Thirty-five delegates attended a three-day Cobb broiler, breeder, hatchery and veterinary seminar at Lusaka, Zambia, hosted by African Poultry Development, the group name of Hybrid Poultry of Zambia, Kenchic of Kenya and Tanbreed of Tanzania. 

“The seminar was a truly international conference and experience for the people of African Poultry Development,” commented Pieter Oosthuysen, Cobb senior manager for accounts and technical services for Africa. “It was a great networking opportunity for them to meet new people from other African countries in the same business.

“The participation and enthusiasm of the delegates was great, and we had six speakers who were really experts in their fields. I’m sure the delegates will have learned something new to take home and help improve Cobb performance even further.”

Simon Wilde, managing director of Hybrid Poultry Farm, said the event provided the opportunity to learn about the latest techniques and advances. “Through a series of talks, practical visits and workshops, all the delegates were shown how to measure performance on their own units against the latest Cobb standards and how to make improvements where necessary. Our group are thoroughly looking forward to the next event in two years.”

In a presentation about innovation in poultry housing Martijn Gruyters, Cobb Europe senior technical manager, spoke about the importance of maintaining a good environment to achieve a balance between ventilation and temperature control. 

He then took the delegates on a tour of the Eureka broiler complex of Hybrid Poultry where a new broiler house was used to explain how design and management of inlets and fans, and proper sealing, affected ventilation. They also visited a new broiler house with a complete tunnel ventilation system. 

The emphasis throughout was on hands-on learning with the delegates spilt into diverse groups for broiler, breeder, hatchery and veterinary sessions. The program featured the importance of excellent quality light of the right frequency and color, the need for high water quality in terms of temperature as well as hygiene, the significance of the first seven-day weight, hatchery efficiency and optimizing hatchability through improved male management.

Edward Diehl, Cobb nutritionist, gave a presentation on "The power of data analysis." In response, Kenchic management trainee Kelvin Osore said he now intended to use data “to arrive at a proper diagnosis of challenges facing our farms. I intend to make this a norm in my work.”