PoultryUSA - September 2017 - 28
generation breeding stock designed to meet specific needs of
a broad spectrum of markets. The company maintains many
genetically diverse populations in its global gene pool to meet
expected and widely ranging future needs.
Specialty markets are gaining in popularity, with retail chains
such as Whole Foods, Panera Bread, Chipotle, TGIF, Compass
Group and Aramark recently announcing a move toward
organic, slower-growing and free range poultry based on
demands by their customer bases. Aviagen slower-growing
poultry brands meet the criteria for many accredited animal
welfare programs worldwide.
SAVVY MODERN CONSUMERS DEMAND SOUND
oxygen levels. Just as technological innovations in the medical
field are intended to improve the health, longevity and wellbeing of people, Aviagen was the first to implement many of
these innovations to further the health and welfare of Aviagen's
high-generation birds and their progeny.
X-ray and lixiscope for leg health. Because leg health is
critical to overall health, in addition to a thorough physical
examination of each bird's leg health, Aviagen was the first
breeding company to start using the lixiscope, a real time x-ray
device to detect subclinical leg defects. Since Aviagen began
breeding for leg health 25 years ago, the company has seen
tremendous leg health improvements across all of its poultry
While insisting on a broad choice, contemporary consumers
also think about where their animal protein comes from and
are concerned with how it is raised and treated. They demand
end-to-end supply chain knowledge and transparency, from
the primary breeder, to the poultry grower, to the retailer.
3D Imaging for whole body fitness. Aviagen was also the
first breeder to use advanced 3D imaging for whole-body
assessment. This novel approach allows an assessment of the
whole body to simultaneously improve meat yield and quality,
as well as skeletal health.
WELFARE EXCELLENCE DEPENDS BOTH ON HOW YOU
Genomics Information for breeding. Genomics is the use of
naturally occurring variations in DNA to increase selection
accuracy. In 2012 Aviagen was the first poultry breeding
company to include genomics information in the routine
selection of its pedigree lines, in addition to the physical bird
information. Genomics data is combined with all other available
sources of information to provide more accurate genetic
predictions for both broiler and breeder performance traits.
TREAT THE BIRDS AND HOW YOU BREED THE BIRDS
Bird welfare depends not only on how you treat the birds,
but also on how you breed the birds. Aviagen birds are bred
in a balanced way that promotes overall health, fitness and
disease resistance. They are selected for skeletal, metabolic,
cardiovascular and reproductive fitness, resulting in birds
with greater vitality and well-being than ever before.
Breeding advancements have also led to greater livability and
adaptability to a variety of production environments.
Traditional selection methods for improved welfare traits
include physical assessment by trained, benchmarked and
specialized professionals. While this technique is still valuable
and irreplaceable today, Aviagen has augmented the breeding
program with non-invasive medical technologies to bring
about breeding innovations.
Aviagen was the first poultry breeder to apply to the breeding
program high-level technology advancements from disciplines
such as astronaut health support and the human medical field.
Oximeter for cardiovascular health. As a good example,
Aviagen began using the pulse oximeter decades ago to
improve cardiovascular health in poultry by measuring blood