Dr. Eduardo Souza, program geneticist for Aviagen, the world’s largest poultry breeding company, recently traveled to Bali to address attendees of Hatchery Innovation Summit Asia. Held June 3-4, the event was sponsored by Ceva, a world leader in immune complex and vector vaccine technology.

Souza, who helps shape product development strategies as a key member of Aviagen’s research and development (R&D) operation, explored the latest technology and techniques applied to pedigree flocks to continuously deliver balanced performance improvements in broilers and breeders. 

At Hatchery Innovation Summit Asia, Souza drew on 23 years of experience as a poultry geneticist. He described how genetics information figures heavily in the routine selection of Aviagen’s elite lines. For instance, Aviagen’s genomics project focuses on identifying naturally occurring markers within the genome of elite birds and using those markers to help breed stronger and more productive birds through the current selective breeding program, which is a completely natural process.  Aviagen began using genomics in its commercial selection program in 2012 and became the first company to include genomic information as a critical additional source of information in the R&D breeding program.

“Genetics is crucial to the development of high-performance broilers and breeders because different regions require different traits in birds, and selecting those traits demands extensive knowledge, constant patience, and an unfaltering adherence to best practices,” said Souza. “To ensure poultry breeders see the best possible results, while safeguarding the health and welfare of their stock, we at Aviagen keep genetics at the very heart of our R&D operation.”

Souza joined speakers from around the world who discussed incubation, vaccination, hatchery organization and automation, and marketing. Attendees also learned about solutions for improving food safety and productivity in an era of volatile feed prices.

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Souza began his career in 1991 at Brazil’s Agroceres Ross. He joined Aviagen in 1995 to head the broiler breeding program for the United States, where Aviagen invests heavily in research focused on delivering balanced progress in both broiler and breeder traits.