“Managing for Potential” was the theme of the Aviagen® European Technical Seminar held recently at Edinburgh’s National Museum of Scotland. A series of presentations over two days focused on genetic potential, best practice management and topical subjects and opportunities for the broiler breeding industry in Europe.

The company welcomed 140 delegates from 22 countries, representing a fifth of the global chicken breeding industry to Scotland. Speakers included Aviagen experts and fertility specialist Murray Bakst from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Alan Thomson, Regional Commercial & Technical Manager, hosted the event. He said, “We planned the seminar agenda to allow a flow of presentation subjects starting from the R&D and genetic roots of biological potential to topical management, nutritional and health influences. The objective was to share understanding and rationale behind current advice on technical management of breeding flocks as well as providing an update on new technical advances and niche markets and products.”
Presentation topics included: the influence on potential biological performance; breeder traits and the interaction of genetics relative to environmental influences; an overview of Aviagen’s behavioural study of the complex social network chickens employ; biology of embryo fertility and growth; new technology related to optimum storage conditions for eggs; and facts behind the innovative SPIDES technique.
Also covered were a wide range of topical health subjects for broiler breeders, including information on ESBLs and Campylobacter; the value of data capture and analysis; key features of breeder flock nutrition, such as influences on feathering, egg size and male feeding; and European industry trends for slower growing and speciality birds.