As Canadian egg producers move towards alternative housing, they will need to prepare for new challenges. In Switzerland, where battery-caged production was banned outright in 1992, a group of researchers works to address those challenges, including nest box behaviour, piling and smothering issues, depopulation, ranging behaviour and keel bone damage.
The broiler housing and equipment industry continues to develop, introducing new technologies in line with trends in modern management, communication and ventilation systems. As you might expect, early adoption in markets such as Europe and North America, which have high labour and utility costs, easily justifies investment in these modern technologies.
The International Egg Commission and its members support, and will promote, the responsible use of all antimicrobials to allow for the long-term safe production of eggs, safeguarding the availability of eggs and egg products for the world’s consumers.
The UN’s SDGs represent a shared vision to eradicate poverty and social inequality, and to tackle climate change by 2030. A social contract between the world’s leaders, the successful delivery of this ambitious blueprint is dependent on engagement and participation from international industry. The WEO has outlined key areas where it is delivering positive outcomes in line with the UN’s targets.
Of the UN’s 17 goals to transform our world, the WEO has identified six primary objectives where the egg industry is already making a significant impact through a range of dedicated sustainability initiatives. These specifically address the following goals:
- Zero Hunger
- Good Health and Wellbeing
- Quality Education
- Responsible Consumption and Production
- Climate Action
- Partnerships for the Goals
This latest announcement marks the launch of the egg industry’s Global Initiative for Sustainable Eggs (GISE) which will support a range of ambitious sustainability objectives – helping to deliver the organisation’s vision of continuous improvement. These cover the following industry specific criteria:
1) Preventing the diseases of animals becoming the diseases of human kind
2) Improving nutrition
3) The elimination of forced labour
4) Environmental sustainability - the prevention of deforestation through the sustainable sourcing of soy
5) Working to ensure the responsible use of antimicrobials
6) Working to improve animal welfare
WEO Chairman, Tim Lambert, explains, “Kyoto is the perfect location for our sustainable development announcement. Many members of the international egg industry are gathered for our Global Leadership Conference and this ancient city has been the site of previous historic agreements, that seek to change our world for the better. The UN’s Agenda for Sustainable Development calls on us collectively, to initiate efforts to achieve the seventeen SDGs over the next twelve years. The global egg industry is absolutely committed to the cause."
"Society wants reassurance that companies are actively engaged with their customers and communities. Businesses have an inherent responsibility to do the right thing, for the right reasons. Through our own clearly defined goals, the egg industry is addressing the needs of people in both developed and developing countries - socially, economically and environmentally.”
GISE’s work co-exists alongside the framework of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. From social responsibility and environmental sustainability to nutrition and better operational practices – every aspect has a humanitarian focus and benefit.
The German group has laid the first stone of a 5,700 sq m building at its Lyon Porte-des-Alpes (LPA) site. Known as F2IVE (Formulation and Filling of Inactivated Vaccines Extension), this major project will comprise a three-storey building - including 1,000 sq m of clean room space – mainly for formulating and distributing avian vaccines.
“As poultry consumption continues to rise around the world, there is an increasing demand for avian vaccines. This meant that our LPA production site in Saint-Priest was going to reach a saturation point by 2020. We had to do some forward planning and find additional production capacity”, explains Erick Lelouche, president of Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health France.
The new building, which has an environmentally friendly design, will house two formulation lines, a multi-format bottle distribution line and a bag distribution area.
42 new jobs to be created at the new site.
Earthworks for the new high-tech building began in March 2018 with the first batches expected in spring 2020 for a range of avian vaccines destined for the world market, with the exception of the U.S.
Fifteen months after the acquisition of Merial (a Sanofi company) in January 2017, this new investment will lead to the creation of 42 new jobs, primarily consisting of qualified operations staff (flow and maintenance managers, production technicians).
“An investment such as this confirms the commitment made by Boehringer Ingelheim at the time of the acquisition to put France, and Lyon in particular, at the heart of its growth strategy in the animal health market”, Lelouche shares.
Over the past 22 years, more than €350 million have been invested in the LPA site. This new investment will eventually result in a threefold increase in the site’s inactivated vaccine production capacity.
HatchTech commissioned the HatchCare hatchery together with Annyalla Chicks, a family business that runs independent hatcheries in Ireland and the U.K.
Following the positive results of several field trips to HatchCare hatcheries and farms, equipping this hatchery with HatchCare was selected for Annyalla Chicks.
John Mawer, CEO of Annyalla Chicks says, “The evidence I’ve seen shows improvement in many areas, including enhanced hatching results, superior technical performance at broiler level and reduced medication requirements. Above all, the biggest attraction for us is the much-improved welfare it brings to our chicks.”
The hatchery will produce 500,000 day-old chicks in the first phase, with the possibility of extending this to 2.2 million day-old chicks within the existing building. HatchTech delivered the whole package of incubation solutions – from setters and HatchCare units to heating, cooling and ventilation equipment.
“We’re very pleased with this successful startup and the entrance of HatchCare chicks into the UK market. We’re proud to be able to provide Annyalla Chicks with all the benefits of early feeding, such as improved welfare conditions, undisrupted development of the birds and better technical performance at broiler farm level. We’re really looking forward to a successful rollout,” says Michiel van Veldhuisen, international sales manager with HatchTech.
Besides building a HatchCare hatchery, Annyalla Chicks also commissioned a HatchTraveller. This enables the chicks to eat during transportation, which will enhance chick quality and positively contribute to their development. The HatchTraveller will be supplied in September.
In the study, as part of ongoing surveillance, the researchers from Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province, Sichuan University collected rectal swabs from randomly selected chickens in multiple commercial chicken farms in China.
The researchers found that E. coli from the chickens often carried multiple resistance genes, including one copy of the colistin-resistance gene mcr-1, and one copy of the resistance gene, mcr-3. This is the first report of these two genes on a single plasmid. | READ MORE
Eggs from James Gigg’s farm in Dorset were sold to shops and delicatessens that marketed them to customers as free-range. He was sentenced to 12 months in jail but suspended it for 18 months because he accepted the farmer had not acted out of greed. | READ MORE
Tyler Homer, director of U.S. Operations for OmniLytics, a wholly owned subsidary of Phagelux, Inc., announced that OmniLytics has entered into a product development collaboration with NutriQuest to co-develop phage-based feed additive products.
Homer stated, "We are delighted to be working with one of the most innovative and fastest growing feed additive companies to create some truly unique and valuable new products."
Steve Weiss, president for NutriQuest added, "This partnership couples the OmniLytics leadership position in creating phage-based solutions with our expertise in the feed additives business to create what we believe will be very important new solutions for poultry and livestock producers. Producers are losing access to valuable tools in poultry and livestock production that are resulting in increased costs and we believe the solutions we create together will fill those critical needs and provide a high level of value."
Phagelux, Inc. has significant agricultural research, development and manufacturing capabilities in China.
William Wang, COO of Phagelux in China noted that Phagelux has added eleven new distributors to the Phagelux AgriHealth distribution network since January 1, 2018.
Wang noted that, "Although the line of our animal health products is still limited, and although we are just starting our sales efforts, the market seems to be responding positively to our products. In many agricultural categories treatments based on traditional antibiotics are either failing, or the public is demanding growers use less, and our products provide safe and natural alternatives that are often even more effective than traditional chemical antibiotics."
LOCATION: Village of Donchevo [Dobrich]
DETAILS: An outbreak of a virulent bird flu virus has spread to another farm in northeastern Bulgaria, the national food safety agency reported on June 13, 2018.
A three-kilometer protection zone was set around the farm in the village of Donchevo [Dobrich] and the sale of eggs and the movement of domestic, wild, and other birds was banned within it, the agency said in a statement.
Two weeks ago, the agency authorities reported an outbreak of the virus on a duck farm in the village of Stefanovo [Dobrich] and said birds on the farm were being culled.
Bulgaria has reported a handful of outbreaks in the past year, some involving the highly pathogenic H5N8 bird flu virus.
ProMED-mail is a program of the International Society for Infectious Diseases
It will help farmers act fast before disease can spread and potentially infect people. It also cuts out the need to send samples away for expensive lab tests.
A team of scientists lead by Brunel University London will develop a molecular test and a smartphone app that, when used together, detect six key pathogens in poultry.
Farmers will collect samples from their birds using a large-matchbox-sized instrument that screens the DNA and RNA. The device connects wirelessly to the app to display the results, which can can also feed into a central store to help track outbreaks across the islands. The whole process takes less than an hour. | For the full story, CLICK HERE.
LOCATION: Liaozhong district, Shenyang, Liaoning
DETAILS: On May 22, a new stain of a listed disease was confirmed on a farm in the Liaozahong district. Control measures are underway. Event status is continuing to be updated.
ProMED-mail is a program of the International Society for Infectious Diseases
A cross-industry group, which includes the NFU, British Poultry Council (BPC) and Poultec, has launched the new initiative at the Pig and Poultry Fair.
It is a significant investment from the poultry sector in its workforce, and strengthens the existing Poultry Passport.
The apprenticeship places a greater emphasis on all-round development, which could include a work-based diploma and assessments which consider the skills, knowledge and behaviours needed for an apprentice to be properly trained. | READ MORE
In the 1970s Cobb was one of the U.S. broiler breeds that transformed chicken from luxury to an everyday meal and Dan Lenihan saw this potential when he bought the assets of Cobb Ireland in 1974. This company had been established in the early 1960s to serve the Irish market at a time when there were severe animal health restrictions on imports of poultry.
Cobb Ireland built the hatchery at Straffan, near Dublin, and after purchasing the business Dan Lenihan bought another hatchery at Mullingar, County Westmeath to expand production. This increased from less than 100,000 to more than two million parent stock chicks a year by 2000, delivering throughout Ireland and the UK.
Cobb Ireland began exporting breeding stock to Taiwan and Syria in 1975 and as the Cobb breed has expanded across Europe, Middle East and Africa through the last 40 years, the company has played a significant role in this growth.
During the last 20 years Dan Lenihan’s operation in Ireland has transitioned from a distributor to a contract producer for Cobb Europe.
Ireland's unrivalled history in terms of notifiable diseases has played a key role in Cobb being able to protect supply to customers during the avian influenza issues that occur from time to time in Western Europe. The farms hold a combination of great grandparent and grandparent stock.
“Dan has been a true ambassador for Cobb over the last 40 years,” said Mark Sams, general manager for Cobb Europe. “He was a trusted and respected partner who built up relationships within the industry from the U.S., Africa and as far as Australia. He will be deeply missed by us all.”
Dan Lenihan was born in Newcastle West, County Limerick, and initially studied dairy science at Cork University. After working in a hatchery in Kill, County Kildare, he set up his own poultry business in Newcastle West with the initial Irish franchise for the Warren Brown egg layer and later sold this business to Whittaker's Hatchery in Cork.
He is a former chairman of Bord Glad, the Irish Food Board, and also served as chairman of the Respect fund raising charity that helps people with an intellectual disability. He has also been chairman of the National Poultry Council in Ireland and of the Irish Chick Hatcheries Association.
He is survived by wife Marian, son Daniel and daughter Caroline.
Pioneering research of the full genome of over 1,600 layers has revealed a genetic link to natural antibodies (called: NAbs).
This research that was undertaken by Wageningen University in the Netherlands and Hendrix Genetics. It has huge potential to impact productivity, biosecurity, and sustainability. | READ MORE
The objective of the study, conducted by an international research team led by Marc McKee from McGill University in Canada and involving the participation of scientists from the University of Granada (UGR), was to analyse the nanostructure of chicken eggshells.
The findings could be used to produce healthier, more robust eggs by providing researchers with the means to genetically select laying hens with specific characteristics.
An eggshell is made up of both organic and inorganic matter that contains calcium carbonate. One of the important findings of the study was that the nanostructure was closely linked to the presence of osteopontin, a protein which is also found in bones.
Eggshell transformation process
Eggshells are strong enough to resist fractures during the incubation period. However, they gradually weaken as the hatching period approaches to make it easier for the chicks to break through the shell.
The eggshell weakens as its internal layer dissolves, releasing calcium which, in turn, is needed by the embryo for bone formation.
The study found that this process is made possible as a result of the changes that occur in the eggshell nanostructure during the incubation period.
Implications for food safety
Furthermore, the researchers were able to recreate similar nanostructures to those they discovered in the eggshells by using proteins, specifically by adding osteopontin to mineral crystals grown in the lab.
The team add that: “A better understanding of the role of proteins in the calcification process that strengthens the eggshell structure could have significant implications for food safety.”
According to the team, which includes Alejandro B. Rodríguez Navarro from the Department of Mineralogy and Petrology (UGR), approximately 10 per cent of all eggs break or crack before consumption, which increases the risk of food poisoning and infections such as Salmonella.
Understanding how the different mineral nanostructures contribute to strengthening the eggshell could allow scientists to genetically select laying hens based on specific traits, which would put healthier, more resistant eggs into circulation.
However, studying the internal structure of eggshells can be challenging because of the ease with which they break when under analysis. To overcome this obstacle, the team used a focused ion beam sectioning system that allowed them to accurately cut the samples out of the eggshells and study them using electron microscopy.
The full pager is avaliable here: https://canal.ugr.es/noticia/study-healthier-robust-eggs/
The advances come as Nuscience, a member of the Royal Agrifirm Group, launches the next phase of its Biotica introduction for the Canadian market, providing the feed industry including poultry, swine and ruminant sectors with fresh solutions designed to fit with the paradigm shift toward reduced antimicrobial use.
Versatility for specialty and conventional markets
Nuscience and CBS Inc. recently received authorization for Biotica as approved for use in Canadian organic production, further adding to the specialty market versatility of the platform, which is designed for use across conventional and a range of specialty production approaches.
“We are seeing strong initial uptake of Biotica by progressive companies and producers looking to prepare for the new standards on judicious use of antibiotics and also to align production strategies with a range of both current and emerging market opportunities,” says Rob Patterson, technical director with CBS Inc.
“There is a lot of rising interest to learn more about this new solution at a time of rapid industry evolution. We look forward to furthering this discussion with our animal nutrition colleagues at the upcoming science and technical forums.”
Lessons from Europe benefit North America
Biotica is a functional feed additive that fits well with advanced strategies designed to support health, well-being and overall performance of animals.
The Nuscience technology featured in Biotica has become a market leader globally with a proven decade-plus track record of use with production systems designed to optimize animal and production benefits without the inclusion of antibiotic growth promoters.
“In Europe we have gone through the transitions now underway in Canada, the U.S. and other jurisdictions,” says Rob Goedegebuure, global lead, Health4U Feed Additives, Nuscience. “These transitions have driven our scientific focus and shaped the evolution of our feed technology solutions that are widely used in Europe and growing rapidly in adoption elsewhere. This includes our latest generation elite level feed technology suite featured in Biotica.”
Canada has set December 2018 as the deadline for moving all use of antibiotics to prescription only.
Major producer and commodity associations have implemented various stages of programs aligned with this shift, often addressing antimicrobial stewardship along with broader sustainability initiatives encompassing additional aspects of production such as housing, biosecurity, environment, welfare, quality and food safety.
Healthy animals, healthy production
Goedegebuure has been part of several recent Nuscience delegations that have toured key production regions in Canada and participated in numerous meetings and industry events along with CBS Inc. team partners.
“We have enjoyed meeting with Canadian colleagues and have been encouraged with the increasingly progressive focus we have seen on embracing innovation and science-based solutions. With today’s knowledge, tools and strategies, there is excellent potential for production systems that raise the bar on performance and profitability while also ensuring high standards of animal care and welfare.”
Nuscience approaches the animal feed industry with two focused business units, Nutrition4U and Health4U.
Nutrition4U by Nuscience is a range of young animal nutrition concepts, customized premixes and performing concentrates. Health4U by Nuscience, which includes the technology featured in Biotica, offers innovative additives and functional feed ingredients.
Royal Agrifirm Group, headquartered in the Netherlands, is a leading agricultural cooperative with an international network of subsidiaries in 16 countries within Europe, South America and Asia and a worldwide distribution network.
CBS Inc., based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, is an innovation-focused company with global reach that researches, develops and manufactures a wide range of bio-based products used in feed, food and industrial applications. It is a pioneer and leader in enzymes and other bio-based feed technology options, leveraging over 30 years of research and development. Producers and industry can contact their CBS Inc. sales representative for more details on Biotica and CBS Inc. Feed Science Platforms. More information is also available at www.canadianbio.com.
Several of the genes have been previously linked to nervous system function or behaviour. The new study, which is published in Genetics, is the first that assigns these genes a role in sociality.
Sociality and social behaviour covers a wide range of behaviours. Dogs seeking human contact and honeybees using complex waggle dances to exchange information on where to find good food sources are two examples from the animal world. But what actually governs social behaviour?
“By identifying the genes responsible for the variation in such sociality we can understand how sociality is formed and how social behaviour is controlled at a genetic level. Why some people or animals are more gregarious by nature and others more independent is just one such example,” says Dominic Wright, senior lecturer at the Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology (IFM), who has led the study.
To assess this, the researchers used a cross between wild and domestic chickens. The AVIAN research group at Linköping University is one of the few groups in the world with a breeding population of Red Junglefowl, the wild ancestor of the domestic fowl.
For 8,000 years, humans have selected the individuals that have desirable traits and bred them, a process known as domestication. As a result, today’s domestic fowl and the original wild fowl differ strongly in their social behaviour. For example, Red Junglefowl typically take longer to approach other birds, but spend more time with them when they do.
By crossing the domestic and the wild fowl for several generations, the researchers obtained chickens that exhibited a large range of social behaviour.
The researchers measured sociality by placing chickens in a novel environment (a large box) and observing how likely they were to seek contact with other chickens. A more social chicken approaches the others more rapidly and spends less time exploring the new surroundings. The same behaviour is also displayed by more anxious chickens.
The investigators also measured gene expression in one of several regions in the brain involved in the regulation of social behaviour, the hypothalamus. By correlating behaviour, gene expression and genetic variants, the researchers identified five genes that seem to control aspects of this behaviour.
“Although these genes had been implicated with behaviour or nervous system function previously, this is the first time they have been shown to control sociality also. We also found that several of the genes affect both sociality and anxiety in the chickens,” says Dominic Wright.
The research was supported by grants from the Carl Trygger Stiftelse, the Swedish Research Council, the Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning (FORMAS) and the European Research Council.
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