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Breeder Benchmarking Survey

Each year, Aviagen® Turkeys gathers results of performance from customer’s parent stock flocks to conduct an annual breeder depletion analysis. Over the past few months, customers contributing information to the survey have been provided with a detailed anonymous comparison of how the lifetime performance of their parent stock flocks compare to others. This provides an insight into breed potential and identifies opportunities for further management improvement.

Industry-wide benchmarking of B.U.T. 6 and B.U.T. Premium egg production showing average 24 week egg production per hen housed, top 25% performance and the breed performance objectives.

Aviagen Turkeys also uses this information to produce accurate and realistic performance objectives, tailor support to help customers achieve the genetic potential and align the breeding programme goals to industry requirements.

Summary results for the flocks depleting in Europe during 2021 are shown below. These results are presented as cumulative settable eggs to 24 weeks and include flocks from the majority of our customers. Average results include all results, even those that had problems, whilst the top quartile results are the 25% best performing flocks and demonstrates true breed potential.

2021 was characterised by yet another performance improvement across a number of companies and average egg numbers were up by +1.1 eggs for the B.U.T. 6 and +2.4 eggs for the B.U.T. Premium compared to the 2020 results. Much of the improvement was at peak and immediate post-peak of production.

Improvements in performance can be attributed to a combination of factors: Genetic improvement arising from the breeding work on robustness and liveability; Improvements in management practices which have been tailored for the B.U.T. Premium and B.U.T. 6 and refined over many cycles; investments in breeder facilities to allow better expression of genetic potential; targeted technical support for customers with poorer performance. Climatic factors also cause some year to year variation. These results are more impressive considering the growing trend towards the use of automatic nests which reduces egg numbers slightly compared to manual nests. Updated performance objectives based on achieved top quartile field performance will be available shortly for the B.U.T. 6 and B.U.T. Premium.