October 27, 2008
In a recent survey done during Alltech's poultry technical seminar in Dunboyne, Ireland, 32 percent of leading nutritionists, veterinarians and other industry experts have stated that the EU programme to reduce salmonella contamination in eggs and poultry flocks will jeopardise the competitiveness of European poultry producers. A further 20 percent said that it will lead to the illegal use of antibiotics and 18 percent that it will result in unrealistic expectations for consumers.
A panel of six international poultry experts presented their views and answered the questions of over 110 delegates who attended the seminar. Sixty of the delegates and speakers participated in confidential electronic surveys on the current situation and the future of the European poultry industry.
Almost fifty percent of the survey participants believed that feed prices will decrease significantly over the next year, 10 percent believed that they would stay the same, while 37 percent said that prices will further jack-up. Over half claimed that broilers are more sensitive to disease as a result of genetic development, 39 percent said that they are more resistant.
Forty-four percent of respondents agreed that energy use would become the biggest challenge to poultry producers in the future, 13 percent said that it would be trace minerals, 12 percent mentioned greenhouse gases, 13 percent ammonia and 8 percent phosphorous. Ninety percent of respondents said that, in the future, a 2kg broiler will be able to achieve between 1.2 - 1.4 FCR (feed conversion ratio).
The survey also said 27 percent believed that the ban of battery cages will reduce egg quality, 18 percent said it would lead to increased mortality and 10 percent concluded that the ban would result in reduced laying performance. On the other hand, twenty percent of the consumers will be unaware of the welfare improvement introduced by enriched cages with a further 46 percent stating that consumers are mainly motivated by price.