Improvements in pipeline for UK egg producers
The ISA and Shaver breeds are set to benefit further from increased emphasis on egg size.
This is what visitors from UK distributors Tom Barron Independent Hatcheries were told visitors during their annual technical update at Hendrix Genetics at Boxmeer, the Netherlands.
Geneticist Jeroen Visscher said by selecting for egg mass rather than egg numbers they are achieving an extra 1g on the ISABROWN and Shaver layers and 0.5g on the ISA Warren, with an increase in production of one or two rather than three eggs per year.
Visscher spoke of selecting all birds to make them a little more robust, and also the improvements to the ISABROWN in shell colour and egg quality which were the result of work begun by ISA and completed by Hendrix in 2005.
DNA technology is being introduced for selection in the first stage of developing changes and improvements for the future, which held the promise of reducing the time to commercial level stock from three to two and a half years.
The visitors, led by Neil Leeming, managing director of the Tom Barron group, and Stephen Turner, general manager of Tom Barron Ltd, also visited the premises of Vencomatic where there was interest in their latest multi-tier systems for both rearing and production. Tom Barron is increasingly introducing multi-tier rearing for pullet production in the UK.