Egg Industry - October 2017 - 18
18 ❙ EggIndustry
MODERN POULTRY PRODUCTION
to consumers, much like what is done with eggs. Data
acquisition software could also identify and remove any
birds that are considered unhealthy or contagious.
Extreme biosecurity measures will likely be observed
and followed, and human access will be very limited,
meaning improved biosecurity. Less contact with chickens contributes to the further reduction of antibiotic use,
matching the demand for antibiotic-free products.
IN THE FUTURE,
WATER will be scarce, but the
water quality for farm animals
will be raised to that of human
quality drinking water.
science photo | Shutterstock
Alternative energy resources
Increasing efficiencies should be a focus as well as a
smart system to use natural resources. "Alternative energy sources will play a vital role in helping us meet the
demands of production while focusing on sustainability.
Wind and solar power, and rainwater harvesting can offer
sustainable solutions, while also helping with our public
reputation as a mass consumer of resources," said Fabian.
The strong anthropomorphic attitude of society toward animals is having a strong influence in poultry
husbandry and production. In conjunction with this, Penz
thinks that society will force egg production to go in
a direction that is not fully proven to be the best to the
hens. On the other hand, this new driving force is pushing
for changes in equipment, like improved cage-free design,
which is rendering progress. "We are already reducing
things like floor eggs or keel bone damage," said Jackman.
It is important to point out that, while entering this new
wave of cage-free production, purpose-built equipment
must be applied. New housing system designs must allow
for an increased barn space utilization, without compromising stocking density for meat and egg production.
In ovo sexing and on-farm hatching
Something that would change the entire system in the
near future is on-farm hatching of broiler chicks. "Hatcheries
can be expected to be significantly larger than today's and
more automated, with eggs moved automatically throughout
the different areas," said De Clercq. But there is also "the
possibility of keeping chicks at the hatchery until days 3 to
7 to help them get stronger before placement," added Fabian.
Along with automation, advances in hatchery technology
will make it feasible "to have better hairline crack detection
and perhaps even accurate sexing of birds in ovo and better hatchability," said Jackman. Along with in ovo sexing,
"Vaccination and administration of additives will be common
place," said De Clercq. Other advances include embryos of
the unwanted gender not being hatched and incubation performance improving due to individual egg/embryo monitoring.
Antibiotic-free production, husbandry
The good old concepts of biosecurity, feed quality and management will be more mandatory now than
ever. Caged production egg systems have been helpful to
isolate animals, in a way, from pathogens. The poultry industry will need mechanisms for controlling these pathogens and disease, if isolation is no longer permitted.
Slow-growing birds and antibiotic-free feed will require
closer monitoring of bird health, since birds will be in the
houses longer, and the industry will likely need to find organic alternatives to treat birds. Much work is being done on that
today, but the demand that the poultry industry will face will
probably require looking at synthetic replacements. ■
This is the 10th article in WATT Global Media's 100-year anniversary series, which offers a glimpse into the future
of modern poultry production. The next article in the series will explore advances in processing technology.
www.WATTAgNet.com ❙ October 2017