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Feed the Future Innovation Lab team members currently or formerly associated with Iowa State's Department of Animal Science. (Image source: Iowa State University)

As part of an international effort to improve the health of small poultry flocks of indigenous chickens, researchers from the Iowa State University have been working on a 10-year project by the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Genomics to Improve Poultry, that is aimed at addressing the threats that disease and infections pose to the region’s poultry sector 

One of the most devastating poultry diseases includes the Newcastle Disease Virus (NDV). According to Susan Lamont, distinguished professor in the Department of Animal Science and one of the leads on the research team, this disease does not appear to be a major threat to the chickens of the region, mainly due to the availability of a vaccine. However, vaccination programmes are not practical to implement in much of Africa due to the likeliness of small numbers of chickens being scattered, thereby resulting in their intermingling with other chickens and fowl. 

As stated in a report by the Iowa State University, in order to ensure that the project has the best chance of bringing meaningful impacts to local smallholder farmers, several unique approaches were adopted. These included a series of initial focus groups to gain a sense of what was important to smallholders of poultry and what interventions they would be most likely to find usable. Moreover, to keep things more relatable to real life, the scientists studied birds exposed to disease in natural situations, rather than in more controlled experimental environments. 

A recent paper by the team which forms the Feed the Future Innovation Lab, was published in the World’s Poultry Science journal. The study carried out focuses primarily on genetic and molecular studies of the chickens and their response to NDV and extreme heat, from the cellular level to bodily systems. 

From their findings, the researchers found that a regional breed, indigenous to the Fayoum region of Egypt, are relatively more resistant to infection from many pathogens and to heat compared to a commercial Leghorn line derived from chickens in the US. They also identified several genes as important candidates for their influence on NDV viral replication

In addition, researchers were also able to learn a lot about the genetics of the Newcastle disease virus and the strains prevalent in the different poultry-producing regions studied. This information will surely be useful for the development of more effective methods to fight the disease in the future. 

“This work is especially important to the lives of women,” Lamont noted. “In Africa, poultry is generally managed by women, which gives them more access to good nutrition for their families and economic opportunities when they can sell eggs and meat birds.” 

Aviagen commemorates long standing relationship with Arbor Acres South Africa with new contract agreement. (Image source: Aviagen)

In April, Aviagen renewed the Grandparent (GP) contract with their Arbor Acres Parent Stock (PS) distributor, Arbor Acres South Africa

Arbor Acres South Africa has been the exclusive Arbor Acres distributor in South Africa, Swaziland and Lesotho since 2006, and recognises the importance in providing the local poultry industry with the best performing flocks, in order to ensure food security within the local markets. Arbor Acres South Africa has always been committed to growing the brand and ensuring its success within the local markets. The breed is popular amongst local producers for its leading growth rate, excellent FCR, and impressive meat yield. They are also seeing continuous improvements with the Arbor Acres breeder and
are achieving impressive results year-on-year.

Throughout the years, Arbor Acres South Africa has implemented their highly effective roadshow, where they travel around the country alongside Aviagen specialists, delivering key updates to their customers. These updates encompass advancements in R&D, optimal practices for both Parent Stock (PS) and broiler
flocks, as well as offering support from nutritionists, veterinarians and hatcheries.

“We are extremely excited to renew our supply agreement with Aviagen and continue the distribution of the Arbor Acres breed into the South African market. We have seen continuous improvements in both PS and broiler performance throughout the years, and we are happy to be able to continue supplying the superior genetics of the Arbor Acres breed to our current and future customers. We have had success and growth in our respective markets due to our customers receiving the highest quality chicks, with support from an experienced customer service team assisting our customers in achieving the best possible results from their flocks,” commented Raymond Laing, Arbor Acres South Africa.

Robert Roszkopf, business manager, Sub-Saharan Africa added, “Arbor Acres South Africa are doing a great job in supplying high quality flocks and therefore contributing to food security within the local market. They are dedicated to their customers and this is shown through the excellent results they have achieved. The best performing PS flock achieved 162 chicks at 60 weeks, and the best performing broiler flock achieved an EPEF of 434, which means both qualified for entry into our exclusive Arbor Acres Achievers Clubs. Aviagen is committed to further improving our genetics, and so we anticipate that the flock results will further improve in the future. I would like to thank the Arbor Acres South Africa team for their continuous commitment to the Arbor Acres brand.”

Dr Eckel's latest generation of the product, Anta Phyt NXT contains a higher quantity of active ingredients and has a broader spectrum of action. (Image source: Dr Eckel)

Dr Eckel has recently introduced the new generation of its phytogentic feed additive, Anta Phyt 

As modern animal production continues to face multiple challenges, it is important to ensure that animal health, sustainable production methods and ecconomic profitability go hand in hand, while also minimising the use of medication without compromising health, growth, performance and product quality.

Prepared with uniquely effective hops as the main substance, Anta Phyt is an antibiotic-free plant-based solution that naturally supports intestinal health, strengthens the immune system and promotes animal performance by  combatting gram-positive bacteria such as clostridia and Strep. suis

Dr Eckel's latest generation of the product, Anta Phyt NXT contains a higher quantity of active ingredients and has a broader spectrum of action, thereby offering even more benefits for animal health and performance at the same dosage. 

Some of the notable benefits of Anta Phyt NXT include:

  • Effectiveness against gram-positive bacteria
  • Supporting intestinal health and immune system
  • Promoting growth and performance
  • Improving feed conversion
  • Reducing medication costs
  • Promoting sustainable and healthy production

For more information, visit: 

Hill Group is one of the few fully automated poultry plants in East Africa. (Image source: Marel)

The Hill Group processing plant has been operational in Dar es Salaam since July 2023

Boasting a population of around 63 million, Tanzania’s chicken consumption seems to be in line with its rapidly growing population. Since long, the wet market has largely dominated Tanzania. However, these pose numerous health and sanitary risks, making the move towards processed meat essential for maintaining safety and quality.

Standing by his goal to transform Tanzania’s chicken processing industry, entrepreneur Hillary Shoo, who is also the founder of the Tanzania-based feed manufacturing company, Hill Group, had formulated plans to establish a greenfield poultry processing plant in 2014. With the support of food processing solutions company, Marel, Shoo began building the factory from scratch, until it was finally commissioned in July 2023.

Processing capacity at Hill’s greenfield, starts at 3,000 bph. At the start of the process, floor scales connected to Innova weigh incoming live birds. The manual killing process ensures that production is 100% halal. Scalding and plucking are also done using Marel equipment. After the combined VOC vent cutter and opening machine, the automated evisceration line features a Nuova eviscerator with a separate pack line for manual harvesting. After evisceration, products are chilled in a water chiller. This is followed by a Compact Grader, to select the products by weight. Although restaurants are important customers, the project aims to reach all markets and most importantly, at an affordable cost.

Distribution is mainly focused on major urban areas such as Dar es Salaam, Mwanza, Arusha, Morogoro and Dodoma.

For more information, visit: 

dsm-firmenich and Agrifirm collaborate to revolutionise poultry production. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

dsm-firmenich, a leading innovator in nutrition, health, and beauty, has joined forces with Agrifirm, a prominent agricultural cooperative, to unveil an innovative joint venture aimed at revolutionising poultry production 

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