Poultry breeding company, Aviagen, has raised the bar on the European Efficiency Factor (EPEF) entry requirement for its top 1% of UK customers.
The Ross 420 Club has been elevated to Ross 440 ensuring that the new score is in line with the enhanced field and genetic performance of Ross 308 broilers in the UK. It also reflects the growing average score for flocks in the UK which has risen from 371 EPEF in 2020 to 385 today.
Kieron Daniels, Aviagen UK broiler technical service manager, said the consistent rise in performance meant that the target would be reviewed annually and adjusted as and when necessary.
As an added incentive, broiler growers who achieve an EPEF on 10% above the target of 440 or reach 440 EPEF 3 times in a row will qualify for the prestigious Ross 440 Club Gold Award.
“The impressive results we are seeing are possible only through hard work and skilful stockmanship. Our customers are passionate about giving their birds the best possible care, and the result is a steady improvement in performance, health and welfare. The Ross 440 Club awards are one way we can show appreciation for their dedication and loyalty,” he added.
Bird performance has risen astonishingly in the past decade. When the club was first launched in the UK in 2012, just 3 farmers were recognised as reaching 400 EPEF. By 2019, hundreds of producers were achieving the standard, prompting the company to move to 420 EPEF.
EPEF is an equation based on average daily weight gain, mortality and feed conversion, and allows farmers to generate a standard measure of farm performance.
Over the past few years, the biggest shift according to Aviagen has been the use of computer systems to capture data – not simply entire room analysis but splitting sheds into smaller segments and making management decisions based on that data.