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Breeding discussed at International Franchise Hatchery meeting

Lohmann Tierzucht invited its breeders as well as distributors to the annual 48thFranchise Hatchery Meeting, held in Nantes from September 21st to 23rd. Lectures presented by international experts as well as practical reports were held during the meeting.

France was deliberately chosen as the host country. In his welcoming speech, Dr. Finck emphasised that with 45 million layers, France is now the biggest market in the European Union (EU). Additionally, with current sales of more than 14 m day-old chicks, Lohmann France has developed impressively and was able to gain a market share of more than 30 %. The reasons for this success comprise of genetic potential, after sales service and the investment in farms and hatcheries.  

Genetics and breeding
The first day of the meeting was dedicated to genetics and breeding. The lecture of Prof. Johanna Vilkki, MTT Agrifood Research, Finnland, illustrated the possibilities of marker-assisted selection with the example of egg quality. Prof. Dr. Rudolf Preisinger, Lohmann Tierzucht, addressed the different issues of performance testing and its importance in a balanced selection for the well-being and performance of layers.

The speech by Olivier Athimon, Groupe Glon, highlighted the development of layer breeding in Europe and France in view of the upcoming change in the housing regulation within the EU. Joel Audefray, Lohmann France, described the successful development of the franchise hatchery and the performances of Lohmann genetics.

The second day was about poultry health and management. Julien Flori, veterinarian at Groupe Selvet Conseil, spoke about the economic effects of Mycoplasma synoviae (MS) in layers, as well as the importance of hygiene to avoid having MS on the farms.

Layer management
The talk held by Dr. Hans-Heinrich Thiele and Mohammed Chairi, Lohmann Tierzucht, about global trends in the management of layers, showed the different housing systems in Western Europe as well as in developing countries. They mentioned the influence of lighting programs during the rearing and laying periods, phase feeding as well as the different housing conditions in different countries. Current performance data impressively depicted the adaptability of Lohmann layers to different housing conditions as well as climates. Recommendations to improve management completed the lecture.

 Stefan Weber, Österreichische Qualitätsgeflügelvereinigung, gave a practical report on the database to monitor quality and health in the poultry industry and emphasised the positive interaction between hatcheries, breeding farms, veterinarians and abbatoirs in Austria which are linked to this system.

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