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ISA breeding program extended to 100-week cycle

Institut de Sélection Animale (ISA) is the layer breeding company of Hendrix Genetics. Research and development is the basis of a successful and profitable breeding program for layers. It is also the basis for profitability of our distributors and for the customers of the customers: the poultry farmers.

R&D and genetic improvement are the core business of this layer breeding company. ISA develops, markets and supports the 6 brands: Bovans, Dekalb, Hisex, ISA, Shaver and Babcock, with each brand having its own specific characteristics.

In general for all products, egg size and bodyweight are optimal traits, so no big changes are to be expected. The goal is breeding birds with a genetic flat egg size curve.

Egg quality traits
There is high selection pressure on several egg quality traits such as shell strength, shell structure, shell color and internal egg quality. Genetic improvement on feed conversion takes place through additional egg mass output, and not through decreasing feed intake. The goal is to breed birds that are able to produce efficiently in different climates, including hot climates.

Because livability is an important trait, there is continuous high selection pressure on livability. This takes place through basic research (i.e. in the field of genomic selection) and field testing (such as Recurrent Testing in different environments).

Because the strategy is to have a balanced focus on parent stock traits and final product traits, there is room reserved for selection on PS traits such as hatchability and chick quality.

Next to these previously mentioned traits, selection for egg production is very important. There is in most products no selection for increased early maturity. Peak production is already very high, so only little improvement can be expected. Huge selection focus carried out on egg laying persistency, already for some years. Very long peaks are the result. This is in commercial stock and in parent stock.

In order to further improve the excellent performance of the commercial chickens, ISA has added pure line breeding capacity. With this increased capacity, the pure line hens of ISA are kept until 100 weeks of age. Giving room for more emphasis on long-term persistent production, liveability and egg quality. The goal is to breed layers that produce 500 eggs in 100 weeks of age, without molting.

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Editor WorldPoultry

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