Further growth is in the pipeline for French company Groupe Grimaud, which
is said to be the second largest multi-species poultry genetic company in the
world after the takeover of Hubbard.
At a recent British Poultry Veterinary Association meeting, Frederick Grimaud, president of a breeder group that covers ducks, geese, and meat chickens (Hubbard), said that the group's target turnover for 2008 was €208 mln, which is €50 mln up on 2007.
Leader in duck breeding
Farmers weekly reports that the firm is a front runner in the duck breeding sector, where Pekin (80-85% of market share) came first, and Barbary and the hybrid Mule second and third.
Selective breeding over the past decade has resulted in reduced fat levels with the Pekin, and boosting feed conversion from 2.56 to 2.01. Additionally, time to reach market weight had been cut from 48 to 41 days, said Grimaud.
The killing age of the Barbary remained at 84 days to increase levels of the prized beef-like, red meat. The results were impressive with an average of 25% of fillet meat across the board and an extra 80 g per bird for the heaviest males, he continued.
He described the Mule as the 4x4 of the duck world - able to survive and flourish in the toughest conditions, easily able to find a ready market. It was a genuine hybrid, a combination of the fast-growing Pekin with the red meat yield and the Muscovy's weight.
Future market development will focus on the group's strengths, China, south-east and central Europe, and France. "Regarding the UK, there is a strong leader with Cherry-Valley," he said.