Poultry International - August 2018 - 10
10 ❙ PoultryInternational
5 TOP TRENDS AFFECTING CHICKEN,
Significant changes in U.S. production, for example,
have occurred over short period, and now 40 percent
of U.S. chicken production can be classed as antibiotic
free while, within the U.K., use of antibiotics has declined
by 40 percent between 2012 and 2016.
Various sectors along the production chain are responding to this challenge in different ways. Where breeding
companies are concerned, the response has been to increase focus on good livability, robustness and gut health.
But it is not only the move away from antibiotics that is
concerning producers where flock health is concerned.
Helmink notes that 83 percent of laying flocks in
Europe are thought to be infested with red mite. This is
costly. With chickens potentially having 2,000 visits by
mites in one night alone, production decreases and costs
rise, potentially reaching EUR0.60 (US$0.70) per chicken
Treatment restrictions introduced a decade ago, along
with more complex housing systems, mean that producers are now looking for alternatives to control the pest.
Infestation rates vary by country, but in the Netherlands,
with its high number of birds, it has reached 94 percent.
Return to the
Retailers are responding to consumer perceptions of the welfare
and quality benefits of
Swalander notes that, while interest may be particularly strong in the Netherlands, it is growing
worldwide. Breeding companies have been responding to this demand for more than a decade and various options are available to producers.
In addition to responding to consumer pressures
to abandon cages, Helmink said, the egg industry
is facing growing demand for eggs to be produced
locally, affecting the sector in a variety of ways, particularly in the Netherlands and Germany.
www.WATTAgNet.com ❙ August 2018