New and upgraded facilities for product development are being established by Cobb in the Netherlands, adding to the extensive provision for trials in the country.
The facilities for parent stock will be centred in a new facility near Eindhoven in southern Netherlands, studying all aspects of broiler breeder management, while a new commercial broiler unit in Flevoland in central Netherlands will focus on how to achieve optimum results from the Cobb500.
This investment takes place as construction work progresses on a €13 million ($16m) project to double the size of the Cobb pedigree breeding complex at Herveld, in the province Gelderland. The enlarged complex will have 26 rearing, production and broiler development houses built to comply with the tightest biosecurity standards. The labour force is being increased to 100 to cope with the enlarged programme developing Cobb products for future market needs.
Roy Mutimer, general manager of Cobb Europe commented: “These very significant investments in the Netherlands are part of our continuing commitment to the broiler industries of Europe, Middle East and Africa. These facilities will enable us to continue to provide our customers with the best technical advice and most balanced products for many years to come.”
The trials facility includes one house with 26 different compartments to accommodate males and females through the hatching egg production cycle from 20 weeks to 60 weeks of age. The pullets will be reared in a separate unit on site, so reducing the disease risk. Individual feeding and drinking provision for each compartment enables the uptake to be measured separately. Eggs are collected by compartment and automatically marked. Automatic bird weighing will give accurate daily data that will help in providing bodyweight curves to achieve optimum results.
The commercial broiler unit is an addition to two broiler trial farms that Cobb uses as part of the research and development programme in the Netherlands. This farm, with capacity for 40,000 broilers, is constructed to the highest Cobb specifications and provides 25 different sections with separate recording of feed and water uptake and weight by individual pen.
“This facility will provide a true commercial environment which is vital to understand how different breeds perform in the field,” said Tom Procter, product manager of Cobb Europe. “A multiple silo enables the feed trials to review nutritional requirements of the Cobb500 broiler to help achieve optimum economic performance. Ventilation and heating is installed to Cobb global specifications, with a heat exchange system adding to the farm’s sustainability.”