Thirty-five delegates attended a recent three-day Cobb breeder, hatcheries and veterinary seminar in Lusaka, Zambia. African Poultry Development – the group name of Hybrid Poultry, Zambia; Kenchic, Kenya; Interchic/Tanbreed, Tanzania – hosted the meeting.

“This provided a unique opportunity to get together and benefit from technical and practical training from experts in their field,” said Simon Wilde, general manager. “From the feedback we realize how valuable the program of talks, practical workshops and site visits was to all the delegates.”

Cobb poultry specialists Pieter Oosthuysen and Dr. Andre Derkx and Richard Scorgie from Hybrid Poultry Farms gave the talks. Oosthuysen emphasized the importance of good rearing programs for high egg production; male management; and a new approach to male feeding for optimal reproduction. Dr. Derkx shared his knowledge on vaccination, health monitoring and biosecurity, while Scorgie demonstrated chick grading and embryo diagnosis.

On the final day the delegates were divided into three groups for hands-on learning: they were shown the art of male breast condition and scoring at Sunset Breeder Farm; they learned about the new facility at Broken Hill grandparent hatchery; and they carried out postmortems and reviewed their own vaccination and monitoring programs at Chamba Laboratory.

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“The positive response I have had from all the participants has been overwhelming,” said Richard Keeley, managing director, Hybrid Poultry Farms. “It is clear that we have a great deal to do. We look forward to continuing the program with Cobb, as I am certain it will add tremendous value to our business going forward.”

Dr. Lazaro Kapella, an Interchic/Tanbreed veterinarian, said, “It was a wonderful time for me and the whole team. Now it’s our turn to implement the vast knowledge we have gained for the better performance of our operation in Tanzania.”

Ian Baxter, Tanzania production coordinator, commented, “We now have a far better understanding of what is required to produce 140 chicks per hen housed.”

Seif Musyoki, hatchery manager from Tanzania, added, “My colleagues and I learned a great deal during the training and we’ve developed a completely different paradigm shift on how we’ll manage our breeder farms in the future.”