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Volume 35, Number 2

October/November 2019

Turkey contract grower makes major savings in energy costs

EW Nutrition Layer and Broiler Seminar Coles introduces Slow Hills – a slow growing free range chicken

EW Group acquires controlling stake in Specialised Breeders Australia

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Volume 35, Number 2

October/November 2019


Peter Bedwell Alex Bedwell Rosemary Embery

ADVERTISING Peter Bedwell Mob: 0419 235 288 Email:


Turkey contract grower Tony Pace

Features Page 8: Turkey contract grower makes major savings in energy costs by Peter Bedwell

News Page 4: EW Nutrition Layer and Broiler Seminar Page 16: Santrev installation of Ecodrum in Victoria Page 18: Smart farming support service for Australian broiler producers Page 30: Coles introduces Slow Hills – a slow growing free range chicken grown without antibiotics Page 31: EW Group acquires controlling stake in Specialised Breeders Australia Page 32: QFF still waiting for bipartisan action on animal activists Page 34: AFS overwhelms global animal proteins but Australian producers to benefit Page 36: OZ Smart Solar offers energy saving solutions for the poultry industry Product News Page 24: Alphamite DW and Nor-Mite L – a complete organic herbal program Page 28: Healthy poultry production – the key to prosperous poultry farming

AUSTRALIA One Year - $55.00* NEW ZEALAND One Year - NZ$80 OTHER COUNTRIES One Year: Airmail - $A90 Please send payment in Australian dollars. Send payment and full details to: 250 Hawthorne Parade, Haberfield NSW, 2045 *Australian subscription rate includes GST

ENQUIRIES OFFICE ADDRESS: 250 Hawthorne Pde, Haberfield NSW, 2045 Phone: (02) 9797 2406 Mobile: 0419 235 288 Production: 0409 944 472 Email: Website: Poultry Digest consists of a bi-monthly management magazine and an annual industry review, Poultry Industry Yearbook Published by CD Supplies Pty Ltd trading as Primary Media (ACN 091 560 557). All material copyright (editorial and advertisements) and may not be reproduced without the written consent of the publishers. Whilst every care is taken to ensure the accuracy of the contents of POULTRY DIGEST, the publishers do not accept any responsibility or liability for the material herein.

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EW Nutrition Layer and Breeder Seminar By PETER BEDWELL The EW/Nutrition Layer and Breeder Semnar was held on October 16 prior to the Poultry Industry Golf Day at Camden Country Club in NSW. EW National Sales Manager David Sherwood, welcomed guests and Alex Chang, Senior Poultry Nutrition Specialist from Aviagen spoke about ‘The importance of nutrition on shell quality in hatching eggs – with an emphasis on broiler breeders.’ “There are issues with poor eggshell quality in breeders and egg shell contamination effect is what is happening in the egg. “Losses of between 15 to 25% means there a lot of eggs to lose. “While there is a lot of focus on internal contamination, bacterial counts on the hatching egg surface of a newly laid egg can range from 300 bacteria/ cm2 to 300,000 bacteria /cm2 on the surface of dirty eggs,” Dr Chang stated. “The problem with hairline cracks is that they may not be seen by eye. “The hatchery is often the first point of contact to locate and identify problems. Hairline cracks result in poor hatchability and mid and late mortality levels are affected. Chick mortality to 14 days increases with hairline cracks.  “Thick shells are more viable and produce good hatching eggs,” he said.  “Shell formation is related to the timing of calcium in the gut. What is important is when birds are fed, considering the fact that they produce the shell overnight.  “So important parts of nutrition to consider are calcium and phosphorus which are critical to optimal egg shell quality,” Dr Chan warned. “Not enough calcium leads to thinner, soft shelled, cracked eggs, ovulation disruption and erratic early egg production and possible egg production loss.  “In broiler breeders, with issues with egg shell quality, the addition of coarse limestone (2-4 mm oyster shell) would be helpful, added later in the evening to coincide with shell calcification.  “Vitamin D3 is needed for calcium absorption. Trials without the addition of D3 show that eggshell quality rapidly decreases.  ‘The whole of life approach to optimising shell quality in layers and


breeders’ was the topic for Dr Peter Scott, CEO of Scolexia. “On the subject of egg shell quality and colour there is a disconnect between the information we have and failure to implement what is known,” said Dr Scott. “We don’t implement what we have learned from research in Australia. “Egg shell quality and colour is not about focusing on the egg. “Focusing on bird quality and egg quality will allow a improvement in production.  “Taking a preventative approach is the most economical approach and it is important to follow the manuals – all the information is available.  “There should be more focus on better rearing facilities. Husbandry and behaviour prior to transfer is a necessity,” he said. Normalising husbandry before the birds are placed and adding more focus onto rearing are essential.  “Day old suppliers are required to increase production for larger placements and these larger orders requirement is making it difficult for suppliers.  “When looking at pullets and broiler breeders, don’t just focus on weight, focus on weight and conformation.  “Starter, grower and developer are the rations Dr Scott focused on. “Change rations in regard to what the birds are doing. This strategy may require different nutritional approaches for different rearing systems.  “There is a need in layers to develop an appetite and it can be difficult to get them to consume enough feed which is very important. “Keep feed intake managed properly. Focus on feeding to production and consider where the birds are at in their development and feed to that situation. “If the birds are not right in early lay, they will not be right in late lay,” he warned. “All aspects of reproduction performance are affected and everything has to be in a increasing plane of nutrition to gain critical optimal reproductive performance. Egg quality also depends on a good nutritional strategy,”Dr Scott added “Ranging needs to commence around 19 weeks and be fully free range by 20 weeks of age to get better outcomes. w


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1. David Sherwood, EW National Sales Manager. 2. Dr Alex Chang, Senior Poultry Specialist, Aviagen. 3. Dr Peter Scott, CEO Scolexia. 4. Dr Isabelle Ruhnke, UNE.



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“Consider what happens with range let out times, feeding, staff activity, and shed operation. “Birds are adaptive, but once patterns are established, they must stay consistent as well as feed formulations. “This may increase cost slightly, but do not have the nutritionists keep changing the ration and discuss rations in detail with the feed producer,” Dr Scott concluded.   The next speaker, Dr Isabelle Ruhnke, Senior Lecturer, UNE, reported on ‘How free-range housing can affect egg shell quality’ “Australia’s brown shell market is well established. The pale egg shell is a concern but we do not know what needs to be done to effect the colour of the egg.  “Several things effect egg shell colour, but not much work has been completed to study this situation.  “There has been a lot of research conducted in Australia regarding egg quality but the recent focus on reducing caged birds has called for additional work in free range.  “Things that have a effect on egg quality vary – hen age, season, weather, dust, manure, hygiene, rodents, nest box management, flock size, stress, stocking density, vaccination program, egg handling, laying location, shed design and shed location are all factors and all have a place in managing egg quality. “When considering different housing systems, it takes time to establish the best production practices.  ‘“Free range has a different requirement for the birds and management.  “Nest box management has the highest impact and we don’t know how range use effects egg shell quality.  In the trial work Isabel showed, she said “they sectioned a farm to see how the range impacts the eggs”.  “The hens were leg banded with a microchip to track their movements to determine when the hen travels in and out and for how long.  “Eggs were collected at 10 weekly intervals and compared between roamers and birds which did not use the range as much or at all.  “The laying percentage difference between rangers and stayers was 15% in the early stages of lay at 22 weeks.  Toward the end of lay, the ranging birds decreased in production.  “The rangers produces slightly heavier eggs from medium to large eggs at 22 weeks, but in the following weeks there was no difference. 


“When the hens are older, it gets more difficult to sustain egg yolk colour.  In one treatment group, ranging birds received 10% ME and AA increased in the diet.  “Haugh units remained the same amongst the groups and the treatment group with the higher 10ME and AA in diet, had superior egg shell breaking strength.  “It has been proposed that because free range birds have more physical activity they would have greater bone strength.  Could this result in better calcium absorption available for egg quality or more calcium from the Madella maybe? Isa showed that there was no difference in the bone strength between the treatment groups.  All the hens were weighed and classified into different groups.  When considering the breed standard, the heavier birds were closer to the standard. 

The light birds and heavy birds stayed the same from week 16 to week 74. This showed that a good quality pullet is important and carries all the way through.  The heavy birds went out and accessed the range and they were the birds with the best performance at the beginning.  Isa’s conclusion was that, “laying performance depends on range usage.  “Heavier hens use the range significantly more at 17 weeks of age. Egg quality is not impacted by range use, however, there seems to be no additional benefit of range use.  ‘Egg shell quality – practical recommendations and field studies’, was the final presentation of the seminar delivered by Christine Clark the General Manager at Premium Agri Products and a PhD candidate at Sydney University. In introducing her presentation CONTINUED ON PAGE 40 w



1. Jurek Grapentin, EW Group MD South East Asia, Pacific with the Easy@ inline dispenser. 2. Christine Clark, Premium Agri Products, answers a question from the floor with Dr Isabelle Ruhnke (left), Dr Peter Scott and Dr Alex Chang.


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Tony and Rita Pace’s turkey growing farm in NSW.

Turkey contract grower makes major savings on energy costs

By PETER BEDWELL It was more than 15 years ago when Poultry Digest first met Tony Pace on his then new turkey growing property located to the South West of Sydney. In those days Australia had amongst the least costly electricity supplies in the world – things have changed since then! Trish Griggs from OZSmart Solar (see new product item this issue)


re-introduced Poultry Digest to Tony as he had recently installed OzSmart’s solar energy system on two of his sheds. Perhaps November 12, when authorities put out a ‘catastrophic’ bush fire weather alert with high temperatures, low humidity and 75 km/ ph north westerly winds wasn’t the best day to visit a turkey farm. However, we there to discuss energy costs, not the weather, and while Tony’s foggers and Fancom climate control system looked after a new flock, we talked about his reasons for going solar. By any standards Tony Pace regards raising of turkeys as a precise art where every consideration, from the automated security at the entrance to length of the grass on the property, contributes to an efficient operation. With more than 34 years experience in running poultry, and in particular turkey farms, he fully understands all

aspects of the important business of raising commercial livestock – and his magnificent farm reflects that experience. The design of his sheds, four built by Etienne Mifsud of R&E Sheds and the other two built by R&DG Sanday, he believes is ideal for the specific needs of raising turkeys. The main supplier of equipment, as in our first visit long ago, is Patarker which supplied the Fancom controllers and other essentials. Tony is a third generation poultry farmer and proud of his Mediterranean/ Maltese origins. He and Rita have raised their three children on their farm and his eldest is also keen to take on farming. Their daughter Sarah, with a day off school due to the bush fire threat, is also keen to look at a career in farming though she is attracted to the idea of the beef cattle sector. We discuss this over breakfast as


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the temperature rises and Tony and his partner Rita get back to the topic of energy costs. Tony gets noticeably agitated as he describes the progression of rising energy bills in recent years. After a contract period expired he experienced steadily rising monthly charges that were in multiples not percentages. Upon questioning as to what justified such a steep rise in his bills, the supplier stated that of his total bill just 30% was for usage and 70% was related to environmental costs. After installing 388 solar panels on his sheds delivering up to 99 kw/h, his bills were reduced by 84%! The roof top set up has a fail-safe feature in the Trina solar panels that ensures continued supply if one panel in the chain fails. The panels on the system carry a 25-year warranty and the inverters 10 years. A self-cleaning feature works well during all too infrequent rain periods. Today his farm is regarded as a top example for contract poultry rearing and has been visited by mainstream rural publications apart from Poultry Digest. His contract is with Inghams and he is proud to work to their high standards for their contract turkey farmers. Inghams is the leading turkey producer in Australia. Apart from being considered healthy, turkey is versatile meat sold as a whole bird or part and processed into numerous products including delicious turkey based ham. Aussies are not big turkey eaters, just one kg per person p.a, mostly at Christmas and Israel is the global leader at more than 11 kg pp pa. In the past, Australian turkey producers have exported product to the Philippines and South Africa as well as local and Asian markets. With beef and lamb exports, particularly to China (which is suffering significant protein shortage due to African Swine Fever), increasing significantly, turkey meat may become a more affordable alternative in the domestic market and overseas. For each serving of beef, there are nearly seven pounds of carbon dioxide equivalents, while one serving of poultry has just over one pound of carbon dioxide equivalents, according to the University of Michigan’s Center for Sustainable Systems. A carbon dioxide equivalent is a measurement that includes various greenhouse gases, but accounts for their different global warming potential. w



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1. Grass areas around the sheds are kept neat. 2. 99kw/h saves 84% on energy bills with Trina panels. 3. Tony Pace (right) maintains his farm to a very high standard.

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Feed conversion rate is around 2:1, so reasonably efficient. Hen birds take about 16 weeks to reach market weight which is from 3.6 to 7.2 kgs. Male birds take a bit longer, at 19 weeks, with weights reaching from 7.2 to 10.8 kg, according to statistics published by the Poultry Hub. There are around 20 turkey farms in the area and they must surely be influenced by Tony Pace’s example of saving on energy costs. With much longer periods growing in sheds than broiler chickens, energy bills become much more significant. As these increasing energy bills are mostly down to the farmer, savings like those achieved by Tony Pace and his OZSmart solar system must be a consideration for contract poultry farmers, and those running independent operations like layer farmers. It is no secret that the Australian energy supply landscape is a mess.


Relying on governments, State or Federal to sort it out has proved fruitless, as unfortunately energy policy has become linked with the increasingly poisonous climate change debate. Tony Pace has, to a large extent, sorted the problem for himself and his family business – others will follow.





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Santrev installation of Ecodrum in Victoria Early this year Santrev announced its appointment as sole distributor for Ecodrum in Australia and New Zealand. According to Santrev, Ecodrum is widely recognised as the market leader of in-vessel animal mortality composting and provides cost-effective and environmentally sound solutions to both the poultry and pig industries. Ecodrum is manufactured in the USA using quality components. The warranty and ongoing technical support offer growers further peace of mind that their investment in the product is sound. Recently the Santrev install team was accompanied by serviceman John Green who flew over from the US as part of the Ecodrum commitment to supporting the product and ensuring its success in Australia. Daniel Johnson (awarded Young Agribusiness Leader of the Year) from Johnson Poultry in Victoria, was the first to receive the new model in Australia. Considering the high dead bird disposal cost in the region, the unit was eagerly awaited. John trained the farm staff at Johnson Poultry in the operation and maintenance of the unit. Being remote from existing infrastructure the Ecodrum was installed with a solar system by Santrev Solar. Daniel is always looking to innovate and improve on the performance of his operation. “The Ecodrum eliminates significant biosecurity concerns and risks associated with dead bird disposal,� he said. If you would like to know more about the Ecodrum please contact the Santrev Head Office on 07 3281 3200 and one of the sales team will be happy to answer any questions and assist you further.





3 1. The new Ecodrum 750 model which eliminates significant risks associated with dead bird disposal. 2. The resulting compost. 3. LtoR: Erich, Santrev Sales Manager, Mat, Santrev Installer, John Green from the US and Luke Trevanion, Santrev Director. 4. Serviceman John Green explains the process to Daniel Johnson’s farm staff.




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Smart farming support service for Australian broiler producers A smart farming support service is helping Australian broiler producers monitor their flocks and improve bird welfare and performance - all from the other side of the world. Caroline Stocks met the farmer behind it. An online monitoring service is helping broiler farmers in Australia put an end to worrying about what’s happening in their poultry sheds when they go home for the evening. The brainchild of UK poultry producer and consultant David Speller, OPTIfarm is the first service in the world to offer precision support to broiler farms, checking barns remotely to ensure chickens are reared in the best conditions 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Having successfully introduced precision farming technology onto his own broiler farm in Derbyshire, England, David found he was advising more and more farmers who felt they weren’t getting the best from their own smart farming investments. In many cases, farmers hadn’t factored in the necessary service and support into their initial costs, and needed help getting the technology working correctly for their production systems. Others were so overwhelmed by the data their technology could collect, that

they weren’t sure how to translate the information into meaningful changes on their farm — which is where David stepped in. Farmers’ eyes and ears “People think that technology is a silver bullet and that they can drop it into their farm and it will work its magic,” he said. “But you have to take the data it collects and do something with it, and that takes time, focus and skill. “So many farmers were finding that they farms were performing worse with the expensive equipment than before they installed it,” David said. “I was getting so many calls asking for my help that I started to think there must be a way to help people without me having to get on a plane every time.” With that in mind, he started to put together a team that could offer software that not only contained his technical and farming knowledge, but could also observe and support producers when he wasn’t there. The result is OPTIfarm, a 16-strong

The OPTIfarm System delivers welfare and production benefits.


David Speller, OPTIfarm. team of poultry tech experts which acts as the eyes and ears of poultry farms around the world. By remotely logging into farms’ central computers once every 90 minutes, the OPTIfarm team check everything from water consumption to air pressure and humidity – in fact anything that a farm’s sensors are capable of taking readings of. “If everything’s okay, we break the connection and come back 90 minutes later,” David said. “If something isn’t right, we investigate what has happened, and depending on the time of day and how critical the issue is, we contact the farmer. “If it’s the middle of the night and air pressure isn’t optimal but it isn’t a disaster, then we wait until we know the farmer will be up and having their breakfast to send them a message.” Improving production While the service was initially based on helping producers get the best from their precision farming technology, OPTIfarm quickly expanded to helping them reach their production goals too. ‘Whether it’s better uniformity, less rejection or better growth rates, we give them advice and then observe and optimise their facility to help them do that,” David said. After an initial discussion to understand their production goals, a member of the OPTIfarm team will visit the farm to get a clear understanding of the



buildings and technology available, the culture of the farm, and its staffing situation. “Then once we understand the business, we can talk about how we are going to deliver our service,” he explained. “It’s not about us telling people how they should be producing chickens, it’s about helping making changes to an operation which could have a direct result on its performance.” As well as farmers in OPTIfarm’s UK home, producers in Australia, the United States, Europe and Asia are now putting their faith in David and his OPTIfarm team. And the successes seem to speak for themselves, with clients routinely reporting improvements in bird growth, welfare and overall business performance. “Our goal is when we take on a client, we want to make them more money than we cost them in terms of performance benefits,” David said. “But one thing we can’t put a value on is peace of mind. “I have farmers who tell me how much more relaxed they are now, that they can actually go home and spend time with their family without worrying about their birds, and that’s great.” Integrator interest While OPTIfarm’s first customers were mostly individual farmers, David says integrators across the world, including in Australia, are seeing the value of the service. “Integrators tell us that they know more about their network thanks to OPTIfarm,” he said. “They know who’s doing what, where to target resources and who needs help. “By knowing which supply farms they need to work with, they are able to achieve better uniformity and consistency in their products, as well predictability in their supplies.” With growing interest from consumers and retailers in bird welfare and no antibiotics ever production, the service is also helping address wider production challenges, he adds. “Because you’ve got a clearer idea of what’s going on, you can potentially respond more quickly to health and welfare issues,” he said. “But it’s also helpful in explaining why things are happening. “Very often, health issues in broilers are secondary reactions to stress, so if you know what’s been happening, you can often look back and identify what might have caused it.


“Another important element is biosecurity,” he added. “Whet there are viruses and diseases moving around the world, it’s good to be able to keep an eye on things without the worry of people going into a shed and potentially causing biosecurity issues.” Getting the best from people When it comes to a farm workers, David admits the ‘all-seeing’ aspect of OPTIfarm can make some staff nervous. But he insists the service can help get the best from people, reducing the risk of human error and freeing workers from routine checks to enable them to get on with the more skilled aspects of poultry production. And while technology is becoming increasingly common on farms, he’s convinced good staff will always be critical to a farm’s operations. “We’re developing our own artificial intelligence and machine learning at OPTIfarm, and I’ve learned it’s only ever as good as the teaching you put into it. More importantly though, it’s not easy to input everything a chicken might do into a computer program. “For that reason, even if we get to a point where 75% of the workload is done by machines, we’ll always have 25% of the work that has to be done by people. “What we’re trying to achieve with our clients is the opportunity to get support in a different way,” he added. “It’s a big ask to find staff who are amazing with technology, amazing with birds, can replace the veterinarian when they’re not available and can work out how much money the business is making. “If you can employ someone who’s actually good with birds, and allow a company like ours to support you in the background with the technical part, that should work better.” Investing in technology For those who are just starting to delve into the world of technology, there is a minimum amount of kit a farm needs before it would benefit from a service like OPTIfarm, David said. “We want to be able to measure minimum temperature and humidity, and if it’s positively vented then we want to see air pressure difference between the inside and outside, and water metre data too.” And while there can be a whole range of extra technology to consider - from automatic weighing and feeding scales to carbon dioxide and ammonia sensors - the most technologically-

advanced won’t necessarily see the biggest results, he said. “I went to a brand new facility last month where there were so many sensors that if a chicken hiccuped I’d know about it,” he laughed. “ But then I went to a much older one that only measured water and temperature, but it was being managed manually. “That farm was more vulnerable to the action of humans, which means we can add more benefit by watching it 16 times a day. “In that scenario we could actually see from the water data that the farmer was putting on the fans too soon. “I don’t come in a tell people what kit they should buy - I just advise them on what I’ve seen working well in other parts of the world, but the purchasing decision is down to them. “It does make things harder for us because it means we have to work with lots of different platforms, but it’s not a finite number so it is manageable.” “The biggest challenge,” he said, is internet connectivity, but with more and more 3G and 4G networks available globally, it’s becoming easier to access a farm’s central computer. David admits that it might seems strange having people check on Australian birds from the other side of the world, but he says his farming credentials give his clients that confidence that their birds are in the right hands. “Wherever I’ve been in the world, people respond well to the fact that we’re a farming businesses as well, and that I understand their problems. “Sometimes we even pick up clients because we’re not in the country – they feel that their business is less likely to become local gossip when they’re being helped by a company so far away. “Ultimately though, we’re here to work with farmers; no one knows your farm better than you do, and we just want to help you get the best out of it.”

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Alphamite DW and Nor-Mite L – a complete organic herbal program By JAFAR PAZANI, Technical Manager, MedIrAlis Pty Ltd Pest control is a significant part of biosecurity management in poultry farms. Among the pests in a poultry farm environment, arthropods such as insects (flies, fleas, litter beetles, lice and mosquitoes), and acarian such as mites and ticks are the most important. They can also as ectoparasites cause health issues. It is known that arthropods with flying ability including biting flies and mosquitoes, can carry and transmit the poultry pathogens. They can be a biological vector or mechanical carrier for the pathogens. The ability of insects to reproduce in large numbers in a short time, makes it harder to control them, especially in poultry farms with easy access to the accumulated organic waste and favourable environmental conditions (e.g. manure, static water, warmth and humidity). Their small size, high number and ability to fly or move fast over long distances by themselves, or on their hosts (such as in wildlife like birds and rodents), make them able to penetrate poultry sheds and access the birds. These characteristics make them a significant biosecurity threat. Another significant finding is about the role of insects in spreading antimicrobial resistance. Insects like mosquitoes, flies and beetles have a proven role in transmission of diseases, such as fowl pox,



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tapeworm, Newcastle disease and Salmonella. Flies can be more than a mere nuisance by spreading food poisoning bacteria like Salmonella enteritidis to chickens and their eggs. It is indicated that healthy chickens become infected by Salmonella after eating infected flies. Campylobacter is the most important cause of human bacterial diarrhoea worldwide, primarily through consumption of the raw and undercooked poultry meat and products, as the source of infection. According to many studies, flies (Dipteran flies eg. house fly, stable fly, blow fly and horse fly) are proven carriers of Campylobacter, and their ingress into broiler houses may contribute to transmission of Campylobacter to broiler chickens. Other studies have shown the role of the lesser mealworm (litter beetles/ darkling beetles), house flies and black garbage fly (Hydrotaea aenescens) in the spread of Campylobacter, Salmonella, E. coli O157:H7 and the protozoan parasite (Cocholosoma anatis) on turkey and broiler chicken production farms. From 1966 till now almost all viral, bacterial, protozoa and fungi pathogens of poultry have been isolated from litter beetles. It is also known that thirsty beetles attack birds by chewing on their skins to obtain liquid and blood. These beetles can cause significant

damage to the poultry sheds structure, by burrowing into wood and foam insulation, in search of food and dark places to reproduce and populate. Conventional insecticides used for controlling arthropods and insects in poultry farms are poisonous for the birds, the user and environment. They have high WHS concerns issue and require usage of PPE while applying them. The application methods are mostly labour intensive and require several man-hours and equipment. In addition to these costs, the stress induced by their application can cause temporary reduction in production, or even mortality. The other important concern is their residue in the product – eggs and meat – which is a huge food safety issue. Moreover, build-up of the resistance against insecticides illustrates the need for alternative control tactics. Chemical insecticides can only effectively kill one stage of arthropods, mostly the adults. Larvicide products only kill the larva of arthropods. Considering the short cycle of reproduction of arthropods with huge repopulation capability, this requires routine reapplication of these chemicals which makes them an infeasible method. As for any successful pest management program, the best way is an integrated approach toward control of arthropods/insects by applying multiple measures. It is obviously accepted that the best way to control insects, is cutting


Base electrode

Volatile compounds

The repellent effect of Nor-Mite on arthropods/insects has been confirmed by recording the electrophysiologica response to the volatile molecule cocktail emitted by Nor Mite (p<0.05; Kruskal-Wallis) using electroantennography (EAG) technique in the laboratory.



Nor-Mite & Alphamites DW

A holistic approach to insect management Chemical Insect Control Products • • • • • • • •

High cost of application e.g. labor, equipment, etc. Often pose WHS Risks PPE is almost always required Often have environmentally toxic effects. May have Side Effects on Stock, (such as accidental poisoning or contact irritation) Application is often highly stressful on Stock May leave Residues in final product. Rapid development of resistance with routine use.

Program 11 Key advantages to our program: 1. Natural solution

7. Cost effective Cost of treatment is lower than using chemical sprays. This includes the negative impact of those sprays on performance.

A program based on plant extracts. Non-toxic to chickens, the user, and the environment.

8. Effectively contributes in controlling many insect species

Results are visible within 1 week.

9. No withdrawal period and no chemical residues in final product. 10. Certified for organic farming use in EU 11. As it is excreted by the animals, spreads the effect throughout your farm.

2. Doesn’t create resistance. 3. Dramatically reduced labour 4. Minimal handling and, as such, no WHS risks or PPE requirements. 5. Low addition rates 6. Fast acting

Nor-Mite Powder • No application costs. • Protects the integrity of your feed from dust mites, maggots, weevils, etc. • Integrated pest management product that protects from the silos through to the effluent pits.

Including (but not limited to) Red Mites, Flies, Mosquitoes and litter beetles. Also affects larvae (Tenebrio).

Alphamites DW Liquid

Nor-Mite Liquid

• Easy application through drinking water. • 1:2,000 dilution rate. • Offers a high level of strategic control over your pest management.

• Easy application through drinking water. • 1:10,000 dilution rate. • Offers a high level of strategic control over your pest management.

(07) 3121 3026

(03) 5448 8942 (03) 5448 8943


their access to a nourishing environment. This is achievable by good litter management (e.g. good ventilation and water system management to keep the litter dry), manure disposal, proper dead bird disposal, good hygiene and general housekeeping on the farm. In a comprehensive study in Denmark year-round longterm usage of fly screens in 10 broiler houses (99 flocks), significantly reduced the prevalence of Campylobacter spp. The incidence of positive flocks was down to 10.3% in 2006–2009 (with fly screens) from 41.4% during 2003–2005 (before fly screens). In the houses with fly screen, Campylobacter spp. prevalence didn’t peak during the summers. According to the results of this study it was estimated that 77% less prevalence of Campylobacter spp.–positive flocks in Denmark could have been achieved during summers, if fly screens had been part of biosecurity practices. The results of study in Denmark once more highlight the importance of exclusion of insects from poultry farms. The other more efficient and feasible way to achieve such a goal is using potent insect repellents. One big drawback of usage of common insect repellents is their short-term effects. They are required to be constantly reapplied to the premises which increases the cost and efforts to a non-economical level. We in MedIrAlis PTY Ltd in cooperation with Think Livestock have proudly introduced a holistic organic approach, through two herbal products Alphamite DW and Nor-Mite L, which can contribute to efficiently repelling many arthropods/insects from poultry farms. Herbal metabolites in extracts included in Alphamite DW effectively contribute in making the birds blood unpleasant and indigestible for red mites. They also contribute in repelling arthropods through the hen’s body odour emission and its excretions, including faeces which keeps arthropods away from the farm. Nor-Mite potently contributes to repelling insects in poultry farms. By using Nor-Mite the herbal metabolites in it (polyphenols and triterpenes) get into the bird’s blood and are excreted via faeces and urine; and hence all the animals and the farm

Poultry Industry Yearbook If you would like to advertise in the Yearbbook and be included in the Company Guide for 2020 please contact Pete Bedwell on 0419 235 288. If you would like to be listed in the free Industry Personnel listings please send details to 26

itself will have the repellent effects. Nor-Mite has proven its high potency in contributing efficiently to repelling several types of arthropods/insects including house flies, blow flies, stable flies, Aedes mosquitoes, Litter beetles, even litter beetle larva (tested on Tenebrio castaneum; Figure 2), red mites and feather mites. The powder form contributes to repelling dust mites and weevils from feed. The effect of Nor-Mite on all mentioned arthropods/insects has been tested, by observing their avoidance from the birds fed with Nor-Mite, the area stained with Nor-Mite and significant decrease in insect population in farm trials. The repellent effect of Nor-Mite on tested species of arthropods/insects, has been also confirmed by recording the electrophysiologica response to the volatile molecule cocktail emitted by Nor Mite (p<0.05; Kruskal-Wallis) using electroantennography (EAG) technique in the laboratory (Figure 1). Both Nor-Mite Liquid and Alphamite DW are administered through drinking water with very low inclusion rate. They are both highly soluble in water and very stable against chemical and physical impacts, including heat, chlorine, chlorine dioxide and acids. Farmers can use them either by adding to the header tanks or injecting into pipes by a dosing machine. Cost of usage of them combined in preventive protocol will be less than $0.40 per laying bird for the whole production period. Both Alphamite DW and Nor-Mite L are approved to be used in organic farming by European certifiers.

Animal Nutrition

More profit from improved nutrition Lower your feed costs, improve uniformity and increase raw material flexibility, while reducing environmental impact with these innovative feed solutions. Used alone, or in combination, these reliable, heat stable enzyme, phytogenic, natural betaine and probiotic products products are cutomized to increase nutrient availablity and improve profitability for poultry producers.

Avizyme® Axtra® Betafin® Enviva® Syncra®

Contact our distributor Feedworks, Australia | Tel: 03-5429 2411 | Email:,, For more information, please visit DuPont™, the DuPont Oval Logo, and all products, unless otherwise noted, denoted with ™, SM or ® are trademarks, service marks or registered trademarks of affiliates of DuPont de Nemours, Inc. © 2019 DuPont de Nemours, Inc. All rights reserved.

DuPont_Animal Nutrition_poultry_advert_EN_173x125.indd 1

13-08-19 14:07


Healthy poultry production – the key to prosperous poultry farming More than ever before, hygiene is a primary management tool to ensure profitability in present-day poultry farming. Hygiene is essential to prevent the outbreak of disease and reduce economic loss. Cleaning and disinfection provide the foundation for a reliable biosecurity program. “The use of foaming detergents and disinfectants is growing across livestock operations due to the accuracy and effectiveness of application,” said Dr Andrew McKay from Zamira Australia. Dr McKay is one vet who trusts that seeing is believing when it comes to cleaning and disinfection for biosecurity. Foaming allows quick, easy and safe application with a visual check to ensure all surfaces have been covered. Foaming also increases contact time because as the bubbles slowly burst, they release the active ingredient and lift the contaminant from the surface. Good foam should still be visible up to 60 minutes after application. Generating the desired amount of foam with precise inclusion rates requires the right product and equipment. There are two different types of detergents on the market. Alkaline (high pH) and Acid (low pH) cleaners. Poultry faeces is acidic so an alkaline detergent should be used to neutralise the material and make it easier to remove. Alkaline detergents are more effective at removing fats, proteins and residual feed and are generally less corrosive. Foaming application of an alkaline detergent such as CID Lines Kenosan increases contact time and penetration which reduces cleaning time and improves the efficiency of disinfection,” Dr McKay said. Following detergent application and high pressure rinsing, the surface is ready for disinfection. The latest generation of disinfectants use a synergistic blend of active ingredients to enhance disinfection performance. “Virocid (APVMA # 86445/115774) is a powerful blend of Glutaraldehyde and single and double chains of Quaternary Ammonium Compound (QAC) in


combination with alcohol and pine oil. “At a cellular level, the three step disinfection process uses alcohol to weaken the cell wall and QAC to penetrate the cell wall allowing the Glutaraldehyde to enter and attack the cell nucleus.” Dr McKay advises that biosecurity should be the foundation of any disease control program. At a national level this means creating systems to detect and prevent illegal imports. When it comes to poultry farms, it means following hygiene protocols using the right products and equipment. “Zamira Australia is an animal health company with the mission to improve the health, wellbeing and productivity of farm animals across the world,” he said. With a comprehensive range of medicated feed additives, pharmaceuticals, eubiotics and farm hygiene products, Zamira Australia works closely with its customers to bring innovative and research-based solutions to market to solve farming challenges. And now through a new partnership with National Feed Solutions, Zamira

Australia has introduced a range of cleaning and disinfection products from CID Lines – Virocid & Kenosan. Kenosan & Virocid prove to be the perfect partners to deal with the high hygiene standards in modern poultry farms. Kenosan is a powerful alkaline detergent with sticky long lasting foam. It’s economical to use at 1%-2% dilution (application rate of 1L of diluted Kenosan/3sqm). Virocid is a concentrated disinfectant, that is broad spectrum and validated against 27 viruses, 46 bacteria and 19 fungal and yeast strains. Virocid is highly economical to use at 0.25% - 0.5% dilution (application rate of 250ml/sqm). Both products are non-corrosive, biodegradable and safe when used as directed. For a limited time, bonus foaming kits are available with bulk purchases of Kenosan & Virocid. For more information contact Dr Andrew McKay or Colin Bennett from Zamira Australia on (07) 3378 3780.

now available from:



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Coles introduces Slow Hills – a slow growing free range chicken grown without antibiotics Slow Hills Chicken is a special breed of chicken that matures for longer on free range farms. The chickens are grown without antibiotics and raised to the RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme Standards. The product is sold as a whole bird as well a variety of speciality cuts, including skin on thigh fillets and promoted with various recipes. Announced in October 2019, the Slow Hills brand was featured in the Sydney Morning Herald’s launch edition of their ‘Good Food’ magazine. The demand for slow growing broilers started in Europe with the availability of the French ‘Red Bird’ and then the Plofkip movement that was against the rapidly growing broiler genetics – literally ‘exploding birds’, as genetic abnormalities became evident. In late 2015, Dutch supermarkets started to ban the sale of the conventional Ross or Cobb genetics in favour of slower growing genetics, typically Hubbard, then owned by the French Grimaud company. In March 2016 the Whole Foods Market and Global Animal Partnership (GAP), a non profit organisation that develops farm animal welfare standards, announced its intention to switch to slower growing meat chickens by 2024. The trend for slow growing genetics reached the US shortly after the EU with the Red Ranger, which reaches 1.4 to 1.8 kg by eight weeks of age. In Australia, the Hubbard genetics, now owned by Aviagen, has been developed for the Slow Hills brand over the last two years or so and are expected to occupy a small but significant place in the overall protein market. In overseas markets the cost of production for slow growing genetics varies but a 25% increase over conventional Ross and Cobb varieties seems typical. It will be interesting to see if consumers in Australia really are prepared to pay extra for a product that essentially satisfies a human related demand for what some consumers regard as a welfare friendly product. The question is really about two key imperatives as the population expands globally and protein demand increases. Apart from the cost at retail level this bird will require more feed, energy and


land space than an equivalent modern Ross or Cobb high performing bird. Marketers of the Hubbard genetics also point to meat quality issues, particularly in US and EU markets that do not apply to the same extent in Australia. Poultry Digest decided at midday on November 14 to visit the local Coles store in Leichhardt and they had sold out of the Slow Hills whole bird product. But then that’s Norton Street in Sydney where ‘enlightened and woke capital city greenies- the city based lunatic fringe’ are thick on the ground! Coles is promoting the Slow HIlls bird as having a more full and succulent flavour due to its longer life on a free range farm. “Like most tings in life, we beleive a little extra time can make a real difference,” the press release states.

Eggs set to cost more Major and smaller supermarkets are upping the price of eggs as chicken farmers become the latest casualties in the ongoing drought. Egg producers are struggling to find affordable feed for their birds, as grain supplies dry up around the country. Trish Simpson, whose family has run Murphy’s Crossing Free Range Eggs at Wasleys, north of Adelaide, for more than 60 years, said prices need to rise if her business is to survive. “Have a look at what is happening to the poor dairy people, they have been screwed into the ground, and we are not far behind them,” she said. “We’re questioning where we should be positioning ourselves just to survive and to actually get to the point where we might be able to retire. But at the moment that is looking very dim.” The Simpsons avoid selling to large supermarket chains, but Ms Simpson said their business was still impacted by cheaper-priced alternatives. “Why would customers who can buy eggs for $2.99 in the supermarket come to a specialty shop and pay $6.00 if they don’t have to?” she said. “We are struggling to produce a really good Australian product.

“We have got a lot of people out there who are demanding quality, but they don’t want to pay for it.” Industry group Egg Farmers of Australia (EFA) called on supermarkets to stop discounting eggs, pay a fairer farm gate price, and develop more flexible contracts with farmers. “The price of grain has increased by more than double for producers and most of them have contracts with the retailers for six to 12 month periods,” Grain accounts for about 65% of variable costs for egg farming businesses, and the EFA is concerned those prices could skyrocket if the drought drags on. Aldi and Coles said they have recently started paying farmers more for their eggs to factor in the drought. “We have accepted price increases from our egg suppliers and, in turn, have raised the price of our egg range sold at Aldi stores,” Aldi said. Coles said it had also accepted higher prices from farmers but would not say if those costs had been passed on to shoppers. One small Adelaide grocer said he was prepared to charge up to an extra 40 cents a dozen to help egg farmers.


EW Group acquires controlling stake in Specialised Breeders Australia Germany’s EW Group GmbH and Specialised Breeders Australia (SBA) have reached an agreement for EW Group to acquire a controlling stake in SBA. EW Group is a holding company for the world’s leading poultry genetics companies including Hy-Line International, Lohmann Tierzucht, H&N, Aviagen and Hubbard. Based close to the Victorian city of Bendigo, SBA is the leading supplier of day old chicks and point of lay pullets to Australian egg producers. Steve Garland, Chief Financial Officer and Acting CEO of SBA, explained “SBA has been the Australian distribution partners for EW Group subsidiaries Hy-Line International and Lohmann Tierzucht for many years, so this acquisition is a strong strategic fit for both organisations. “The investment by EW Group will foster even greater cooperation between our local technical team and international breed suppliers, ensuring Australian egg producers receive the most up to date technical advice from abroad combined with our expertise in Australian conditions.” Albert Cordts, Managing Director of EW Group`s international layer distribution activities added “We are excited about SBA becoming part of EW Group, as it is an exceptional operation with a reputation for providing high quality livestock and advice in the Australian market. “We are convinced that the participation of our group in SBA will lead to an even closer collaboration with our primary breeding companies to the benefit of the Australian egg producers.” “The investment of the German EW Group in Specialized Breeders Australia underlines the long term strategy to supply high quality layer genetics and technical services to the Australian egg industry. “EW Nutrition supports the egg production in Australia with nutritional solutions to improve animal health and performance,“said Jurek Grapentin, Managing Director South East Asia Pacific (Singapore). The transaction was completed at the end of October, the terms of the sale will remain private. EW Group GmbH, based in Visbeck, Germany, is a family owned holding company with more than 150 subsidiaries in more than 45 countries. The core business of the group is animal breeding, animal nutrition and animal health. It employs more than 14,000 people worldwide.


Technical Service Manager, Aviagen ANZ Debbie joined the Aviagen Asia team in July 2013 as Technical Service Manager, and for five years provided excellent support to customers throughout the Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan and South Korea. In April 2018 she moved to the Australia New Zealand (ANZ) region to add value to Aviagen’s ANZ customer base. Prior to joining Aviagen, Debbie worked for 20 years with a large NZ poultry company with operations across NZ and Australia, gaining experience in many areas, including broiler, breeders, livestock and processing planning.

Efficient Methods for Drinking Water Vaccination Objective: Correct use and administration of live vaccines via drinking water Key Points: Before Vaccination • Store and transport vaccines between 2 and 8 °C (36 and 46 °F) and administer before the expiration date. • Give vaccines only to healthy flocks. • Before mixing vaccines, monitor water quality to ensure that it is not contaminated with heavy metals, disinfectants and/or organic matter. • Mix a stabilizer with water used for vaccination to improve vaccine stability. • Use a vaccine dye to help monitor vaccine distribution and the flock vaccine uptake. Vaccine Administration • Before vaccination, ensure that drinkers and drinker lines are clean and free from biofilm. • On the day that vaccination is scheduled after feeding the birds, raise drinkers (nipple or bell style) until they are out of the reach of birds and drain any residual water that may remain inside. • Fill drinkers with vaccine solution, lower them to bird height and allow birds to drink. • Walk through the flock to encourage vaccine uptake and make sure that vaccine water is flowing to all drinkers. After Vaccination • Immediately after vaccination, check birds from at least three different locations in the house to see if they have dye stain on their tongues and oral cavities. • Ensure that at least 90 percent of birds have a stained tongue, which indicates successful distribution and uptake of the vaccine.

Blue dye vaccine on tongue of vaccinated bird

• Three weeks after vaccination, randomly select birds and take blood samples. Send samples to a local laboratory for analysis to check for the presence of antibodies against that disease. • Check that antibody titer level is high enough and of a good coefficient of variation (CV) to protect the flock from any local area/farm disease challenge. If antibody titers are too low or CV poor, contact a qualified local veterinarian for further advice.

Aviagen and the Aviagen logo are registered trademarks of Aviagen in the US and other countries. All other trademarks or brands are registered by their respective owners. © 2018 Aviagen.

The opening of the SBA state of the art hatchery in 2017 .



Queensland Farmers’ Federation still waiting for bipartisan action on animal activists The Queensland Farmers’ Federation has once again called for bipartisan action from the State Parliament to increase and implement effective punishments for animal activists trespassing on farmers’ properties who show no regard for the law or respect for other people. This comes after the Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee recommended the LNP Opposition’s Private Members Bill, which proposed three new criminal trespass offences, should not be passed. QFF President Stuart Armitage encouraged the Queensland Parliament to work together to find a bipartisan

solution to protect farmers, their families and their businesses. “Over the past couple of years, the actions of animal activists towards legitimate businesses have become more disruptive and extreme. “These actions invade farmers’ privacy, threaten the welfare of their animals, pose unacceptable risks to their businesses and have implications for food security,” Mr Armitage said. “The current offence of unlawfully entering farming land does not meet the expectations of farmers and the community. “It does not appropriately punish repeat offenders nor prevent future

offences of trespass on farms and does not reflect the potential risk to farming businesses.” “With the government’s Agriculture and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 recently receiving committee approval and waiting for its day in Parliament, we ask both sides of politics to work together to realise more effective laws for Queenslanders.” “Parliament was slow to react to this issue – particularly for those farmers who have already been targeted by animal activists – so now that the issue is starting to be addressed in a meaningful way there can be no excuses for not getting it right.”

Novus International strengthens regional Executive Team with new appointments Novus International, a global leader in animal health and nutrition solutions continues to grow and establish a strong regional team to focus on supporting customers in the region. The company recently announced Dr Suk Hyeon Cho as the Technical Services Director and Dr Dexter Abrigo as the Marketing Director for its South East Asia Pacific operation. Dr Suk Hyeon Cho received his PhD in Animal Science and Microbiology from the University of Manitoba in Canada and has more than 15 years of experience in the animal nutrition industry. He joins Novus as the Regional Technical Services Director managing the technical service team in South East Asia Pacific. With a wealth of experience in the animal nutrition industry, Dr. Cho a ddresses the needs of the customers and educates the industry to overcome production and performance challenges. He also works closely with the Novus global research and development team to identify new solutions that are specific to the regional requirements. Dr Dexter Abrigo received his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from the University of Philippines and has more than 20 years of experience in the animal health nutrition industry.


LtoR: Dr Suk Hyeon Cho, Dr Von Richard Ebron and Dr Dexter Abrigo. He joined Novus as the Senior Strategic Marketing Manager for Poultry before moving to his current role as the Marketing Director. Dr Abrigo is responsible for developing strategic plans and programs, identifying and launching new solutions, increasing customer engagement and enhancing marketing communications especially through digital channels to meet regional needs and overcome industry challenges such as antibiotic free production.

Both Dr Cho and Dr Abrigo will be based at the Novus Regional Head Office in Bangkok along with Dr Von Richard Ebron, Novus World Area Director for South East Asia Pacific. Dr Von shares that “Novus is well established to support the growing animal production industry in this region (South East Asia Pacific) and to service our customers with customised sustainable solutions that will help address their challenges and reach their business goals.”


Looking for the 2020 Farm Biosecurity Producer of the Year Do you know an Australian biosecurity champion? If someone you know goes the extra mile to protect their property from diseases, pests and weeds, nominate them before Friday December 6 for the 2020 Farm Biosecurity Producer of the Year Award. Our primary producers are on the front lines of the national biosecurity system. Australia is facing unprecedented disease, pest and weed risks and the everyday actions carried out on-farm are vital to keeping Australia free of exotic threats, minimising the impacts of endemic conditions and maintaining our reputation for clean green agricultural exports. Animal Health Australia (AHA) and Plant Health Australia (PHA), through the Farm Biosecurity Program, are proud to partner once again with the Australian Government’s Department of Agriculture to recognise those farmers who demonstrate exceptional, proactive biosecurity practices, as part of the Australian Biosecurity Awards. The Farm Biosecurity Producer of the Year Award was first presented in early 2018 to recognise excellence in on-farm biosecurity practices and the contributions made by producers to the wider biosecurity system. AHA’s CEO, Kathleen Plowman, is excited to see the Producer of the Year Award return for the third time in 2020. “Last year we were pleased to announce livestock winners, Queensland cattle producers Melinee and Rob Leather. “Their fantastic on-farm measures really set the standard for how biosecurity can be implemented in an extensive grazing operation,” said Ms Plowman. “With biosecurity being such a hot-button issue in livestock, especially intensive livestock production, at the moment, we have no doubt we will see another round of quality candidates emerge in 2020.” PHA’s Executive Director and CEO, Greg Fraser, is eager to unearth and acknowledge biosecurity champions who understand the importance of being proactive. “Our 2019 cropping winners, Victoria’s Luciano and Heather Corallo, are an excellent example of what it means to be a leader in your industry,” said Mr Fraser. “The way they not only handle biosecurity on their property but the way they put themselves and their practices on display to educate and encourage others is truly commendable. “I would encourage anyone who has a friend, family member or neighbour who leads by example to nominate them for the Producer of the Year Award.” For information on the awards, including the nomination form, visit and for more information on the Farm Biosecurity Program’s six on-farm biosecurity essentials, visit



AFS overwhelms global animal proteins but Australian producers to benefit Australian beef and sheepmeat prices are set to remain strong in 2020, as African Swine Fever continues to grip the global animal protein sector and pull down overall sectoral growth, according to Rabobank’s just-released Global Animal Protein Outlook 2020. Bringing uncertainty to all markets, however, African Swine Fever (ASF) offers opportunities for some, the report says, with Australia standing to benefit from the limited global protein supplies. The bank’s flagship annual global outlook for the animal proteins sector, titled Seeking Opportunities in an Uncertain World, says while production growth is expected in most regions in 2020, “the impact of ASF in Asia overwhelms the outlook”, as China’s production losses exceed the growth in all other regions combined. Chinese pork production is expected to decline by a further 10 to 15% from 2019 levels and, while less than the decline in 2019, the report says, it will ensure 2020 production is well below the 2014-18 average prior to the major ASF outbreak. Pulling down overall growth, the report says, ASF also brings uncertainty to the outlook alongside trade disputes, sustainability developments and the ongoing rise of alternative proteins.   Outlook for Australia  For Australia, Rabobank Senior Animal Proteins Analyst Angus GidleyBaird says while global demand will keep local beef and sheepmeat prices strong, any further upside will be driven by an improvement in seasonal conditions as producers come back into the market to restock. “There is considerable upside potential for prices, given livestock inventories for both sheep and cattle are at their lowest levels in over 20 years,” he says. “And it is this low stock availability that will see the market remain highly sensitive to substantial rain events.” Mr Gidley-Baird says while seasonal conditions remain dry, prices are less likely to experience any large downside, as there is “simply not the volume of stock in the market to drive any big crash in prices”.  For beef, slaughter rates and production are forecast to be lower in


2020, following high female slaughter in 2019 which heavily reduced breeding cow numbers, he says. “Lower inventory numbers and strong global markets will support prices for heavy-finished cattle, in particular,” he says, “while lighter classes of cattle will remain more exposed to seasonal variability. “That said, the price spread between heavy and light cattle will narrow as soon as it rains, with lighter cattle set to achieve the biggest gains in price.” In the sheep market, Mr GidleyBaird says continuing dry conditions through many sheep-producing areas in 2019 have limited the ability for widespread restocking, with lamb production expected to remain steady in 2020. That said, an improvement in seasonal conditions could lift production, he says. “Strong export markets – principally the US – will support lamb prices,” he says, “but any upward price movement as a result of low numbers is likely to test margins unless we start to see increases in US lamb import prices. “While strong beef and sheepmeat prices have been a ‘godsend’ during the drought, the inability for many producers to fully capitalise on the higher prices has been frustrating. “In this environment of really strong global demand, we have seen, for example, US beef import prices hit record levels at over $8/kg for lean trimmings, but there is simply not the product to send over to take advantage of these high prices.” Global outlook - uncertainty While total animal protein production growth (across both land and aquatic species) will be positive for the key regions – the ASEAN-5 nations, Brazil, China, the European Union, North America and Oceania – in 2020, it is after a year of strong decline in 2019.   Poultry and aquaculture will lead production growth, it says, while beef will be stable and wild-catch seafood will decline again. But “all of these changes are minor compared with the production decline in pork”, the report says.  “The drop in pork production is driving a hole in the global protein

space that simply cannot be met,” Mr Gidley-Baird says, “and this is despite increases in production particularly out of North America and Brazil.” The report warns ASF is likely to spread to new countries in 2020, due to frequent shipments of feed and live animals – as well as the movement of people and equipment – across borders, but says “we do not expect new countries to experience the same level of impact as China and Vietnam”. As such, the herd loss caused by ASF in 2020 is expected to be lower than in 2019, as recovery extends well into the 2020s, it says. Mr Gidley-Baird says while ASF is set to bring uncertainty to all markets, there is also uncertainty stemming from trade disputes and issues, the ongoing rise of alternative proteins and sustainability developments. “Not only will the US-China trade war have a bearing on trade, there is also uncertainty resulting from Brexit – with the UK the EU’s largest importer of all proteins – and the ongoing delays to the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA),” he says. “While some of these trade uncertainties will have a bearing on currency rates and transaction costs, they may also result in trade bans or blockages.” On the alternative proteins front, Mr Gidley-Baird says, meat alternatives are not yet stealing growth from conventional meat but rather, “adding to the overall protein pie”. “We don’t see any great loss in conventional beef consumption despite the growing demand for alternative proteins,” he says. “Instead we see alternatives representing additional or incremental growth in consumption.” In Australia, the volume of alternative proteins remains very low, he says, while in the US, consumers are eating more conventional beef, chicken and pork as their consumption of all proteins is growing. The report says the issue of sustainability and sustainable development will also shape the growth of animal production and consumption through the 2020s. And provide opportunities for the sector to “win on sustainability” by harnessing the supply chain and moving ahead of market signals.


Egg-Tech prize winners announced at 2019 Poultry Tech Summit Sarah Goldberg, Director of Communications and Legislative Affairs at the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) announced six Phase I award winners of the Egg-Tech Prize at the Poultry Tech Summit, held from November 20-22, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. Currently, a chick’s sex can only be identified after hatching. As a result approximately 6-7 billion male layer chicks are culled each year, a costly welfare concern for the poultry industry. Producers spend more than $70 million in labour and energy to incubate and sex these eggs and the value of the wasted eggs in the United States alone is more than $440 million annually. FFAR and Open Philanthropy joined forces to offer up to $6 million in grants and prizes to the firm, group, or individual who successfully develops technology that can accurately and rapidly determine a chick’s sex as early as possible during the egg production phase. The six Phase I finalists of the Egg-Tech Prize, who received seed funding to help the research team move ideas from concept to design, are SensIT Ventures, KU Leuven, Microscale Devices, the USDA Agricultural Research Services (ARS), the University of Minnesota and ORBEM, The finalists concept designed used a variety of scientific techniques, including a microchip-based chemical sensor, specialised sensor technology, multidimensional spectral mapping, artificial intelligence, fibre optics, machine learning, 3D scanning and MRI technology. “We thought we knew what was possible, but we were blown away by the depth and creativity of the submissions for the Phase I Egg-Tech Prize,” Ms Goldberg said.

re a s t n e m “pig y” t l a i c e p s our

Phase II of the Egg-Tech Prize The next phase of the program will ask for submissions to demonstrate a working prototype that can accurately identify a chick’s sex as early as possible in the egg production process. Participation of Phase I is not necessary for a research team to move to the next phase. FFAR will open submissions for Phase II of the Egg-Tech Prize in the spring of 2021. Winners of the prize will be awarded up to $6 million in grants and prizes.

Premium Agri Products Pty. Ltd. Christine Clark: M.0455 666 989



OZ Smart Solar offers energy saving solutions for the poultry industry OZ Smart Solar which has been and implementation of alternative established, mostly on the East Coast energy solutions. of Australia for more than four years, We operate with a closely integrated has developed energy saving solutions network of carefully selected installation specifically to cater for poultry farms partners and engineering companies to and has completed several large to ensure that our system are technically medium installations on broiler farms. sound and are compliant with all Poultry Digest recently visited OZ electrical safety service requirements. Smart Solar at its Bella Vista NSW office â&#x20AC;&#x153;From the very early stages of into meet Trish Cripps, the Senior stallations, we keep close contact with Business Manager, to discuss the customers to ensure complete underpotential for OZ Smart Solar standing of the energy solutions and installations and finance plans to slash processes,â&#x20AC;? Trish explained. energy bills. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Rebate processes vary from state â&#x20AC;&#x153;We recently completed a 100kw to state but we explain the best solution installation on a broiler farm in the based on location as well as financial Southern Highlands region. About 80% imperatives. of our customers are from commercial â&#x20AC;&#x153;With many years experience in a applications, but we do include rapidly growing industry, we believe residential property in our plans,â&#x20AC;? Trish that our contribution to the current solar said. market has been of overall benefit to â&#x20AC;&#x153;In simple terms we believe that at both the industry and consumers alike,â&#x20AC;? OZ Smart Solar we can save up to 80% Trish said. of your electricity bills and our finance â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have played a significant role in packages can be structured to work consultation processes, training and the with your specific business cycles. development of the sector as a whole in â&#x20AC;&#x153;In the case of contract broiler farms Australia. that could work with batch payment â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our product warranties include 25 frequency,â&#x20AC;? Trish said. years on the solar panels and 10 years â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s aim is to help our on the inverters. customers take back control of their â&#x20AC;&#x153;The panels incorporate a self energy consumption with increased cleaning process in the design and we security as well as financial savings. can provide maintenance packages; â&#x20AC;&#x153;Oz Smart Solar is one of the leadthere is a supplied app that helps to ing companies in the market 3:47 for design Project1:PoltexAd2 21/03/14 PM Page 1 predict on line usage and a specific

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panel monitor system available,â&#x20AC;? Trish added. We talked about, not only the cost savings and security delivered by a good solar energy system, but what the future might hold for energy supply in Australia during the coming years. Sadly it is no secret that Australia overall has not managed its energy needs well as the nation looks to alternatives to fossil based electricity generation. In the Sydney Morning Herald of Friday Oct 11, 2019 Trish pointed to a news item that indicated research by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that expressed concern about Australiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dependence on coal and other green house gas-intensive energy sources. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The emergence of carbon taxes in the future decade could drive up energy costs by around 75%,â&#x20AC;? the report stated. Politics aside, the move to alternative energy sources is both inevitable as well as desirable. Oz Smart Solar is a member of the Clean Energy Council and Smart Energy Council that ensures that the company meets all necessary compliance and safety standards. The website for Oz Smart is and office contact is 1800 959 973 Email Company locations are Sydney, Central Coast NSW, Melbourne and Brisbane.


Rural Funds exits poultry business By MATT OGG, Business News Australia Rural Funds Group is set to opt out of its poultry assets and buy up more cattle properties after a recent deal to sell its broiler chicken farms for $72 million. The figure is just shy of the $74.6 million adjusted property value for RFF’s poultry assets released by Rural Funds Management (RFM) for 30 June. As RFF’s responsible entity RFM plans to sell the assets to ProTen, a specialist developer and operator of broiler chicken farms with a significant industry presence in Griffith, NSW where most of the assets are based. “RFF owns 17 broiler chicken farms, 11 of which have an average age of 30 years with grower agreements and leases expiring in FY24,” RFM said in an announcement this morning. “RFM has determined that continued investment in this sector is better suited to businesses with greater economies of scale.” The transaction still requires agreement from the lessee RFM Poultry to the early termination of the leases, as well as approval from RFP unitholders. “A notice of meeting is expected to be held in late November 2019,” RFM said. “If approved, by ordinary resolution, the transaction is expected to occur by 31 December 2019.” Proceeds will be used to pay down part of its debt, which according to RFF’s FY19 Annual Report stood at $291.4 million in total that had been drawn from a $335 million debt facility. The company will also use the funds for investments in “natural resource predominant assets which have potential for higher total returns”, the first of which will be three WA cattle properties for $22.6 million inclusive of estimated transaction costs. The properties in Petro, High Hill and Willara are between 200km and 280km north of Perth. “They will be leased to Stone Axe Pastoral Company Pty Ltd (SAP) and will allow SAP to expand and further diversify their Wagyu beef operations,” RFM said. “The WA properties have the potential to improve carrying capacity through grazing area development and additional irrigation. “The leases will be on largely the same terms as existing cattle property

leases, including a 10-year term with a rent review in year 5. Settlement is expected to occur April 2020. RFM is also contracted to acquire the property Cygnet near Bundaberg, Queensland for $1.6 million to develop into a macadamia orchard. While Australia has seen a boom in macadamia exports in recent years, for RFF in FY20 they are expected only to account for 2% of revenue compared to 45% for almonds and 30% for cattle. Rural Funds has been under

pressure since a short seller report was released by US group Bonitas Research and then followed by a report from Bucephalus Research in September. RFF shares lost more than 40% of their value in the immediate aftermath of the report, but quickly bounced back as founder David Bryant hit back at criticisms and bought shares. From a low of $1.36 per share RFF units are now trading at $1.79 - still well short of their 52-week high of $2.42 and up 0.56%.



Does it make sense to add fibre to poultry diets? We are well aware of the importance of fibre in ruminant and herbivore nutrition. The digestive tracts of birds are not comparable with cattle or horses – so, what could be the reason for feeding dietary fiber to poultry? The answer lies in the balanced microbiota of the hindgut. In order to maintain eubiosis in the large intestine, it is necessary to provide sufficient fermentable dietary fibre as part of a balanced diet. This fermentable fiber is used as an energy source by the beneficial hindgut bacteria. Inadequate supply leads to imbalance of the gut microflora with problems such as wet litter, dirty eggs, feather pecking and cannibalism. These problems can affect both the health and performance of birds. More than fibre – dietary fibre Until recently, dietary fibre was not of great interest in the field of poultry nutrition. Moreover, it was seen as having a negative effect due to possible energy dilution of the diet. It is true that most fibre sources require too much ‘space’ in high-energy poultry diets. Adding to the space constraint, there were issues with varying fibre content and quality, as well as the possible contamination with mycotoxins. Lignocellulose – the highly concentrated fibre Lignocellulose is a natural fibre concentrate made of fresh wood. However, not all lignocellulose products are the same.

Figure 1: The ellipses symbolise the similarity of the microbial populations. g1 (red ellipse): control group; g2 (green ellipse): LC1; g3 (blue ellipse): LC2. Whereas g1 and g2 are more or less congruent, g3 is remarkably different revealing that the gut flora was influenced by the test substance OptiCell. The 1st generation lignocellulose consists of 100% insoluble and non-fermentable fibre. The 2nd generation lignocellulose (OptiCell) is also insoluble, but it contains fermentable fibre. The next differentiation refers to particle size. Smaller particles provide higher physiological value. OptiCell goes through an extensive manufacturing process and is ground to a particle size of 50-120 micrometer. The smaller particle size provides larger surface for beneficial bacterial fermentation in the hindgut, according to BEC Feed Solutions. Lignocellulose has a major advantage over other fibre sources: it is highly concentrated. OptiCell reaches its full potential at low inclusion rates of 0.5-1.0% and therefore, can be integrated in high-energy diets without any space constraint. The fibre content is stabilised and it is free of mycotoxins and pathogenic bacteria. Scientific trials have shown that there is minimal, if any, effect on energy dilution and this is more than compensated by the physiological benefits to the bird. Additional value: Fermentability Non-fermentable fibre particles strengthen the stomach’s muscular wall whereas the special fermentable fibre of second generation lignocellulose selectively stimulates lactic acid bacteria- mainly in the hindgut. Lactic acid inhibits pathogenic bacteria and serves as energy source for firmicutes bacteria in the large intestine. Firmicutes metabolise lactic acid into butyric acid, which is then absorbed by the animal. Butyric acid has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. Butyric acid is also the energy source for gut mucosal


PRODUCT NEWS Table 1: Scientific feeding trial in broilers testing 1st generation lignocellulose (LC1) and 2nd generation lignocellulose (LC2) at an inclusion rate of 0.8%. Trial period (day 0-35)

fibre concentrate

Initial body weight, g

41.0 ± 3.3

41.5 ± 3.2

41.4 ± 3.2

Final body weight, g

2490 ± 201

2425 ± 265

2578 ± 201


Daily weight gain, g/d

70.0 ± 5.7

68.1 ± 7.6

72.5 ± 5.7


Feed conversion

1.42 ± 0.05

1.42 ± 0.05

1.36 ± 0.05

Carcass yield, %

70.4 ± 1.9a

71.4 ± 1.5a

72.1 ± 1.2b

ab p = 0.028

Figure 2: Scientific feeding trial in broilers testing 1st generation lignocellulose (LC1) and 2nd generation lignocellulose (LC2) at an inclusion rate of 0.8%. cells and therefore, it promotes health and growth of the villi. The combined effects of Opticell leads to improved nutrient absorption in the small intestine and optimal water absorption in the hindgut. This is seen as improved faecal quality, litter quality and less dirty eggs. Proved fibre effects Scientific investigations and feeding trials under field conditions has proved the positive effects of lignocellulose in poultry nutrition. Zeitz et al (2018) tested the influence of first generation lignocellulose (LC1) and second generation lignocellulose (LC2) on gut microflora in broilers at an inclusion rate of 0.8% in each trial group. Figure 1 shows the significant differences in the composition of the gut microflora in the control group and LC1 versus LC2 group. This clearly shows the influence of the fermentable part of this unique type of lignocellulose. In this scientific trial, LC2 supplementation resulted in a better weight gain and feed conversion compared to the control group and the LC1 trial

group. Carcass weight was significantly improved due to the supplementation of LC2 (Table 1 & Figure 2). In this trial, anti-inflammatory effects were seen in the small intestines of the trial group LC2. It is hypothesized that the reduced inflammation led to reduced immune response and therefore more energy made available for the growth of the birds. Adequate fibre – positive effects Dietary fibre is fast becoming an important field of study in poultry nutrition. As the availability and quality of raw materials becomes scarce during period of drought, it becomes a huge challenge to balance the requirements of an energy-rich diet with a good source of fibre. The availability of second generation lignocellulose such as Opticell, provides the option to support the gut microflora with proven effects on health, performance and well-being of the animals. To learn more about fibre supplements for your animals, contact BEC Feed Solutions on1300 884 593 or visit

Closes the gap between physiological needs & challenges of performance: • More eggs • Reduced mortality • Improved gut health • High quality fibre source during a period of drought Proudly distributed in Australia by BEC Feed Solutions: : 1300 884 593

39 BEC_OC Poultry_255x54mm_07112019.indd 1

12.11.2019 07:28:50

NEWS v CONTINUED FROM PAGE 6 Christine described the key components of an egg, namely, water 70%, 10% protein, 10% lipids, vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates and finally the shell, at 10%, two thirds of which is calcium,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The egg takes 20 hours to form, quickly in the first 10 hours and then more slowly, particularly in the final five hours. â&#x20AC;&#x153;So overnight is the most important period for shell formation and calcium supports shell formation, particularly towards the end of day. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Eggshell thickness depends on the time the egg spends in the shell forming section of the oviduct and the available calcium during shell formation,â&#x20AC;? Christine explained. â&#x20AC;&#x153;A constant quantity of eggshell material is produced each day regardless of egg size and shell thickness decreases with hen age as eggs get larger. â&#x20AC;&#x153;A constant quantity of eggshell material is produced each day, regardless of egg size. After explaining changes in egg composition in different parts of the egg, Christine showed chart material (source

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Nutritionist Judy Okeeffe, poses a question for the panel. RIRDC) showing the deterioration in egg shell quality as hens age (from 23 to 65 weeks). â&#x20AC;&#x153;Calcium can be sourced from both the henâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bones and feed (through the bloodstream) and it pays to feed extra calcium in the afternoon and evening,â&#x20AC;? she said. Christine moved to â&#x20AC;&#x153;concerns of egg quality in free range production where damaged and inferior egg shell could present problemsâ&#x20AC;?. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weak shells result in hairline cracks or leaky eggs and it is very difficult to improve once quality has been lost.â&#x20AC;? A trial with a focus on egg shell problems on free range layers during late lay (50 weeks onwards) with 25,000 birds revealed that at 65-70 weeks of age egg shell quality declined. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In a split shed a doser was used to apply product to feed during three feedings between midday and 5 p.m. over three days per two weeks,â&#x20AC;? Christine explained. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The layer trial conducted in NSW resulted in eggshell strength using Stimuvital Shell improver over 55 weeks demonstrated a high egg shell strength measured in Newtons. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In monetary terms the use of the shell improver based on $0.25 per egg over five days of egg production at 1,2, and 3% demonstrated returns of $312, $625 and $937 respectively. Over a 10 day period with just a 1% improvement an additional $625 could be achieved,â&#x20AC;&#x153; Christine pointed out. A breeder trial with a focus on egg shell problems on breeders during lay 40 weeks of age on, with a flock of 20,000 where typically egg shell quality declines at 40-50 weeks. Application of Stimuvital through drinking water occurred at three days per two weeks. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Critical to cost saving was the calculation of labour costs for grit addition estimated at $40 per hour and based on an hour per day for 10 hours, so $400. â&#x20AC;&#x153;With reference to cracks, the shell improver group average was 0.59% and the Calgrit administered groups average was 0.71-0.9% over the same period. Concluding comments from Christine were, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;cracks decreased during the use of shell improver and there was an increase in egg production. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Egg sorters at the trial sites also noticed an increase in â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;shinyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; shells which they attributed to better shell quality and in the breeder trial, removing the need to apply grit,â&#x20AC;? she said. The EW seminar delivered some interesting and vital information for a select group of professionals dealing with a constantly changing market for eggs. Poultry Digest prepared this report with the assistance of participants who helped in the understanding of focused scientific concepts in both layer and breeder production. After lunch it was time for play (golf) as the poultry industry members took to the Camden Country Club golf course.


Aviagen Australia participates in golf day Aviagen Australia cares about the people in the communities it serves, and regularly seeks out opportunities to support them. On October 16, the Aviagen team in Goulburn was able to try their hand at golf to join the fight against prostate cancer, which is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia. Aviagen Planning & Livestock Administrator Sharne Clarke, Financial Accountant Nicole Bell, Financial Controller Bill Trpkoski and Health and Safety Manager Trevor Whitmore all did their best to play for the cause, participating in the 55th annual New South Wales Poultry Industry Golf Day, held in Camden. All in all, the Charity Golf Day raised approximately $8,000 in funds for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, a broad-based community organisation with the sole purpose of defeating prostate cancer in Australia. “The Poultry Industry Golf Day gave us a great opportunity to network with our colleagues in the Australian poultry community, while having fun playing golf and raising money for a worthy cause,” commented Sharne. “The success of our local farmers and the health and well-being of the people in their communities are our top priority, and we enjoyed being able to contribute in such a rewarding way.”

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Top: The Aviagen team at the golf day. Above: The golf kicked off after the EW Nutrition seminar.

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New agent for Salmet in Australia Salmet has appointed FarmMark Pty Ltd as its new agent for Australia. With this cooperation Salmet will be able to continue its growth in the Asia Pacific area. Salmet was founded in 1962 and is a German manufacturer of housing systems for poultry. The product range includes the All-in-One, Combi Barn and HighRise 3 aviary system for laying hens. “In order to achieve a good result in your aviary system, a well-reared laying hen is an important factor,” said Joos Decock, Regional Business Manager for Australia and New Zealand for Salmet. Mr Decock also said it has a solution for it with the Pedigrow rearing aviary. In addition to being a manufacturer of poultry systems, the Salmet group is also one of the larger German laying poultry farmers with various layer and rearing farms. FarmMark is a market leader in the Pacific livestock industry. Operating in Australia and the Pacific Islands, supporting primary producers and integrators with the development and delivery of intensive livestock production solutions incorporating feed systems, climate control, production monitoring programs and sustainable energy efficient applications supported by a qualified team of professionals. Mr Decock, said “I am very pleased to be able to have a professional partner such as FarmMark to supply Salmet aviaries in the Pacific and I am very pleased to announce this cooperation.”


The Combi-barn aviary system from Salmet.

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LEADERS IN TODAY’S POULTRY GROWING INDUSTRY NEED EVERY BENEFIT AVAILABLE TO THEM TO GAIN AND RETAIN A COMPETITIVE EDGE. From design of the farm and building of the sheds, silos and feed systems to feeding and processing the stock, intensive farming practices have the need for quality engineered products that are purpose built to deliver superior serviceability and fit the requirements of modern farm’s that are planning for now and the future.

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Poultry Digest October/November 2019  

Poultry Digest October/November 2019