Approaching today’s poultry and egg industry Qa:
Dr. Doug Grieve, president of Hy-Line International, gives Egg Industry
insight on what his company is doing and hopes to do for the poultry industry.
Dr. Doug Grieve obtained his undergraduate, MS and DVM degrees all from Michigan State University. He was appointed to Hy-Line in 1994 as a Technical Service Veterinarian,
became the Director of Global Technical Services in 2006 and was then promoted to company
EI: How is Hy-Line responding to the challenge
of welfare compliance?
DG: Our selection programs consider temper-
ament and behavior in the group environment. Hy-Line selects families
using birds that have entire beaks on the basis of performance in both
cages and ;oor systems. It is necessary to provide a hen that is calm,
has good livability and is well suited to the environment for which it is
Dr. Doug Grieve, DVM
10 • Industry Egg • October 2009 • www.WATTAgNet.com
EI: How are the strains currently under development performing in the
context of commercial parameters?
DG: Traits must be changed or selected to conform to the demands
of the market. Challenges include restoration of nesting behavior for
non-con;ned ;ocks and enhancing socialization. Our current selection standard is the UEP Guideline which is based on principles as
assessed by a scienti;c panel. Basically, we believe that pressure is
good for the industry and we are responding by adapting our strains
to provide optimal performance under emerging housing and management situations.
EI: Sustainability will become an important determinant of pro;tability
and marketability in years to come. How is Hy-Line responding to this
DG: We have maintained intensive selection for improved feed conversion ef;ciency over many generations. Programs initiated by Dr.
Jim Arthur, which are now under the capable leadership of Dr. Neal
O’Sullivan, are incorporating feed utilization, manure output and feather cover in selection programs. With our international perspective, Hy-Line has certainly adopted a “green view” with respect to production
and we are trying to anticipate and satisfy the needs of our customers
through our breeding program
EI: Currently almost a third of all eggs produced in the U.S. are converted to liquid products. Does this reality in;uence breeding?
DG: Both our W-36 and W-98 egg strains provide a high percentage
of solids. Egg mass and percent egg yolk are the drivers for optimizing a
commercial variety for the egg processing industry. We believe that the
proportion of eggs that will be broken will steadily increase and we must
be in a position to offer products which bene;t this market.
EI: Have recent changes in the structure of the industry in;uenced Hy-Line geneticists and management specialist?
DG: Our approach to pullet rearing and management is being reevaluated. We recognize that a uniform ;ock of pullets of adequate
weight and maturity will contribute to maximum egg yield. Management of pullet ;ocks will receive greater attention in the future with respect to nutrition, housing, ventilation and prevention of disease. This is
exempli;ed in a technical service school to be held in North America in
2010 which will concentrate on commercial production. Hy-Line International has a long history of schools for our customers, but to date our
schools have been structured for our international customers to optimize
production at the parent level. The new approach will be to improve
production technology in North America to assist customers in reaching
the inherent genetic potential of our products.
EI: How are you approaching increased demands for product safety?
DG: As primary breeders at the top of the reproduction pyramid,
it is incumbent on Hy-Line to achieve the highest possible standards