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poultrydigest June/July 2016


Volume 31, Number 6

Better technology still delivers for the smart contract broiler grower

AMC/PIX 2016 a great success

Traditional broiler shed operation improved with advanced lighting system

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Volume 31, Number 6

June/July 2016


Peter Bedwell Alex Bedwell Rosemary Embery

ADVERTISING Peter Bedwell Mob: 0419 235 288 Email: primarymedia@bigpond.com Con Kyriazis, Steve Davies from Agricultural Automation and Christopher Hauck from ebm-papst.

Features Page 10: Better technology still delivers for the smart contract broiler grower by Peter Bedwell

Page 26: Traditional broiler shed operation improved with advanced lighting system by Peter Bedwell

News Page 4: AMC/PIX 2016 great success in Queensland Page 20: Australasian Turkey Federation Conference 2016 report Page 32: Egg Farming Master Class held in Sydney Page 44: PSA Symposium: Industry addresses challenges of antibiotic free production New Products Page 38: Current requirements for modern layers Page 39: Electrostatic spray unit released at PIX Page 42: NFS is the Australian agent for Sangrovit Page 43: Lallemand appointed agent for Dosto Oregano Page 46: Blueprint for poultry launched at PIX

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ENQUIRIES OFFICE ADDRESS: 250 Hawthorne Pde, Haberfield NSW, 2045 Ph: (02) 9797 2406 Mob: 0419 235 288 Production: 0409 944 472 Email: primarymedia@bigpond.com or ilvaril@iinet.net.au 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.



AMC/PIX 2016 a great success in Queensland The combined PIX/AMC 2016 event, held once again at the Gold Coast Convention Centre, Queensland was held from May 29 to 31. Karen Redfern and her team at ICE, the conference organisers, did a magnificent job. On the first day of the conference a good crowd was speedily put through the registration desk and into the exhibition hall. The idea of offering a $100 registration (which included lunch) certainly worked on the opening Sunday: not only were there plenty of visitors from the milling and poultry sectors but a fair number of visitors from the Pan Pacific Pork Expo that had taken place on May 25 and 26, who stayed on to visit the AMC/PIX event. A good first day, where the only main event is the trade exhibition is vital. It gives visitors the opportunity to identify the products and people they need to talk too early on and plan their time between the excellent conference papers and must see products. In the Plenary conference session on May 30, the first speaker was Rob Cumine, Responsible Sourcing and Agriculture Manager from Coles. Rob has become a regular speaker at food industry gatherings like AMC/ PIX and is always informative. His description of the efforts made to responsibly source food, complexity of customer response and opinion, illuminates the difficulty of satisfying the 21st Century consumer. Coles is a major customer of the Australian farm sector, but “not as big as some might think”, Rob pointed out. Nationally Coles accounts for 13% of chicken production (78 million chickens are grown to RSPCA standards) and 6% of egg production. “The Coles Nurture Fund is one way Coles can offer support and encouragement to small Australian food and grocery producers, farmers and manufacturers, to innovate and grow their businesses,” Rob said. The fund will allocate $50 million over five years in grants and interest free loans to fund the development of new market-leading products, technologies, systems and processes. “This is one way Coles can offer support to take the next step in creating more productive and innovative ways of working,” he said. Dr Cheryl Kalisch Gordon from Grain


Growers, the next speaker, outlined the structure of the massive Australian grain industries: poultry meat production accounts for around 5% of the total. Dr Kalisch Gordon highlighted the growing middle classes of China, India and South East Asia as drivers of grain exports. She mentioned the opportunities presented by recently negotiated trade deals but warned of the technical barriers raised by countries protecting their farmers despite having entered into trade deals with Australia. She did conclude that improved access for Australian grain growers and the potential for improved returns will drive a greater capacity to invest in a sustainable industry for the future. Tobin Gorey from the CBA spoke about ‘The Dining Boom’ where more people earning more, choose to spend some of that wealth on better food. “The dining boom invites innovation and we can see there is a big spectrum of possibilities such as replacement of cattle and high rise farms in urban areas.” Professor Neil Mann from RMIT University is well known as a livestock conference speaker and works tirelessly to support the cause of animal protein in human nutrition. In his paper ‘Chicken, the Egg and Human Nutrition’ Professor Mann started by busting the hunter gatherer, ‘nuts and berries’ myth about our early ancestor diets. His reasoned and well referenced approach to the history of human nutrition should be taught in schools. His conclusions are that “for at least four million years, animal foods have been a consistent and substantial part of the human diet. During that time various wild game birds including the ancestors of the modern chicken were a regular part of the diet, including their eggs,” Professor Mann said. “With the advent of permanent human settlement and agriculture, various strains of wild jungle fowl became domesticated and kept for both egg production and meat. “In the modern world, chicken meat and eggs have become two critical staples providing millions of tonnes per annum of high quality complete protein to at least half of the world’s population at an economically competitive level, with numerous nutritional advantages w and few health concerns,” he said.





1. Rob Cumine, Agriculture Manager, Coles Supermarkets. 2. Dr Cheryl Kalisch Gordon from Grain Growers. 3. Tobin Gorey from Commonwealth Bank of Australia. 4. Professor Neil Mann RMIT University.

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Dr Beth Krushinski, the recently appointed Technical Services Manager at Inghams Entrprises, next gave a chilling overview of the Outbreak of Avian Influenzain the US, 2015. “In March 2015, the first case of HPAI was detected in a commercial turkey flock in Pope County, Minnesota. “Additional cases were identified in rapid succession in the Midwestern region of the United States,” she said. “This ultimately infected 211 commercial farms and resulted in the death and destruction of 7.5 million turkeys and 42.1 million commercial laying birds in 14 States, including 30 million birds in Iowa alone, the nation’s largest egg producer. “184 of the 211 farms were located in the upper Midwestern states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin and many were not related to each other. “The estimated cost of the outbreak was at least US$ 3.3 billion and is considered to be the largest animal health event in US history,” she said. “As a result of this massive outbreak, USDA published revised biosecurity guidelines for commercial poultry outlining the important steps producers should take to protect themselves from exposure to avian influenza and other foreign animal diseases in their ‘Red Book’ along with secure broiler and egg supply plans to help ensure that the poultry industries can survive such outbreaks.” It was good to see PIX regular Mike Czarick from The University of Georgia back in true form with his paper, ‘World Wide Poultry Housing Trends’. Firstly he emphatically pointed out the many advantages of modern totally enclosed sheds over the curtain sided option that seems to have become more popular again. “During cooler weather natural ventilation provides little control over air exchange rates and fresh air distribution,” he said. “Cool air would fall to the floor then move across the floor resulting in chilled and stressed birds, wet litter and high heating costs.” Mike showed thermal imaging slides to demonstrate this. “Air quality is difficult to control and producers tended to end up with either a cool shed with good air quality or a warm shed with poor air quality. “During hot weather environmental control in curtain sided housing was not much better and can result in high mortality levels in extreme conditions. “Modern housing design, based



on decades of research, offers very high levels of environmental control and apart from bird comfort they cost approximately 30 to 50% less to heat than curtain sided houses,” he stated. Mike commented on the slide back to the ‘good old days’ driven by ill informed consumer perceptions and marketing schemes in developed countries whereas in poultry growth regions like South/Central America and Eastern Europe the move was very firmly focused on modern tunnel ventilated fully enclosed housing. With a trend towards increasing environmental control and better levels of efficiency “colony broiler houses do address a number of significant issues facing the poultry industry,” he said. Colony houses solve a number of issues including ammonia levels, wet litter and pododermititis and since manure is moved out of the house, there is less moisture to remove through ventilation, and drier housing results in lower heating costs. Mike listed many other efficiency and welfare advantages and concluded that though requiring high initial capital investment, adoption of colony systems could be more sustainable in the long term, particularly as demand for protein increased along with global populations. “In the future will we be building our housing based on what is actually best for our birds not on human perceptions of what is best for the birds,” he said. Mike also gave a paper, ‘Lighting programs and their effect on brolier heat stress’ in the Chicken Meat session on May 31. Key points to consider he suggested were, “To be careful about using long dark periods with market age birds during hot weather”, and “dark hours should start around midnight, not at sunset thus giving birds the chance to cool off after the sun goes down, before you sit them down at night,” he said. The final speaker in the May 30 plenary session was Gareth Forde from All Energy Pty Ltd who spoke about energy production from poultry litter. “The motivation for research derived from the Chicken Meat Program five year plan (RD&E 2014-2019). The objectives being to increase the productivity and efficiency of chicken meat production, and consider the options for spent litter management, treatment and/or disposal in areas where disposal options are limited, key considerations being, technical and financial viability,” Mr Forde said. Some examination for innovative CONTINUED ON PAGE 34 w



4 1. Dr Beth Krushinski, Inghams Enterprises. 2. Katrina Hobbs, Director Inglewood Farms. 3. John Hazeldene, Hazeldene Chicken Farms. 4. Dr Santiago Ramirez, FCR Consulting Group.

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Well designed concrete walled sheds with mini vents for minimum ventilation system.

Better technology still delivers for the smart contract broiler grower



on Kyriazis is a contract broiler grower for Baiada whose farm is located near Little River in Victoria. Poultry Digest first visited the now eight-shed operation in 2005 when the sheds had recently been completed. Con is an avid student of technology – he just gets it. So when he built the Little River property on the 120-hectare site, the sheds could have justifiably been described as state of the art. So nearly twelve years later what has changed? The seismic shifts created by an aggressive retail climate have driven the industry in directions that often seem to disregard the technological advances made in poultry shed design, nutrition


and genetics that combine to deliver amazingly affordable safe and nutritious protein for Australian consumers. Con’s farm has been designed to take maximum advantage of the production advantages delivered by top quality climate controlled tunnel sheds. The shed design, with plenty of input by Con, was executed by local builder Eddie Dimech and the concrete walls are thermally efficient in both winter and summer over a 5 to 40 degree C temperature range. The sheds were built with extensive cool pad areas and plentiful main fan power to deal with the extreme days in summer and the use of minimum ventilation for more moderate conditions. While pressures on returns to industry grew in the wake of retailer competition energy prices in Australia, once amongst the lowest in the developed world, started their alarming climb. As the whole existence of the Australian power grid came under pressure for climate change/GHG emission reduction renewable energy supply and then State Governments’ panic to sell off these assets while they still had value, Con realised that he had to future proof his investment. While his existing combination of good shed design, modern climate

controllers (Rotem) and minimum ventilation backed up by a big wall of powerful main fans was achieving good results in all conditions, the realisation that energy and water costs would continue to rise at a time when returns to growers would stay flat meant that he had to have a plan. The idea of collecting water from roof surfaces or in dams was dismissed as requiring too much investment in infrastructure and sanitation. The bore and desalination plant reduce the reliance and cost of mains water. So he decided to tackle his energy use strategy. Apart from the energy the fans used, after many years in service they were becoming unreliable. “Belts, bearings and the motors themselves, were all sources of breakdown and at one stage we were experiencing fan problems on a daily basis,” Con said. “We were aware of the developments in ‘intelligent’ fans and the ability to combine these with more advanced control systems. “Back in 2011 we started talking to ebm-papst about its more efficient and reliable fans and their potential use in broilers sheds,” Con said. “What I liked, straight away about ebm-papst was the company’s


The AgriCool shed ventilation system has been specifically developed for the Australian poultry market. It can achieve power savings of over 50% and hence significantly reduce total running costs of broiler sheds. Retrofit trials have shown that the total number of fans used in a broiler shed can be reduced, while the air velocity for cooling can be increased. AgriCool fans provide effective growing conditions for the birds through a stable temperature profile and even airflow through the shed. www.agricool.com.au

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willingness to refine its product to suit local conditions. On the day Poultry Digest visited Con’s farm again, we were travelling with Christopher Hauck, ebm-pabst’s Sales Manager. Christopher explained the trial work already undertaken and successfully utilised on various broiler farms in Australia by his company. “We are, primarily ventilation and fan specialists and use our advanced fan design to achieve more efficient ventilation while saving on operating costs. “Important was integrating our ‘intelligent’ fan system into the existing infrastructure and control systems of tunnel ventilated broiler sheds thus enabling us to use our AgriCool system with any existing shed controller on the market,” Christof said. In our April/May 2014 edition of Poultry Digest, Alex Bedwell reported on the successful trials of an ebm-pabst system installed on Victorian grower, Joe Buttigeig’s broiler farm. (Go to issuu.com/primarymedia/ docs/pdaprilmay14lores for the digital version of that story.) “Con is an ideal grower for our technology because he understands and is fully aware of the advantages of advanced and integrated automated shed control systems,” Christopher explained. We start in the control room on Con’s farm where all the centralised control systems can be monitored and controlled through one desktop computer system. As with the Joe Buttigieg farm reviewed in 2014, Luke Colla’s HMI Electric supplied the control system through Agricultural Automation. Steve Davies from Agricultural Automation was on hand for our visit. His company supplied the fans and most of the shed equipment on Con’s farm. “We have been working with ebmpabst and Luke Colla for some time and can provide turnkey installations for both broiler and layer farms,” Steve said. An alarm system that monitors all of the critical farm systems makes its very noisy presence felt when a feeder auger problem pops up. A comprehensive CCTV security system is a critical aspect of the farm’s operation. The AgriCool climate control system including fan operation, has its own monitors in the shed showing all critical functions including volumes per cubic meters expelled, fan speed and power consumption. The new fans are particularly suited to integrating their operation with the








1. Large evaporative cooling pad area and neat use of brick rubble around sheds. 2. Solar panels are part of the energy cost saving strategy. 3. Centralised computer control system of all farm functions. Also comprehensive CCTV security system. 4. ebm-papst low energy ‘smart’ main fans work with roof mounted ebm-papst stirrer fans.







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existing minimum ventilation system. Apart from the eight main fans there are small controllable ebm-papst stirrer fans mounted in the shed roof space. “Seven so-called de-stratification fans are used on Con’s farm (in a half brooding shed) fitted in the roof apex,” said Chris. “They move hot air from the roof down to bird level in the first 2/3 weeks of the brooding phase, keeping the litter warm and promoting a good bird spread in the shed. “These fans help in the reduction of heating gas consumption and also help in the reduction of CO2 levels. All this is done by using only 0.13 amps per fan. Speaking of power consumption, before embarking on the fan replacement strategy, Con installed a 400-panel 100Kw solar power system. Though this was completed before the government started messing around with feed-in tariffs and other incentives, Con feels well justified in making the solar investment. The first major saving made by installing the ebm-papst fans, was that in replacing 14 of the original 50 inch conventional fans only eight of the new direct drive intelligent fans were needed for each shed to provide sufficient air movement. The total number of fans on this farm went from 112 to only 64 of the new ebm-papst tunnel fans. Apart from reliability and energy use one of Con’s major criticisms of his old fans was the noise they generated. Moving to one of the sheds occupied by a new batch of young chicks we experienced the whole climate control system working to provide the ideal shed conditions for the birds. In winter conditions the Agricultural Automation Cikki gas heaters were providing the heat source while the controllable stirrer fans were quietly pushing the warm air down on to the birds. Con is a great adaptor and often has an unusual approach to achieve better management outcomes. Instead of using a ‘fence’ to keep young birds in one half of the shed he uses lengths of plastic water pipe to keep the birds concentrated in an area that suits growth patterns. When further ventilation is required the main fans work with the minimum ventilation vents and stirrer fans. Single fans slowly open up – no noise or sudden increase in air speed as the ‘soft start’ control system progressively modifies the shed climate. Con is enthusiastic about his new fans, the reliability and efficiency they deliver and the level of service delivered by both ebm-pabst and their distributor Agricultural Automation. The new



2 3

1. Agricultural Automation supplied shed winch system. 2. It only takes eight ebm-papst main fans to replace 14 fans previously installed. 3. Con Kyriazis, Steve Davies from Agricultural Automation and Christopher Hauck from ebmpapst in the shed where the stirrer fans force warm air into the litter. AgriCool system basically looks after itself all the time providing the highest level of redundancy. “Any problems to the fans or the system that control them have been swiftly and effectively addressed,” he said. “In the past it was not always as easy to sort out problems with our equipment but our fan replacement and energy saving strategies have gone well considering the ambitious nature of the changes we have achieved,” Con said. “Availability of spare parts has never been an issue since we started our change to the new fan and climate control system, we simply don’t have to touch the fans anymore,” Con added. Christopher sums up the design advantages of the ebm-papst fans. “Apart from being fully controllable over the complete speed range the direct drive and permanent magnet brushless motors are far more reliable than the older designs of fans we have replaced. “The fan blades made of die cast aluminium are not only very effective,

particular at high static pressure, but have a double powder based coating to protect against corrosion.” “In-built power factor correction in each fan is increasing the overall power quality and efficiency on the farm,” Christopher said. Back in the control shed Con points to the large circuit cabinet that when we first visited back in 2005 was crammed full of contactors, or relays. “With the adoption of the ‘smart’ fans we don’t need all that, which saves a heap in wiring and installment costs,” he explained. All praise has to go to grower Con Kyriazis for taking the step to future proof his farm by devoting considerable financial resources to the adoption of new levels of technology. Though advanced technology has the potential to not only save money and create a more efficient growing environment, up front cost is not inconsiderable. Con said that Gus Pettit, Relationship Manager at Suncorp Bnak understood his aims and gave the necessary support.


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“They helped turn my ideas for a more energy efficient farm into reality,” he said. Similarly the efforts of ebmpapst, Luke Colla at HMI Electric and Agricultural Automation for turning theory into practice. All parties have invested financially and applied considerable effort to establish a new level of technology in broiler production. What has changed since Poultry Digest first visited what was a ‘state of the art’ tunnel ventilated broiler farm? Two things above all else – a rapidly competitive retail environment that has driven down profitability in the overall

broiler industry and at the same time a huge increase in energy costs, which must be largely absorbed by growers. Con, with the help of Christopher Hauck at ebm-papst, Steve Davies at Agricultural Automation and Luke Colla at HMI Electric have worked cooperatively to achieve a major increase in production efficiency. The rise of chicken meat consumption in Australia has been spectacular in the last 50 years to the point where today Australian grown chicken meat is our major single sources of protein. A significant factor in this achievement has been the use of the

best available technologies to produce a safe, nutritious and versatile food source. Only by staying super efficient will the industry continue to survive and prosper. A sudden rise in electricity costs recently became a serious threat in an industry that relied on significant amounts of energy use. As with negative pressure tunnel ventilated shed design that transformed broiler production in the last 25 years, the combination of renewable energy and high efficiency ventilation strategies should keep broiler production in the leading position it enjoys today.

ebm-papst: How the ‘smart’ fans work Christopher Hauck from ebm-papst explained the technical details and specific advantages of the fans. The 200m stirrer fans “Seven de-stratification fans are used on Con’s farm (in a half brooding shed) fitted in the roof apex,” said Chris. “They move hot air from the roof down to bird level in the first 2 to 3 weeks of the brooding phase, keeping the litter warm and promoting a good bird spread in the shed. The stirrer fans help in the reduction of heating gas consumption and also help in the reduction of CO2 levels. “In operation, the single phase fans draw only 0.13 amps. They are fully programmable to adjust to individual fan height thus ensuring no chilling draughts for young birds,” Chris said. The 50inch EC tunnel fans “The fans feature direct drive, permanent magnet brushless EC motors with inbuilt speed controln. “The soft start motors eliminate ‘inrush current’ and no loud banging as fans turn on and off which can scare the birds. “Power requirements are 3 phase with voltage range 390-480 Vac, 50/60 Hz: there is an inbuilt power factor correction. “The fan blades, die-cast aluminium, are coated in a double layer of anti corrosion KTL paint: so the blades do not deform against high pressure and in fact are specifically designed to deliver high pressures and thus high efficiency. “The fan design means that they are maintenance free – no belts, pullies and bearings to wear out. There is in-built overload, over-temperature, line under voltage/phase failure protection. “These critical design features reduce the labour costs that result from constant maintenance typical of older


Above: Christopher Hauck from ebm-papst explains the system. Right: Easy to access status readout fan design. “Of great importance for farms close to residential areas are the low noise levels due to precise fan speed control.” The AgriCool ventilation system “The system delivers speed monitoring all the time. When comparing required air flow to actual air flow, the control system constantly analyses each fan to ensure that the required air flow is met at all times as programmed into the main controller. “There is a ventilation alarm feature: if the required air flow is not being achieved the alarm is triggered (this feature is individually programable). “The redundancy safety package means that the control system is always analysing all fans to ensure the correct air requirement is being achieved. “So if one fan is running at 300rpm and is turned off or fails, one of the other fans automatically ramps up to 300 rpm. “The fail safe function operates in

the case of controller or cable failure and the fans can be programed to run at a set speed thus ensuring ventilation at all times. The fans can also be individually adjusted for bird age. “The fault identification feature delivers communication of all fan faults to the AgriCool interface installed in the farm control room, or directly to a designated mobile phone. “The system delivers additional feedback including hours of operation, power usage, airflow logging and any faults/errors that have occurred. “There is a separate fan shutter control for increased redundancy and the shutters can be controlled individually,” Chris explained. Farm Data “On the eight shed farm the old sheds were fitted with 14 belt drive fans (12 50 inch and 2 36 inch). “The new installation that replaces them is eight ebm-papst 50 inch tunnel fans, thus reducing the total number of fans from 112 to now only 64 fans. “The ebm-papst EC tunnel fans also eliminate the need for minimum ventilation due to their full speed controllability that eliminates the need for smaller sized fans. “The ebm-papst fans do not require contactors (relays) which eliminates a potential fire hazard. “The big bonus is a 70% power saving over he previous fan set up.


Australasian Turkey Federation Conference 2016 The 2016 Australasian Turkey Conference was held recently in Albury, NSW between July 8 to 10 and was well attended by interested turkey breeders. The first speaker was John McLeish from ADM who discussed the Australian market review and updated statistics. John presented the effect of the market on the commodities and how production practices are effecting supply and demand in Australia and around the world. Also the current weather patterns and how they are affecting production and future prices. Then Vaughan Chenoweth from Ridle gave an overview of the Pinery Wildfire in South Australia in November 2015. He talked about how the local producers were effected and the consequences for the Wasley Mill. “What did we learn?” asked John. “The loss of production at the Wasleys mill showed that the industry needs an Emergency Management Plan. Things like emergency permits and emergency feed sources (intra state) need to be part of a management plan for the future. “The emergency management group requires a contact plan for players in the industry to follow. “There were good outcomes (what we learned) from the wildfire. Blaze Aid began as a volunteer group rebuilding and repairing fences that were destroyed as part of the fire. People arrived into the area to volunteer and assist with rebuilding after the fire and there was around one thousand kilometres of fencing repaired and rebuilt. Blaze Aid now is an organisation that travels to fire damaged areas to assist.” The update from Poultry Meat in South Australia revealed a strategic direction outline was created for the 2005-2015 period has been updated to 2016-2020. On the question of how much poultry we can eat, the answer is that current predictions suggest that consumers eat 50 kg per person per year and it is growing. That’s becasue of the cost of poultry, it is efficient to produce poultry meat and it is the least cost meat protein available. Ray Lee from NSW Farmers discussed ‘Legislation effecting the poultry industry’.


“There are problems with curfew conditions with EPA decibel limits at night time. There have been complaints from councils about moving birds at night. The levels must be mitigated to acceptable levels. “Unfortunately the shire councils are using an unreasonable limit as a guideline, which is not correct information to base regulations on. “Night time pickups for industry and noise complaints are a concern. Industry best practice for turkey farming, a paper outlining where they may go with the decibel levels is required. “NSW Farmers is proposing to change the consent conditions that have been put in since 1999. The problem is that rural farmland is being turned into new housing developments. People moving into the area don’t understand that there is a production facility currently in operation in that area. There is a benefit to all if the production facility is supported in the area because the producers are valuable to the shire for employment and funds. Tasmania is the only state to instigate a ‘Right to farm policy’. “In 2015 a request was put to the NSW Government to propose a draft for the right to farm policy and Right w


2 3


1. Col Quast from Quast Turkey Farm. 2. John Sharp from Aviagen. 3. Vaughan Chenowith, Ridley. 4. Vicki Quast with John McLeish from ADM.

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to farm Legislation policy is only now being drafted and proposed. “One of the goals is to grant immunity for the aspects of farming especially to new entrants into the area. The farm policy needs to have ‘teeth’ to handle complaints creating issues for the council. “They need to understand planning policies and local planning policy and what is defined as a rural zone. If someone moves into an area they must be informed that they live in a rural zone or are entering a rural zone.” “All disease begins in the gut said Hippocrates. And how correct he was!” said Christine Clark from AusPac Ingredients. “ Research over the past two decades has revealed that gut health is critical to overall health, and that an unhealthy gut contributes to a wide range of diseases. Christine presented an overview on pro and pre-biotics and how they are used in production practices and how they could benefit your birds. The definition of a probiotoc is ‘A live microbial feed supplement which beneficially affects the host animal by improving its intestinal microbial balance’. Prebiotics are nondigestible food substances that selectively stimulate the growth of favourable species of bacteria in the gut, thereby benefitting the host.

Specifically focusing on Aviator, a refined functional carbohydrate, Christine said that Aviator SCP consists of a preparation of yeast components, hydrolysed yeast, yeast extract and yeast culture. “This unique blend provides a rich supply of fermentation metabolites derived from the fermentation of a specific media by Saccharomyces cerevisiae and is a source of yeast material which is an excellent nutrient source for poultry. John Sharp from Aviagen gave an update on Avian Influenza. “In 2015 the H5 origin virus originated in Asia and spread rapidly along migratory pathways in the USA. There were three variations of virus along where the migrations paths were. In the USA, 15 states were involved with the outbreaks with 223 detections reported, 48,091,293 birds affected and about 3% of the turkey industry affected. “The Breeder and commercial turkeys were affected which was detrimental because they had to start again by breeding new genetic stock. “The biggest problem was lack of trained personnel and equipment and the tremendous volumes of infected birds that had to be disposed of. The current status this year is that there has been one high path infection. There were only 43,000 Turkeys involved and it was commercial turkeys

only, no chickens. “The subtype was H7N8 which is a new subtype unrelated to the previous types. The fear was that the wild birds migrating south in the Fall of 2015 would mean a repeat of what happened in the Spring. The fear was unrealised and as of April 22, 2016 the OIE has declared the US free of HPAI. “What did we learn? Through conducting an Epidemiology Questionnaire survey, each infected farm completed an extensive report. “The report the was damming in that equipment, people, and vehicles were shared between farms. “Wild birds were responsible for the initial spread of the virus but as the Virus spreads in the air, and as there were high winds during a farm clean out, another infection happened within five days. “There were a range of lessons learned but mainly that biosecurity matters and it is everyone’s responsibility. “Every company needs an AI plan and a mass depopulation plan. “What are they doing now in the USA? They have implemented a multiple level approach: industry level, individual company efforts, and government level which means USDA preparedness. “The industry made its own plan and preparedness programs as they cannot solely rely on the government.

Australasian vets to launch event to address animal health and climate change How does climate change impact the health and welfare of animals in Australia? This topic will be discussed for the first time as veterinarians gather in Adelaide for the annual conference of the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA), which will feature a workshop looking at the impacts of climate change on agriculture, human and animal health. From koalas and possums to cows, sheep, poultry, pigs and our cats and dogs at home, the workshop will look at the dangers climate change poses to all animals. The workshop embraces the One Health theme, a concept which brings together animal, human and environmental health experts to address global issues such as climate change.


It is being organised by Australian Veterinarians in Public Health (AVPH), a special interest group led by Dr Guy Weerasinghe. “We are very excited about the opportunity to host this game-changing workshop. “Veterinarians need to play an active role in the discussion surrounding climate change, and can help those managing livestock and companion animals,” said Dr Weerasinghe. Although mainly targeted at veterinarians, the conference and workshop are relevant to anyone involved in agriculture, environmental science and other medical professionals and all those people are welcome. Workshop participants will gain access to the latest research on climate change: from its impacts on animal

health and welfare to adaptations to maintain food security. Key details of the conference are: What: Australian Veterinarians in Public Health – ‘One health and the impacts of climate change’ workshop, featured in the Australian Veterinary Association annual conference. When: Friday 27th May, 9:00am4.30pm Where: Adelaide Convention Centre, City Room 1. Key speakers: Prof Mark Howden, Dr Peter Hayman, Associate Prof Craig Williams, Prof Colin Butler, Dr Melissa Nursey-Bray. Registration: http://conference.ava. com.au/ Media: Sarah Thompson. Contact on 0420 892 450 or sarah@ climatemediacentre.org.au

Five steps to move your animals’ nutrition at the pace of genetics. Issue Assessment





Both genetics and management practices have been rapidly advancing in agriculture over the past 10 years. But has practical nutrition kept pace? Has nutrition been focused on only meeting the nutritional requirements of the animal? The Blueprint Nutrition program is that next step in nutritional evolution.


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LtoR: Greg Wilson, Andrew Winslade from Viribright Lighting and Roger Wilson.

Traditional broiler shed operation improved with advanced lighting system



ndrew Winslade is Director of Sales of Viribright Lighting Pty Ltd, an LED lighting manufacturer that sells its products in many key global markets and has more recently developed LED lighting and control systems to suit the Australian and NZ poultry industry. Poultry shed lighting has for a long time been a critical aspect of poultry production in both the layer and broiler sectors.


Lighting effects both production and welfare issues. Now RSPCA broiler and layer protocols have specific shed lighting requirements which can be better managed through automated lighting control systems. The sudden increase in energy costs in Australia has certainly caused growers who bear the brunt of rising power bills, to look for alternatives. Andrew invited Poultry Digest to the company’s office in Gordon to discuss the advantages of LED poultry shed lighting and effective control systems. The New South Wales Farmers Federation (NFF) has published some general information on its website which addresses lighting and energy issues. “Upgrading farm lighting equipment can achieve energy savings for relatively low investment and should be considered by most farm businesses,” it says. “Reductions in lighting energy use of 82% can be made. Which specific solution best suits your needs

will depend on a number of factors. Generally, retrofitting requires less upfront capital and is simpler, but installing a new system is more cost-effective in buildings that contain older equipment. “Full replacement of your lighting can also be economical where improvements in technology have led to price reductions. “Effective lighting does more than just illuminate an area. It can reduce running costs and improve the working environment, safety and aesthetics,” the introduction states. “Energy use associated with lighting systems can be reduced by up to 82% if energy-efficient lighting practices are adopted (NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, 2013). “LEDs use semiconductors (diodes) to produce light. They are up to five times more efficient than incandescent lighting and are longer lasting. “LEDs emit directional lighting rather than the 360-degree illumination provided by other bulbs. Currently, they have limited application in livestock and



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Viribright LED Lighting & the iCH3 dimming solution will simplify the operation for any poultry lighting requirements. Featuring an LED lighting solution providing brilliant illumination and a simple to operate user adjustable programmable control. Mimic Sunrise & Sunset. The controller functions as a standalone system or it can interface* with old existing controllers.


The iCH3 has multiple programming functions to simulate sunrise and sunset, with varying time lines in full auto mode or take over for manual control. All controlled via a compact yet easy to operate touch screen. • 3 output channels with multiple user congurable programs including: • Smooth dimming from 0 to 100%. • Work Light Function • Pick Light Function • Lock out function • Bypass mode

Two leading global manufacturers - Viribright Lighting and LSC Lighting Systems have teamed up to develop a lighting system in conjunction with local growers and farmers that will ease the worry of controlling the lights to meet various regulations and save your business energy which will save you money.

Why iCH3 Replacing your existing tungsten xtures for new LED xtures can create many issues when trying to dim LEDs with conventional dimmers.The complex load that is the LED will cause most dimmers to misre and cause erratic operation of the LEDs. iCH3 addresses these issues by utilising special patent pending technology, allowing the LED xtures to dim just like conventional tungsten xtures.

Dimmable Lighting: Viribright Lighting manufactures a comprehensive range of dimmable V LED xtures to suit the requirements for your agricultural business. • LED Tubes 1500mm, 1200mm, 600mm (IP66 w/. cable connector kit) • LED Par 38 Flood Lights (IP55) • LED ‘A’ Series Globes (5W to 9.5W) • LED Streetlights (IP65)

5 GOOD REASONS to use the Viribright poultry lighting solution

1. Viribright LEDs will use less energy than Florescent and Halogen – SAVE money on running costs. 2. The lighting is easy to install and the LEDs are low maintenance with a long lamp life. 3. Viribright LEDS can be dimmed 0 – 100% (allows for Animal Welfare requirements) 4. Easy to use iCH3 control system – Full user programmable to suit your needs. 5. Great light output and dimming to meet regulations and RSPCA standards. *Requires further control card to suit existing shed controller. Please contact your representative to discuss this option

“The system from Viribright has made a real difference to our shed.The lighting is bright, clean and uses a lot less power.The controller is so easy to operate and has great functions as well. I can see a better result in our bird growth as well. One less thing I have to worry about” Greg Wilson.



poultry housing due to their susceptibility to moisture, heat and dust. New LED products are being developed, however, and some have been tested successfully in broiler housing,” the report concludes. This advice was probably published well before companies like ViriBright had released its new products that addressed the issues of moisture heat and dust. Viribright T8 Tubes are sold in 0.6m, 1.2m and 1.5m lengths in 10w/20w/25w delivering lumen levels of 900lm, 1800lm, and 2300lm. “Made of a tough polycarbonate, they are specifically designed to withstand the harsh climate in poultry sheds and frequent wash down procedures and they have an IP66rating with our cable connector kit,” Andrew pointed out. “Poultry shed lighting has developed some complexity in recent times. The requirement to reduce energy use and have a robust but controllable lighting system involves the adoption of advanced technology that delivers a simple solution. Viribright Lighting has teamed up with another leading global electronics manufacturer, LSC Lighting Systems to develop a lighting system in conjunction with local growers that will ease the worry of controlling the lights to meet various regulations and save money through reduced energy use,” Andrew said. “The iCH3 system has multiple programing functions to simulate sunrise and sunset, with varying time lines in full auto mode of take over for manual control. All functions are controlled via a compact but easy to operate, touch screen which features three output channels with multiple user configurable programs including. 1. Smooth dimming from 0 to 100%. 2. Work light function 3. Pick light function 4. Lock out function 5. By pass mode. “There are very good reasons why a control system like the iCH3 is needed for effective poultry shed lighting control,” Andrew explained. “Replacing your existing tungsten fixtures for new LED fixtures can create numerous issues when trying to dim LEDs with conventional dimmers. “The complex load that is the LED will cause most dimmers to misfire resulting in erratic operation of the LEDs. “One of the major problems faced by anyone operating systems (like LED lighting) that require a stable and consistent light source, is that the mains electricity supply is itself variable due a multiplicity of factors “iCH3 addresses these issues by utilising special technology (patent pending) allowing LED lighting to dim just like conventional tungsten fixtures,” he said. Apart from the three sizes of LED tubes, other Viribright dimmable LED fixtures include the LED Par 38 Flood Lights, w



3 4

1.The conventional sheds were built in the early sixties. 2. Roof installed Viribright T8 tubes. 3. Andrew explains the iCH3 control system to Greg and Roger. 4. The system is easy to program and monitor.

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LED ‘A’ series Globes (5W to 9.5W) and for outside use on the farm, 120w (10,000 Lm) Street Lamps. “The Viribright fixtures combined with iCH3 control deliver great light output and dimming to satisfy state based, industry regulation and RSPCA standards,� Andrew said. When Andrew mentions ‘local growers’ he means very local. The company’s warehouse is located in the Mangrove Mountain NSW Central Coast area not far from Roger and Greg Wilson’s four shed broiler farm at Kulnura just down the road. Roger and then son Greg have been running the broiler farm since the early 1960s as first a contract broiler grower for Inghams and later for Cordina who they still grow for today. The four conventional sheds, built in the early sixties, house 70,000 birds. “Inghams wanted its growers to move to tunnel ventilation, but we were happy to stick with lower stocking densities and stay with our conventional sheds, which we believe deliver excellent results when managed properly,� Roger said. “We moved to Cordina in 2000 and we fit in well with that family owned company,� he continued. The combination of increased energy bills and the need to upgrade an old lighting system, presented an ideal opportunity to talk to a near neighbour, Andrew Winslade at Viribright. By January 2016 they had installed Viribright dimmable tubes with the iCH3 control system and they are happy with the result. “The system has made a real difference to our sheds,� Greg said. “The lighting is bright, clean and uses a lot less power. The controller is so easy to operate and has great function as well.

Project1:PoltexAd2 21/03/14 3:47 PM Page 1

“Also I can see a better result in our bird growth patterns so that’s one less thing I have to worry about,� Greg concluded. “How did you get started here?� Poultry Digest asked Roger Wilson. “A long time ago my father-in-law, Ray Walpole, then 16 in 1933, rode the family owned belt driven Velocette motorcycle up here from Raymond Terrace, a distance of more than 100km which involved more than a few hills,� Roger revealed. Ray, whose father was a school teacher in Raymond Terrace, came from a family that were amongst the earliest UK migrants to the Central Coast. In 1933, Australia was deep in the 1 Depression and opportunities for young men like Ray, one of eight children, were scarce. “The government had some blocks of land available in the Peats Ridge area and Ray took the opportunity to claim a 20 acre block virgin patch of land which today is the centre of the farm we are standing on. “Initially he grew vegies and any quick growing crop to generate income. “Later came the citrus grove that you see today when the farm expanded as additional acres were acquired. “In the 1950s free range laying hens added to the income stream and later still, egg production was increased with the adoption of cage layer systems,� Roger said. When Poultry Digest visited, the oranges were just right for picking and of excellent quality. Sadly the beautiful citrus grove will soon be cleared as the returns on oranges, even the splendid quality items grown by the Wilsons, has not increased in more than 25 years and as such the land will have to be put to a more productive use down the track.

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The history of the farm now operated by Roger and Greg Wilson is fascinating. Its development pre-dates the rush into poultry production that followed the great influx of European migration after WW2. The pioneering spirit that created the farm was enabled by an advanced item of British engineering, The Velocette motorcycle, and the determination of its young rider. The fact that in 1933 it made the journey to Kulnura from Raymond Terrace over roads that would have been less than ideal and enabled an ambitious 16 year old to claim his plot of land, emphasises the benefits of technology in whatever era. Now new technology, an advanced shed lighting system, added to a foundation of tried and tested poultry farm management, helps to ensure the viability of a third generation broiler farming business.

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Egg Farming Master Class held in Sydney The Council for Sustainable Egg Farming ran an Egg Farming Master Class on June 27 at the Stamford Plaza Hotel, Sydney Airport. It was organised by Greg Mills from Sustainable Egg Farming and Jojo Jackson, AECL R&D Manager, was in the chair for proceedings. Dr Gregory Cronin from the University of Sydney spoke about ‘Feather pecking impacts on welfare and production’. He and his students at the Camden Campus have conducted extensive and valuable research into this problem. Also from the University of Sydney, Dr Jeffrey Downing spoke about ‘Hen stress in production systems’. In identification of stress welfare, “scientists are in a similar position to veterinarians in assessing behaviour, physical appearance, like body condition, plumage, injury, lesions and signs of disease,” Jeff said. Approaches to assessing animal welfare included the ‘homeostasis approach’. It is defined as a property or system of an organism that helps it maintain its parameters within a normal range of values. Also discussed was the concept of ‘allostatic load’ – wear and tear on the body when the individual is exposed to repeated or chronic stress. Non-invasive assessment of stress was employed to evaluate the albumen corticosterone concentrations of eggs from hens maintained in conventional cages, free range and barn. One of Jeff’s key conclusions was that “concentrations of corticosterone are higher in the earlier part of the production cycle, suggesting greater challenges and the potential for poor welfare is more significant at this time”. Dr Cronin delivered the next paper “Ranging behaviours in free range hens’ summarising research conducted by the Animal Welfare Science Centre – University of Melbourne. “Currently there is no single national definition of free range eggs. The new information standard for free range eggs will require hens to have meaningful and regular access t the outdoors, with outdoor stocking density of 10,000 birds per hectare (1 per square metre). “Farmers of free range layers will also be required to prominently disclose their outdoor stocking density of their hens, allowing consumers to easily choose their preference,” Greg said.


Dr Raymond Chia, Project Manager at AECL RD&E, spoke on the vital topic of salmonella from farm to fork. “It’s a complex issue and numerous factors can effect the presence and spread of salmonella through a complex supply chain,” Ray said. “There is no single effective control measure as no one business operates exactly the same, and there are varying risks through chain. Elimination of salmonella on farm is impossible, therefore risks to human illness need to be appropriately managed,” he said. ‘Challenges of cage free egg production’ was the topic for Greg Mills. The move by major retailers and fast food outlets to cage free production and rise in popularity of free range and barn to the point where these systems represent over 50% of total production as of September 2015 was mentioned. “Research conducted (Elson 2015) stated, “Although outdoor access for hens is perceived by some to offer improved quality of life, the risks of high mortality indicate significant negative effects on hen welfare. “The European Food Safety Authority (2005) scientific opinion noted various hazards and made several welfare recommendations. “Efforts should be made to minimise mortality and morbidity, using benchmarking and other incentives, in order to reduce the risk of poor welfare. “Only these systems, in which there is expected to be low mortality, should be used,” recommendation 13 stated. “It is difficult to see how free range in its present form can consistently meet this recommendation,” Elson concluded in 2008. “In Australia the 3.53% increase in mortality between cage free (average) 8.92% and cage 5.39% could lead to increased mortality of around 630,00 hens a year,” Greg stated. “Keel bone fractures were a major issue in cag free housing,” he added. “Conversion to cage free could lead to a 20% loss of capacity, more land and water use, increased capital costs, medications and significantly the cost of the eggs themselves (+36%).” Final speaker Geoff Runge spoke about ‘Managing modern beak treatments’. In explaining infrared beak treatment (IRBT) Geoff stated, “it is a non-amputation technique and uses advanced and precise technology compared to hot blade.


2 1. Greg Cronin from University of Sydney with Jojo Jackson from AECL. 2. Greg Mills, from Sustainable Egg Farming. “An infrared lamp delivers an energy pulse which treats the hard outer layer of the beak and a pre-determined amount of underlying tissue. “The effects on the beak tissue over time are much different from hot blade trimming where the beak grows in a different way,” he said. “The degree of beak treatment is determined by what’s best for the bird in its environment and takes into consideration chick type – layer, breeder or meat chicken, strain or breed, farm latitude which effects outdoor light intensity and temperature, housing/ ventilation type, production system, cage, barn, free range, feeding system. “The chick is only given as much treatment as is needed, no more.” The Master Class was attended by scientists, researchers and even representatives from a major retailer and all contributed with intelligent questions, which generated expansions of the material delivered in the excellent papers which will be available on-line.



business models including loans and external finance were discussed at length. In the Egg Production Session on May 30, Santiago Ramirez from FCR Consulting Group posed the question ‘Are current feed strategies and use of additives sustainable?’. In exploring the often conflicting imperatives of consumers, one of Santiago’s slides showed a young woman who could be concerned about hormones in milk yet was unconcerned about acquiring illegal narcotics from strangers. In tracing the growth in the efficiency of modern agriculture, Santiago revealed that in 1930 typically one farmer fed four people, by 2010 it was 155 and projected to 2050 it would be 300 plus and he questioned the sustainability of raw material as well as additive requirements. In the Chicken Meat Session on May 31, Santiago presented a second paper, ‘The implication of whole wheat in broiler production’. In the Egg Production session, Hannah Larsen (Animal Welfare Science Center, University of Melbourne) spoke about her research using ‘Radio frequency identification as a tool to monitor access to the outdoor range on commercial farms’. “Definitions of free range production states that most hens must access the outdoor range on most days,” Hannah said. Traditional methods of assessing how many hens access the range using scan sampling and survey methods, could have resulted in serious underestimation of actual numbers of hens utilising range areas – as low as 40% in some research. “These estimates can have major implications for producers and their free range product if most hens are not recorded as accessing range areas,” she said. Though complex and requiring considerable effort in both design and execution, Hannah’s research using radio frequency monitoring will provide more accurate information of free range farm activity. Dr Isa Runke (UNE), a regular speaker on her comprehensive research into free range poultry, next spoke about free range production in Australia. “The impact of the production system on stress, including orientation, access to feed and water, dust bathing, sunlight, diseases and stockmanship skills were all vital,” Isa stated. Mobile sheds (labour intensive) and the Netherlands Rondeel system were mentioned as were the deleterious effects of gut impaction through grass consumption and the incidence of parasites in free range production. “Mortality doubles on farms with helmith infection,” she said. In conclusion Isa stated that “the housing system has a significant impact on hen health, welfare and egg production”. “Essential factors for a successful, sustainable enterprise were profound knowledge, intensive monitoring and outstanding stockmanship skills,” she said. In the Chicken Meat session on May 31, Jodie Redcliffe (Chanticleer Farms, QLD Chicken Meat Growers Association), presented her paper ‘Getting up on the balcony: Looking at the European broiler industry’. “Understanding the pressures confronting the European broiler industry and where international organisations are focusing is key to predicting our own future,” she said. “Trade and marketing, animal health and welfare, food safety and poultry meat inspection, environmental impact and sustainability are all critical issues in the EU. “Clearly these are issues that overlap, and are not just confined to the European broiler industry. “If we take a broad ‘view from the balcony’, there is lots to learn about how these issues are being dealt with and what lessons we can apply here, Jodie said. “Lessons learnt from exporting Australian chicken meat to










1. Stanley Kaye and Yaron Zafrani from Agrotop with Rita and Martin Simmons from TSA. 2. Isa Rhunke from UNE. 3. Lutz Cramer from Agco. 4. Mario Dopker from Dosto Farm. 5. Mikkel Overgaarde from Vencomatic. 6. Anthony Harman, Business Manager Potters Poultry, Richard Beevis, Potters Export Manager and Rob Cumine, Coles Supermarket. 7. L-R: Mario Pericoli, Termotecnia Pericoli; Steven Davies, Agricultural Automation; Alberto Grandoni, Pericoli Asia Pacific; Joe Vella, Protective Fabrications.

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Asia’, were explained by Katrina Hobbs, Director of Inglewood Farms (trading as Inglewood Organic). “Australia by its location and production has a growing opportunity to provide export of chicken meat and eggs into the Asian export market. Inglewood Farms, now part of the Heritage Organic Stockfeeds business located at Pittsworth near Toowoomba in QLD, has taken advantage of its proximity to the newly extended airport West Wellcamp near Toowoomba. To deliver chilled Inglewood snap chilled organic chicken meat to Hong Kong a Boeing 747 was used on the nine hour flight from the new airport. Katrina, though pleased with the scope of the venture, did caution that selling to a ‘many layered’ market like Hong Kong, is not without challenges. Still for an industry that in the future really needs to contemplate exports, the air delivered Inglewood organic chicken delivery enterprise – an extreme example of value adding – is inspirational. In an industry dominated by two main players, the Bendigo based Hazeldene Chicken Farm business could be described as ‘the quiet achiever’. Having invested heavily in new plant equipment and breeding capacity, the company has taken bold moves early, like embracing the RSPCA broiler scheme. John Hazeldene, Managing Director, gave an interesting view of ‘The future of the chicken industry’. The chicken industry is a high cost, high risk, high turnover but a very low margin business, as many can confirm,” he said by way of introduction. “The capital cost of setting up an integrated chicken business makes it prohibitive, so I believe for a new player to enter the market the only possible way would be to purchase an existing business,” he said. “For an integrated business producing $35 million birds per annum I estimate that it would cost in the vicinity of $400 million and that figure does not include transport, stock, and perhaps most importantly management and staff,” John said. Amongst the many risks to a poultry business, welfare and imports, or their potential, got a mention. On the plus side John mentioned the role of improved genetics and the price and quality driven popularity of chicken meat, also the fact that “it is the most environmental sustainable form of protein,” he pointed out.




3 4


1. Nick Nettle, Novus Australia with Rudi Stout, Premium Agri. 2. Rod Martin, Polytex. 3. Nathan Lister, Dominique Renison and Darryl Meaney from Biomin. 4. Mike Pritchard and Damien Kelly, Lienerts. 5. Richard Rayner, CEO of SBA and Marc Scott, Aviagen Australia and New Zealand. Whilst the conference session were a major attraction to visitors the exhibition halls was busy throughout the event. The initiative of combining the milling sector with poultry, now the third such event certainly boosted the numbers. Christine Clark from Auspac Ingredients, worked with The Stock Feed Manufacturers Council and the Australian Technical Millers Association and the Feed Ingredient Additives Association of Australia, to promote the

event and believes the Australian Milling Conference was a great success. “Around 1500 people attended and participated in the speaker presentations, trade exhibition and social functions,” she said. “The joint event has become the largest Australian conference catering to intensive livestock and feeding. “The conference was able to deliver a very well received technical speaking program. Copies of these papers can be downloaded from www.pixamc.com. au/program/presentations.

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Current requirements for modern layers At the recent AMC/PIX convention Dr John T. Brake, Distinguished Professor of Poultry Science, Physiology, and Nutrition as well as Director of Graduate and Certificate Programs in the Prestage Department of Poultry Science at NC State University in the USA, presented a paper entitled ‘Views on current requirements for modern layers: Management, milling, and food safety, and focused specifically on Aviator, a refined functional carbohydrate. “Aviator SCP consists of a preparation of yeast components, hydrolysed yeast, yeast extract, and yeast culture,” he said. “This unique blend provides a rich supply of fermentation metabolites derived from the fermentation of a specific media by Saccharomyces cerevisiae and is a source of yeast material which is an excellent nutrient source for poultry. “Todays’ commercial layers have tremendous egg laying potential. But they have to be managed properly to achieve efficiency and consistently produce safe food. “Focusing on the development of the pullet is the first place to start. The key is proper preparation of the pullet from nutritional and physiological perspectives. “Feeding to the body weight standard is not necessarily the objective. Adequate cumulative nutrition during rearing relative to individual circumstances is more likely the objective. “What does adequate body weight for commercial layers mean? There are several factors to consider: adequate


Dr John T. Brake, Distinguished Professor, Department of Poultry Science, NC State University in the USA presented a paper at PIX. nutrition based on the environment; were the pullets properly photostimulated; is there absence of prolapse, shell and albumen issues, persistency and liveability. “Egg shell quality is oviduct based. You can especially note this in albumen quality. The development of the oviduct is based on calcium, carbonate and protein matrix. The balance between these three give you egg shell quality. “Oviduct development begins with chicks. There are a few basics for brooding reception to remember: Preheat the house for 24 hours, to 32 degrees C minimum foot temperature, push chick to the feed with heat and avoid water supplements. “What does it mean to ‘push chicks to the feed with heat?” Dr Brake explained that if you place the feed and water where chicks spend their time or make the chicks move away from heat to the feed they will eat and grow. “Where does gut health start? The gizzard is a good place to look. By controlling the passage rate through the GIT you can have an impact on the gastrointestinal tract of the bird. “Consuming larger particles is the key to slower passage rates, just as birds do in the wild.” Dr Brake has conducted extensive work on particle size from the finest micron to the largest micron combination. “A variation in particle size including up to 50% larger particles has a direct effect on feed conversion and gizzard development. Large particles slow GIT passage! “Side by side with improving the above nutritional and production practices, there are a range of nutrients that can be supplemented into the diet at low inclusions to stimulate health. Aviator is one of those products. “The industry is full of challenges. As there are more demanding objectives, these type of production practices will go hand in hand with revolutionary products. Dr Brake has published over 900 scientific, technical, proceedings, abstracts, and popular articles that have been translated into over 10 languages. He has given over 400 presentations and/or consulted in over 50 countries. He has received from NC State University the Outstanding Young Alumnus Award, the Sigma Xi Faculty Research Award, an Outstanding Undergraduate Teacher Award, an Outstanding Graduate Instructor Award, and a Faculty Resource Development Award for his outstanding fund-raising efforts. He also received the Broiler Research Award and the Merck Award for Achievement in Poultry Science from the Poultry Science Association. He was named a Fellow in the Poultry Science Association in 2006. The latter two awards are generally considered to be the highest awards given by the Poultry Science Association.


Electrostatic spray unit released at PIX Attracting a lot of attention in the AMC/PIX 2016 trade exhibition area was the new electrostatic spray unit. Lisa Grant from Pro Wash stated that “after PIX there has been a huge amount of interest in this system from processors and growers around the country. “This technology was developed in the US originally for the purpose of agricultural spraying to ensure chemicals used actually reached the underside of the leaf where the pests were often located. “Over the past 10 years the use of this technology has expanded to being used in a multitude of industrial, sanitation and agricultural industries around the world and we came up with the idea of utilising this technology for the purpose of spray sanitising poultry sheds. “This unit is the first of its kind and we believe will revolutionise the way in which we carry out this process. “Our reason for developing this system was based on improving the coverage whilst reducing the volume of solution sprayed in the shed. The electrostatic technology ensures a complete wrap around effect ensuring coverage of all surfaces and equipment in the shed. “The reduced volume of liquid means that the sheds are left much drier which is a huge advantage in achieving shorter turnaround times which means that we no longer have the down time to let the sheds  ‘rest’ between batches.   “Traditional spray equipment requires a large volume of water and most of what is sprayed into the shed hits the surface and then runs off and saturates the floor. “Also there is no guarantee that all surfaces are reached and whether there has been sufficient contact time for adequate disinfection.  “Due to tight time constraints the grower has to start setting up in readiness for the next batch and possibly ends up placing fresh bedding material onto the damp . “Then as the shed is heated an environment is created which is ideal for pathogen growth – this negates the very reason we spray disinfect in the first place,”Lisa explained “The combination of electrostatic technology and lower spray volumes reduce both chemical run-off and spray drift, so it is much better from an environmental standpoint. “We are establishing Pro Wash Poultry Spray Divisions in major growout areas across the country. “We are the distributors for this technology here in Australia and  will shortly be introducing an electrostatic farm gate entry setup and an electrostatic egg sanitation system,” Lisa said.


Aviagen Management Essentials Nortje De Wet Technical Service Manager, Aviagen Australia, New Zealand and Asia De Wet has 23 years experience in the poultry industry with a large integrated company in South Africa, before joining Aviagen ANZ in 2012. De Wet says, “Modern broilers develop rapidly and there is limited time to improve bird performace. At the farm it is important not to miss any factors that may affect performance, review farm records and monitor bird growth rate.”

Broiler Farm Investigation Objective To identify potential issues and areas for improvement, we need to approach with a strategy and collect detailed data. Key Points 1. Before entering the farm, gain information from farm managers and farm records. Review current performance and look carefully at: • Growth rate (early or late) • FCR • Livability (health) • Uniformity • Processing complaints - meat quality/downgrades and yield 2. In the farm, we should read signals from the birds • Before entering the house, carefully look at bird distribution without disturbing them • Observe bird behavior while sitting at the end of house or by making a sound to see how they respond • Slowly walk through the house monitoring bird behavior and movement, this will provide useful signals and information • Look at the litter closely and check bird feces which can offer an indication of flock gut health • If you can, look through different age groups from young to old and check their growth pattern 3. Key areas to investigate relating to the bird signals or performance are: • Feed - physical quality, particle size, distribution, nutrient levels, access to feeders • Water - cleanliness, chemical indications (pH, hardness, chlorine level, etc.) • Litter - quality, depth, feed spillage, humidity and any signs of disease challenge (feces) • Light - intensity, distribution, lighting program • Air - temperature, humidity, wind speed, dust, leakage from outside 4. Other than our senses we can use some useful tools • Camera - a picture or a video can provide a good view of the flock • Temperature and humidity - digital thermometer, data loggers • Ventilation - wind meter, thermal imaging camera, pressure meter, smoke generator, gas meters (CO2, CO, NH3, etc.) • Water - water pH strips, ORP meter • Others - light meter, feed sieve, tape-measure, laser measure 5. Aviagen has produced an interactive PDF to assist in broiler management called “A checklist for investigating broiler performance problems”. You can download it to your laptop or cell phone from www.aviagen.com and utilize it at any time.



Demand for duck is set to spur contest for two Victorian duck farms Colliers International has been appointed to sell two high quality properties in Wimmera region of Victoria. The two high quality duck farms in Victoria are expected to attract keen investor interest as demand for meat undergoes significant growth. Colliers International’s Jesse Manuel and Tim Altschwager have been appointed to sell the ‘Glenlee’ and ‘Netherby’ duck farms, each comprising four grower sheds, accommodation and sundry farm improvements in the districts of Glenlee and Netherby, via Nhill in Victoria’s Wimmera region. Mr Manuel said the farms featured supply contracts with Luv-a-Duck, Australia’s largest breeder, grower and processor of ducks. “Luv-a-Duck is undergoing significant expansion to its operations to meet the demand for its products,” he said. “These farms have been developed and maintained to a high standard, with the modern Netherby farm built between 2012 and 2013 and comprising four conventional style sheds. “The Glenlee farm is approximately

10 years old and comprises four climate controlled, tunnel ventilated sheds. “Operational efficiencies and opportunities for alternative income streams have been a focus for the current proprietors, with solar systems recently installed at both farms to provide a significant power cost saving. “Further, there is also significant demand for duck manure as fertiliser, which has the potential to be a significant contributor to the farm revenue.” Mr Manuel said the farms were professionally managed, with the current labour force potentially willing to continue under new ownership for an

agreed period of time. “These assets offer steady and consistent cash flow, high returns and ideal locations within convenient proximity to the Luv-a-Duck processing facility,” he said. “There is also potential for long term contractual agreements with Luv-aDuck.” The quality of accommodation and farming improvements, including staff facilities, at both properties is high, with the Netherby farm a modern development and significant upgrades recently undertaken at the Glenlee farm. The properties are for sale by Expressions of Interest.

Lindsay Bell award winner The winner of the 2016 award is WA egg farmer, Peter Newing (pictured) for outstanding leadership and achievement. Mr Newing’s achievements were recognised at the Poultry Information Exchange (PIX) conference recently.

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Mr Newing’s award reflected his commitment and dedication to the development of the industry, including representing the Commercial Egg Producers Association of WA on government advisory committees, including the WA Government’s Poultry Advisory Committee. Looking to the future, Mr Newing noted the importance of egg industry stakeholders working together to ensure that the industry operates to the highest possible standards. “I like to think all egg farmers care deeply about the welfare of their hens. To ensure we continue to get the best results for the industry and for our hens, it’s important for us to continue communicating and working with government and our customers,” Mr Newing said.

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NFS is the Australian agent for Sangrovit Poultry Digest met Kim Miller, Luke Steinborner, National Feed Solutions and Dr Tobias Steiner from Phytobiotics on the NFS stand at PIX to learn about Sangrovit, produced by Phytobiotics Futterzusatzstoffe Gmbh. “Sangrovit is a natural anti inflammatory using a compound plant origin base,” Dr Steiner said. Such remedies have a long history and similar plant based treatments were used by native Americans to resolve stomach and digestive problems. “We have in the 21st Century refined a production process to produce a product that acts as a natural growth promoter and can assist in reduction of antibiotic use in livestock production,” Dr Steiner said. “Apart from improving efficiency in poultry rearing, the use of Sangrovit can improve animal wefare. “Trials have demonstrated a reduction in cortisol stress levels and improved liver condition.” Kym Miller who heads up National Feed Solutions, the Australian agents for Sangrovit products, explained that there are two specific formulations

Sangrovit for in-feed application, and Sangrovit WS drinker administration. Specific information can be obtained from the Phytobiotics website (www.phytobiotics.com) “Sangrovit scores points with its clear improvement of the costeffectiveness ratio from 1:3 to 1:8 in poultry feed. The nutritional uptake and conversion has been optimised and this can be seen both in the increase in the share of valuable sections of carcass and in the improved feed conversion, among other things,” the report said.

PIX trade show news The focal point of AMC/PIX is always the trade exhibition. It was good to see that more than a few of the visitors to the pig industry PPPE event at the same venue had stayed on a couple of extra days to see the AMC/PIX event. Martin Simmons on the Agrotop/ Technical Services Australia stand

General Manager – Plant Operations • Regional lifestyle • Blue sky opportunity • Lead the way A fantastic opportunity exists to join one of Australia’s best family businesses in the dynamic, global poultry industry. Reporting to the Chief Executive, the General Manager – Plant Operations, will play the lead role in managing all aspects of food processing and manufacturing at the Hazeldene’s Lockwood Plant site. The incumbent will be an excellent communicator with a solid operations background, experience in managing a large scale and diverse food manufacturing operation, underpinned by well-developed core management skills. To be successful in this role you will have: o Tertiary qualifications in a Manufacturing/Operations and Management discipline o Seven + years’ experience in a in a key leadership/management role at a food manufacturing facility o Understanding and application of modern leadership framework principles o Experience applying continuous improvement and lean management principles o Previous experience/strong understanding of budgeting/expense management and manufacturing accounting practices o A natural passion for quality and a ‘can-do’ attitude An attractive salary package for this position will be provided, commensurate with the skills and experience of the successful candidate. If you have the desire to inspire, prosper and deliver results within a large, diverse and technically progressive company, we would like to hear from you now! Interested? Details available at www.hazeldenes.com.au/careers. Please forward applications to: jobs@hazeldenes.com.au or post to Human Resources, Hazeldene’s, PO Box 1147, Kangaroo Flat VIC 3555 Hazeldene’s is an EO employer.


LtoR: Dr Tobias Steiner, Kym Miller (NFS), Marc Baker (HJ Baker US) and Luke Steinborner (NFS).

was pleased with the response to their ‘Water on Demand System’ (manufactured by Plasson) reviewed in the Feb/March issue of Poultry Digest. “We continue to receive strong interest in the Agrotop sheds which seem to suit a number of specific applications for Australian growers,” Martin said. Spanlift sheds have  a wide range of application across numerous agricultural requirements including broiler and layer sheds. Joe Grace from Spanlift showed off the company’s innovative new tile system.  Suncorp’s Ben Gertsch and Gus Pettit were pleased with strong interest from growers wanting to expand operations (see our grower story). Australian agents for Termotecnica Pericoli fans Steve Davies (Agricultural Automation) and Joe Vella (Protective Fabrications) had director of the Italian based company Mario Pericoli on hand to discuss new products and options.  From ‘across the ditch’ came Tugrul Durali now Production Manager at Bromley Park Hatcheries and Steve Shelly, National Livestock Manager from Brink’s  and from across the ‘other ditch to the North, David Drummond, Poultry Manager at Mainland Holdings PNG. Tugrul Durali, now at Bromley Park Hatcheries in NZ, came from across the ditch for AMC/PIX.

Poultry Division Manager THE COMPANY Lae based Mainland Holdings, is a diversified agribusiness which manufactures, processes and markets agricultural and food products for the Papua New Guinea market. Its interests include poultry, stockfeed, flour, crocodiles and egg layers. The company provides 70% of the fresh and frozen poultry consumed in PNG. The poultry division is a major PNG employer, providing 1400 jobs with most being centred around Lae. THE ROLE The company is seeking an experienced poultry professional to lead the poultry division, reporting to the CEO. Operations include breeder farms, hatchery, broiler farms, processing plant and commercial egg layers, each with a manager reporting to the Poultry Division Manager. KEY OBJECTIVES Lead, direct and control the company’s poultry operations to grow the business, achieve best practice in productivity, minimise production costs of saleable product and maximise net profit. SELECTION CRITERIA • Tertiary training in agriculture, agribusiness, animal science or veterinary science. • A minimum of ten years’ experience in poultry livestock management up to senior level. • Sound knowledge of all aspects of poultry health, husbandry and production. • High level communication skills both written and verbal and the ability to develop and lead a culturally diverse management team and workforce. • Experience managing in a developing country would be highly regarded. BENEFITS A generous remuneration package will be negotiated with the successful applicant including base salary, housing, company car and performance bonus.

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PSA Symposium: Industry addresses challenges of antibiotic free production No matter where poultry operations place their mission statement on the spectrum of traditional and antibiotic-free production, the consumer-driven issue is having a ‘snowball’ effect on the industry. This fact was evident as 650 poultry academia and industry members packed the Symposium: Challenges with AntibioticFree Poultry Production sponsored by Alltech at the 105th Poultry Science Association (PSA) meeting in New Orleans recently. “Alltech’s latest review shows that there is legislation or planned legislation being implemented on the use of antibiotics in feed in 47 countries globally,” said Aidan Connolly, Chief Innovation Officer at Alltech and chair of the symposium. “This trend is inevitable and is why the industry is moving toward other programs.” Dr Peter Ferket, extension specialist and nutritionist at North Carolina State University, kicked off the symposium with a timeline of the role antibiotics have played in the poultry industry and the opportunity today to incorporate smart ‘blue sky’ strategies as the industry shifts to antibiotic-free production in his presentation ‘Physiology of Gut Health and the Road to ABF’. “The gut microflora is so complex,” said Ferket. “We must

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LtoR: Dr Greg Mathis, Dr Peter Spring, Dr Randall Singer, Dr Peter Ferket and Session Chair Aiden Connolly, Alltech. ask ourselves: Are we really feeding chickens, or are we truly feeding their enteric ecosystem?” Ferket offered three feeding strategies to control the enteric ecosystem: 1. Establish the ecological environment by cultivating early enteric development and gut motility and by seeding the gut through direct-fed microbials. 2. Secure a nutrient balance by feeding enzymes, XOS, FOS and MOS products. 3. Maintain symbiotic microflora stability by weeding out pathogens through the use of antibiotics, essential oils, organic acids and MOS products. Dr Randall Singer, professor of epidemiology at the University of Minnesota, shared the latest developments in antibiotic resistance, pointing out that as the industry moves to antibiotic-free production, antibiotic resistance will still be an ongoing battle, as disease treatment requires higher doses of antibiotics than the growth promotion and disease prevention administrations. Dr Greg Mathis, President of Southern Poultry Research, examined the influence of antibiotic-free production on coccidiosis. With the new Veterinary Feed Directive regulations going into effect January 1, 2017, producers will only be able to utilise seven of the 12 anticoccidial drugs on the market, putting more pressure on producers to utilize cocci vaccines. While Mathis suggests a hybrid program (a vaccine plus a low level anticoccidial drug), he offered several viable alternatives for controlling coccidiosis in antibiotic-free production units, such as yucca (quillaja), phytoceuticals, essential oils, probiotics, prebiotics, botanicals and combination products. Dr Peter Spring, Professor at Bern University of Applied Sciences in Switzerland, spoke about the current European position on antibiotic-free production. Spring said after the 2006 European Union ban on all growth promoters, too many producers/systems were not totally ready for the change and lost some performance during the first phase. Now more than 10 years later, Switzerland is treating only 5 to 12% of broiler flocks each year; treatments are below the

NEW PRODUCTS level they were prior to the ban. “It is a moving benchmark,” said Spring. “What is considered good today might not be acceptable tomorrow. In Europe, we have to keep working to getting to antibiotic-free as close as possible.” The symposium concluded with a lively debate, with four operations offering their perspectives on antibioticfree production. While each had different opinions on the antibiotic-free movement, all agreed that consumer choice is a positive and the move to ‘Never Antibiotics Ever’ can’t happen overnight. Fieldale Farms made the antibioticfree switch in 1997 after customer requests. The northeast Georgia operation trialled 150,000 to 200,000 birds a week for two years before selling a single antibiotic-free chicken on the market. “You can’t do it in 10 weeks,” said David Wicker, Vice President of live operations at Fieldale Farms. “You can screw up a lot of chickens if you don’t do it right. Drugs still work. If you take them out, you are going to have a few surprises, and you need to be prepared for a learning curve.” Alltech also recognised the 33rd Alltech Student Research Manuscript Award winner Dr Marisa Erasmus, Assistant Professor and extension specialist at Purdue University, during the PSA meeting. Erasmus holds bachelor and masters degrees from the University of Guelph, Ontario, and a doctorate degree from Michigan State University. As an extension specialist and teacher of animal well-being, Erasmus focuses on welfare challenges and inspires students to become interested in animal welfare and to be engaged with the agricultural industry. In addition to teaching, Erasmus’ extension and applied research activities are focused on generating science-based methods for objectively assessing and improving animal wellbeing and identifying individual animal characteristics that enable animals to cope under different circumstances. The Alltech Student Research Manuscript Award recognises a senior author of an outstanding research manuscript in the international journal Poultry Science or The Journal of Applied Poultry Research. Alltech has sponsored the award since 2000, highlighting exceptional scholars for their research presentations at the annual PSA meeting and their scientific contribution to the poultry industry.

Lallemand appointed Australian agent for Dosto Oregano Mario Dopker, Business Manager for Dostofarm GmbH, was a visitor to AMC/ PIX 2016 from Germany. Lallemand is the Australian agent for the Dostofarm oregano product which Alex Turney, Lallemand Australia’s Managing Director, told Poultry Digest was a vital aid against Blackhead disease in poultry. “As Blackhead disease is primarily caused by the Histomonas meleagridis parasite and host species include caecal worms and earthworms, free range flocks are particularly susceptible, particularly in dry periods,” Alex explained. “Our oregano oil is made from our own contracted growers and is a pure and natural oil, not synthetic or partially synthetic,” Mario said. Trials have demonstrated that Dosto Oregano has a strong antibacterial effect, immune- stimulant effects and mortality reduction. “Our premixes and supplementary feed ingredients regulate the gut microflora, enhance intestinal health and support the natural immune system in commercial flocks. “We recommend the use of Dosto Oregano, particularly in laying flocks

to help pre-empt potential infection,” Mario said. He directed Poultry Digest to some independent findings by organic food manufacturer Rudolf Joost-Meyer zu Bakum and veterinarian Dr Thorsten A Arnold who reported on the spread of Blackhead Disease at the recently held Bioland Geflugeltagung (organic Poultry conference). In that report by Jutta van der Linde (LWK NRW), the following quote is relevant to the use of Dosto Oregano. “The opportunities for treatment (Blackhead) are limited, in the ecological poultry farms several measures were taken. “Organic extracts have a good effect on stabilising bowel flora, for instance in the form of Dostomineral of up to 2 to 2.5 kg per tonne of feed,” the report stated. Other sources of information on Blackhead Disease, particularly from Europe, confirm the beneficial effects of phytogenics. Otherwise treatment with other existing options are limited. The Poultry CRC’s Poultry Hub has a reference to the problem of Blackhead at www.poultryhub.org/health/disease/ types-of-disease/histomoniasis/



Richard and Gary Sanday retire The last couple of months have been an exciting albeit bittersweet time for Santrev, the Queensland-based builders of premium poultry and farm sheds. The month of May saw Santrev continue their proud involvement with PIX 2016. However, it also saw the retirement of two industry greats Richard and Garry Sanday. Since they announced their retirement in early June, they have been humbled by the many well-wishers they have received and would like to extend a very big thank you to all those who have supported them throughout their forty-five years in the poultry industry. Richard and Garry would especially like to thank the loyal clients who have helped grow Santrev into Australia’s premium provider of poultry and farm sheds. Richard says that he and Garry have met some great people along the way with a lot of the friendships remaining strong to this day. Richard believes that it is this collaboration with inspiring people that led him to ‘going the extra yard’ in the business.

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That combined with a genuine passion for all aspects of the poultry industry are major components of the formula that has been the secret to Santrev’s success. They are also traits shared by co-founder Luke Trevanion, the man who remains at the helm of the business. Luke is determined to continue to build on the name of Santrev and was in attendance at PIX 2016 to receive a plaque from Peter Mathews for the business being named a platinum sponsor to the event (above). Luke is enthusiastic about Santrev’s future and is thrilled to announce that the business is well on track to reaching the milestone of 100 shed builds in one year. Santrev is happy to announce that due to the ongoing great results of their on-farm training program, they will continue to provide this program in South Australia and Queensland for any new participants. Richard and Gary say that they will continue on as consultants for Santrev as well as remaining busy as owners of their Coominya broiler farm in Queensland and Riverland Free Range, Australia’s largest free-range chicken farm and of course, spending some well-earned quality time with the grandkids!

Blueprint launched Following the successful introduction of Blueprint feed management programs for pigs and ruminants last year, Lienert launched Blueprint for poultry at the 2016 PIX conference. Interest in Blueprint for use in layers, broilers and breeders was high amongst PIX attendees who wanted to take their business to the next level. This new program allows Lienert to work closely with producers to target issues and make feeding program recommendations based on farm analyses and nutritional assessments. Powered by global animal nutrition and health leader Alltech, the Blueprint program strengthens Lienert’s commitment to helping producers identify ways to improve efficiency and maximise genetic performance. Built around the study of nutrigenomics to empower producers to feed to birds’ genetic potential, the Blueprint feeding program for poultry provides natural, nutritional solutions to overcome challenges on-farm in areas such as mortality, bird health, eggs per hen housed (consistency in peak lay), shell quality and return on spend. “Feeding a bird exactly what it needs, all the way down to the cellular level, will result in better health, increased performance and improved profitability,� said Damien Kelly, Lienert key account manager. “Based on the practical results of our initial on-farm work, we expect the results from the Blueprint poultry program to follow on the success we have had in the Blueprint program for pigs and ruminants. “Blueprint, quite simply, is science being practically implemented for performance and profitability,� added Mr Kelly. For more information, contact Damien.Kelly@lienerts.com.au.


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Poultry Digest June/July 2016  

Poultry Digest June/July 2016  


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