
The state of California has the largest population (around 40 million people) of any state in the U, and a large proportion of the eggs consumed by Californians are produced within the state. Photo: Marcel van den Bergh

Alpha-monolaurin boosts immune response of IB-vaccinated broilers

A new study reports that alpha-monolaurin stimulates the immune response of broilers after vaccination against infectious bronchitis and may therefore result in better protection against future infections.

A higher number of antibodies were found in animals receiving alpha-monolaurin in their feed. Photo: Jan Willem Schouten
A higher number of antibodies were found in animals receiving alpha-monolaurin in their feed. Photo: Jan Willem Schouten

Antimicrobial stewardship needs constant attention

According to a UK poultry vet, further studies are needed on the impact of antibiotic reduction strategies and how they affect the resistance of important organisms. He asks why fluroquinolone resistance still exists (despite not having been used in broiler meat production for about 8 years) and how we can modify our reduction plans.

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Understanding the dynamics of cage-free housing

It is imperative to have a proper layer health and welfare plan with the transition to more cage-free and outdoor access systems. But, how can we best manage and care for birds in these housing systems?

Vaccines, gut health, biosecurity and water sanitation and maintenance are some important aspects of a layer health plan. Photo: Henk Riswick
Vaccines, gut health, biosecurity and water sanitation and maintenance are some important aspects of a layer health plan. Photo: Henk Riswick

A good start to achieve a strong finish

Successful poultry producers rely on a solid start and so integrating nutrition, farm management and gut health from the word ‘go’ can optimise chick performance and potential.

Achieving good poultry performance starts in the hours and days post hatch. Photo: Trouw Nutrition
Achieving good poultry performance starts in the hours and days post hatch. Photo: Trouw Nutrition

Importance of feather cover in broilers

Feather growth begins at day 5 of incubation and by 40 days of age, broilers will have about 50 g of feathers. A bird’s feathers play and important role in protecting the skin and underlying tissue.

Genetics and hormones are some of the factors that influence feather growth and development. Photo: Lex Salverda
Genetics and hormones are some of the factors that influence feather growth and development. Photo: Lex Salverda

Combating Spotty Liver Disease naturally

Although vaccines are in development to fight Spotty Liver Disease, none are commercially available yet. Can plant-based nutritional solutions support layer performance when faced with this disease?

Spotty Liver Disease occurs mainly in extensively free-range flocks. As bacteria can be isolated from the faeces of infected animals, a faecal-oral infection route is most likely. Photo: Michel Velderman
Spotty Liver Disease occurs mainly in extensively free-range flocks. As bacteria can be isolated from the faeces of infected animals, a faecal-oral infection route is most likely. Photo: Michel Velderman

Thoughts on future-ready layer operations

Producers looking to transition from caged to cage-free egg production may have considered a combi system, often said to be an ideal solution for poultry houses. What are some of the misconceptions that could lead to buyer’s remorse?

Are combi systems vulnerable to consumer pushbacks? Photo: Koos Groenewold
Are combi systems vulnerable to consumer pushbacks? Photo: Koos Groenewold

Plant-based additives to mitigate effects of harmful gases

There is an increasing urgency to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, particularly from the agriculture sector being the third-largest contributor. Plant-based feed additives have proven to reduce ammonia emissions.

Plant-based feed additives improve the animal’s ability to digest, absorb and retain dietary nitrogen content. Photo: Delacon
Plant-based feed additives improve the animal’s ability to digest, absorb and retain dietary nitrogen content. Photo: Delacon

Study reveals main risk factors for Newcastle disease in Brazil

A study in Brazil has highlighted several risk factors for the spread of Newcastle Disease from backyard farms to commercial producers.

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