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Driving innovation, research and performance for turkey producers worldwide

TalkingTURKEYS Autumn 2016

Revised Live Commercial Goals – Valley of the Moon

B.U.T.6 & B.U.T.Premium

Aviagen® Turkeys has updated the live performance objectives for the B.U.T. 6 & B.U.T. Premium. These goals have been revised to reflect for the latest top quartile performance being achieved in customer’s European operations. This information is used to directly support customer operations, verify delivery of genetic progress and identify opportunities for further improvements. Copies of all the product performance objectives are available on request or can be downloaded from the website,

B.U.T. 6

The European benchmark for efficient meat production. Superior liveweight and liveability makes this breed ideally suited for further processed and value-added products. Developed over many generations, the B.U.T. 6 is the European standard for efficient meat production and competitive breeder performance.

Live Performance Objectives Summary

Male Female

Age (wks)

Liveweight (kg)

Average Daily Gain (g/day)

FCR Cumulative (kg/kg)

Daily Feed Intake (g/day)

20 15

21.33 10.32

152.3 98.3

2.48 2.36

665 425

B.U.T. Premium

The B.U.T. Premium is the product of choice for companies that require an easy-to-manage medium strain with the highest commercial performance at the lowest production costs. It provides the best overall economic returns, thanks to its combination of sector-leading liveweight, ease of management, best FCR, high meat yield and superior liveability.

Live Performance Objectives Summary

Male Female

Age (wks)

Liveweight (kg)

Average Daily Gain (g/day)

FCR Cumulative (kg/kg)

Daily Feed Intake (g/day)

18 12

17.38 7.14

137.9 85.0

2.32 2.08

581 342

Two new languages added to the website

Commercial Poults acquires Forrest Farms

Valley of the Moon Commercial Poults, Inc. (VOMCP) based in Osceola, Iowa, supplies highly selected, quality Nicholas commercial poults and eggs to the turkey industry. It is a subsidiary of Aviagen Group Holdings, Inc. As part of its ongoing investment in the North American Turkey industry, VOMCP is pleased to announce the acquisition of Forrest Farms turkey facilities in central Illinois. Matti Shalev established Forrest Farms twenty years ago to supply the industry with quality turkey hatching eggs and he has recently built new facilities to meet increasing demand. Matti will also join the VOMCP team, adding his years of experience to VOMCP’s mission to remain the leader in turkey breeding and distribution. Aviagen Turkeys Inc. (ATI) will make further substantial investments in improving biosecurity, infrastructure and production flow at this location. Clint Grimsley, VOMCP president noted, “Matti has been producing hatching eggs for Valley of the Moon for several years and the acquisition is a reflection of this excellent working relationship.” Dr. Jihad Douglas, ATI’ president also commented, “Aviagen initiated the strategy of working more closely with the end user of Aviagen genetics by forming VOMCP in 2011. This strategy of building partnerships based on trust and common values has delivered considerable rewards to our customers. Acquiring Forrest Farms further strengthens our distribution chain for providing the industry leading Nicholas genetic package and the best quality commercial poults. As the only turkey primary breeder to invest significantly in infrastructure in the United States, we are proud of our continuous support of the U.S. industry.”

Aviagen® Turkeys is excited to announce they have translated their website into two new languages, these include Spanish and Russian. This brings the total number of languages supported by Aviagen Turkeys to 8 and reflects the increasing popularity of the website in the EMEA.

New Commercial Manual September sees the launch of the new Commercial Manual. The purpose of this new pocket sized booklet is to help support customer operations with guidance to all areas of managing commercial flocks.

The information included will range from when the poults are placed on the farms to when they leave for processing. It has been taken into consideration that countries will have different climates, feed companies and staffing; therefore the manual gives a wide amount of information for different systems to ensure the best results can be achieved whilst using different equipment and suppliers. The Commercial Manual describes the suitability of certain products but also provides alternatives to be beneficial to all systems. This includes the general husbandry of the flocks such as, feeding, lighting and ventilation as well as describing biosecurity, growing and weighing systems. The Commercial Manual can be downloaded from the website, visit:

Insight into our customer – Biofino Biofino GmbH have been producing and marketing the highest quality organic poultry meat for 15 years. Due to there being very few organic poultry suppliers in the 1990’s, Biofino entered the market and since that time have specialised in organic production. The company was founded in 2000 and has become the market leader in Germany. The German organic turkey market currently places more than 300,000 turkeys per annum. Biofino is about 50% of this market. From the start, they selected farms and companies with the highest of standards so all processes are transparent and traceable. The processing plant is based in Emstek and all upstream partner operations such as the hatchery, farms and organic feed mills

are in Germany with a few in Austria. AviagenÂŽ Turkeys started working with the Biofino team, three and a half years ago leading to the development of the Hockenhull Auburn turkey breed. The unique feature of the Hockenhull Auburn is that the sex of the poults can be determined by the down colour at a day old. This turkey breed is slower growing than the normal commercial turkey and performs well within organic production in Germany.

Breeder differences at Aviagen Turkeys trials facility The latest commercial trial which was completed at the AviagenŽ Turkey’s trial facility was a breed evaluation study aimed at testing both Aviagen Turkeys medium and heavy strain products.

Results for B.U.T. 6 and Test Product 7 (TP7)

The recent trial involved an evaluation of commercial heavy strains, which included both the B.U.T. 6 and TP7. Liveweight performance was impressive with both the B.U.T. 6 and TP7 achieving 22.59kg and 23.79kg respectively.

B.U.T. 6

The B.U.T. 6 is the European standard for competitive breeder performance, delivering health, robustness and efficiency. This breed has superior liveweight and liveability, making this breed ideally suited for further processed and value-added products.


The TP7 is an easy-to-manage, high yielding, robust breed. With its competitive breeder performance it delivers advantages in areas such as litter dryness, gut health and meat production, making this an all round product choice.


Age (days)

Liveweight (kg)

FPD score


Breast meat %

B.U.T. 6












Table 1: Breed evaluation

Spring 2017offers a commercial medium bronze turkey

AviagenÂŽ Turkeys expands their product range by offering a commercial medium bronze turkey to cover the market of cut up and carcass. The bronze breed is a historical lineage and has been in our gene pool for over 60 years with exceptional robustness. The Le Sayec Company in France will produce this bronze turkey from February 2017 and will meet growing demands and growing interest from operators and consumers for this product. The approach is part of sustainable agriculture, therefore Aviagen Turkeys maintains the heritage coloured lines to be able to offer alternatives to the breeding of tomorrow. The strain has been registered in the book of reference for French label rouge. For more information please email:

Aviagen Turkeys Market Shares Increasing WORLDWIDE Investment in the pedigree programme and R & D genetics department is delivering results in all major markets. Worldwide our share stands at 61% with further increase expected and increases being made in North America and Europe. The B.U.T. brand remains the leader in Europe and the Nicholas brand in North and South America. The European market is split into 2 main segments, Heavy and Heavy Medium. In the Heavy markets of Germany, Poland and Italy the B.U.T. 6 is increasing its share, supported by the Heavy test product TP7. The B.U.T. 6 has combined excellent reproductive performance with improvements at commercial level with improved FCR, whilst the additional selection for robustness and lower water consumption are bringing results. The investment remains high and work already in the pipeline will lead to further improvements year on year. The B.U.T. Premium is now the product of choice at Medium and Heavy Medium level and demand is increasing in UK, France and Spain where the industry is based on high reproductive performance and lower slaughter age.

Hatchery Manager Appointed Brett Dodds has been appointed as the Hatchery Manager for our Grantham Hatchery. In this role Brett is responsible for the day to day management of both our pedigree and parent stock hatcheries that operate on the site. Brett has been working in the Grantham Hatchery since 2003 when it was being operated as a chicken hatchery by Aviagen Ltd and transferred over to turkeys when we took over the hatchery in 2009. Prior to his new role Brett progressed from being a shift worker to the Egg Room Co-Ordinator with overall responsibility of the two egg rooms. In his new role Brett will continue to report to Andrew Clear our Hatchery Operations Manager.

Aviagen Turkeys Fundraising Events So far in 2016, Aviagen Turkeys has been actively involved in raising money for two charities. The first charity chosen was ‘The Harry Johnson Trust’, a local charity situated a few miles from head office. The trust offers help and support to children and teenagers who receive care from the Oncology Team at The Princess Royal Hospital in Shropshire. Aviagen Turkeys raised a total of £1,296 for ‘The Harry Johnson Trust’ by walking up the highest mountain in Wales, Snowdonia. A group of colleagues and their families took on this fantastic trek, over 3,500 feet which involved walking around 10 miles, and was completed in around two and a half hours.

The second charity chosen was ‘Cancer Research UK’, a charity covering England and Wales. This charity funds scientists, doctors and nurses to help beat cancer as well as providing cancer information to the public. A group of ladies from Aviagen Turkeys raised a total of £1,527 for ‘Cancer Research UK’ by completing a Race for Life event, ‘5k Pretty Muddy’. This muddy obstacle course involved climbing, crawling and charging through masses of mud to raise money for charity. Thank you to everyone who sponsored both teams from Aviagen Turkeys. The kindness and support will go far to help these chosen charities.

Latest conferences

Aviagen® Turkeys (ATL) is committed in providing customers with an unrivalled level of support. So far in 2016 representatives from ATL have attended and hosted many conferences around the globe. Ramit & Yeffe Hod Growers Conference Aviagen® Turkeys (ATL) welcomed Ramit and Yeffe Hod from Israel to Chester in March for a two day conference which included a seminar and farm demonstration of the latest selection technologies used in the breeding programme at ATL’s dedicated trial facilities. Seven speakers from ATL led a series of sessions covering a variety of topics of interest to the Israeli market. Chateaubourg, France, 22nd March The Châteaubourg conference attracted many specialists in the turkey industry, proving highly successful. ATL presented its genetic guidelines and discussed the European turkey market. The programme included subjects on gut health, water quality and turkey behaviour. JPA (Jornadas Profesionales de Avicultura) The JPA was held in Sevilla, Spain. Dr. Valentin Kremer from ATL was invited to speak to the many poultry nutritionists and poultry professionals who attended the conference. Dr. Valentin Kremer presented ‘The life cycle of the primary pedigree turkey’ discussing the genetic improvement in pedigree turkeys and the different stages that allow ATL to gather the appropriate information for selection. Commercial Turkey Farmers Conference in Algeria ATL organised two training days with the assistance of seven local distributors for the commercial turkey farmers in Algeria, which was held in Zéralda and Constantine, on 1st & 2nd June. Both sessions offered a comprehensive programme for professionals in the turkey industry. Presentations were given on a variety of topics including, biosecurity, turkey poult start and management of commercial turkeys. The conference was available to all positions within the turkey industry including; farmers, technicians and veterinarians. The turkey industry in Algeria is growing with thousands of independent farmers who need practical support and training. Given the success of the conference, Aviagen Turkeys expect to repeat the event in other producing regions. Gerczak Conference Sponsored by Aviagen Turkeys Ltd Gerczak organised a farm open day & conference, letting guests visit one of their laying farms near Ilawa. Around 180 people attended from Poland, Lithuania, Ukraine and Germany, including representatives from processing plants, veterinarians and nutritionists. After the tour of the farm, guests were welcomed by Clay Burrows (Managing Director ATL) and Anatol Gerczak (Owner of the company Gerczak). Other speakers from ATL included Richard Hutchinson (Sales & Marketing Director), John Ralph (R & D Director) and Marcus Kenny (Company Nutritionist).

SHOWS & EVENTS Aviagen® Turkeys will have representatives at all the major events for the poultry industry in 2016 & 2017. We look forward to meeting you there!

VIV Asia, Bangkok, Thailand, 15 – 17 Mar 2017,

EuroTier, Hanover, Germany,15 – 18 Nov 2016,

CAHE, Qingdao, China, May 2017,

Dawajine, Casablanca, Marocco, 22 – 24 Nov 2016,

VIV Russia, Moscow, Russia, 24 – 25 May 2017,

IPPE, Atlanta, USA, 31 Jan – 2 Feb 2017,

VIV Turkey, Istanbul, Turkey, 6 – 8 July 2017,

Aviagen Turkeys Limited Chowley Five, Chowley Oak Business Park, Tattenhall, Cheshire CH3 9GA Tel: +44 (0)1829 772020 Fax: +44 (0)1829 772059 Email:

TSPC, Carden Park, UK, 8 – 10 Mar 2017,

SPACE, Rennes, France, Sept 2017,

Printed on recycled paper

Talking Turkeys Autumn 2016 (UK)  
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