The top of the poultry pecking order got together on May 1 to celebrate achievements at the 14th annual Ross Breeder Flock Awards. Guests were welcomed with an introduction to the day’s events by Alan Thomson, Aviagen regional technical and commercial manager. A number of presentations and speeches were made including an overview of the 2013 results by Stuart Thomson, Aviagen technical service manager.  

Stuart said: “At parent stock level, we’re seeing improved egg numbers. With the Ross 308 we have seen a 0.8 percent increase on egg numbers and a top quartile improvement of one chick, while with the Ross 708 we have witnessed a 3.3 percent increase on egg numbers with an improvement of 5.9 chicks.”  

Alan commented: “The event is purely for our customers - farm managers, flock farmers, the people who manage and work with Ross stock on a daily basis. The Ross Flock Awards are our way of recognizing what they have achieved with the biological performance of Ross birds and celebrating their achievements.   

“We British are not great at celebrating our successes but the detailed effort, time and skilled management that go into an award winning flock is significant and as a member of the Aviagen team it is my pleasure to be able to reward that input.”  

Attendees were treated not only to a night of celebration, but also enjoyed an afternoon of country pursuits preceding the awards ceremony itself.    

Alan explained: “We like to strike a balance in our Flock Awards event between the formal awards ceremony and an opportunity for customers to relax and engage in a social setting. This format provides a great platform for building relationships where our customers can celebrate and share their success together in an informal environment.”  

Paul Curran from Cargill concurs and said “meeting managers from other companies in a relaxed, fun atmosphere is great.”  

This year’s event included a guest speaker in the form of Paul Gittins, general manager, Aviagen India. Gittins shared his experiences during a long career in the global poultry industry, using his wealth of knowledge to entertain the audience with a great number of interesting and light-hearted stories to tell about India and how the poultry industry there operates.  

Gittins said: “One day soon I want Aviagen India to have its own annual ‘Flock Awards.’ It’s a great event where top performers in the UK can come together and share their experiences of managing Ross stock. I must say the bar is pretty high and we will have to work hard to get close to some of these performances.”