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2nd technical meeting ISA distributors Saint Brieuc
Based on strong positive feedback from our customers, ISA conducted this year again a technical meeting for their European Distributors. The meeting was held from April 26-29 in St. Brieuc, France. This years event focused on “Egg Quality Traits of ISA Products” highlighting topics ranging from egg shell quality to numerous industry relevant internal quality attributes.
The program on the first day started with a presentation of Prof. Dr. Sally Salomon, who is a world-wide renowned authority in avian reproduction. She presented extensive details on the anatomy and biology of the oviduct and outlined links between egg membrane structure in relation to normal- and abnormal egg shell formation as well as internal egg quality.
The program then continued with presentations of the ISA Technical Team. First, Julien Fablet (ISA France Geneticist) outlined in his highly anticipated presentation “Selection for shell- and albumen quality, measurements and 100 week laying cycles” the significant progress that ISA has accomplished in the area of egg quality and steps that are being taking to ensure continued improvements also in the near future.
Besides, anatomy and biology also husbandry can impair egg quality. This was summarized by Dr. Hermann Klein-Hessling (ISA Technical Director) in his presentation on “Management factors influencing shell and albumen quality”. Special emphasis was given to optimizing feeding techniques and lighting programs
The afternoon was reserved for field visits. At the ISA St. Brandon PL facility, participants could watch the extensive ISA egg research in practice. Demonstrations were given on shell breaking strength measurements, haugh units, shell color and detection of inclusion bodies. From there, the tour continued with a visit to a small egg braking plant specializing in preparing numerous egg consumer products derived from alternative production. Blessed by beautiful weather and a sunny evening with beer and champagne at the sea, the participants could then relax and enjoy a magnificent dinner and sunset in Val André.
Day 2 started with a presentation on “Impact of feed factors on shell - and albumen quality“ by Fabien Galea (ISA France feed and management specialist) who outlined the numerous and complex nutritional factors associated with external and internal quality. Even with good genetics, management and feed, there is always the risk of disease interference. Paul Grignon-Dumoulin (ISA France Veterinarian) elaborated in his presentation “Diseases influencing shell- and albumen quality” on the many potential health risks of mainly viral diseases and the importance for prevention through good bio-security, vaccination and management. Finally, the morning session was completed by a very interesting update on “Trends and developments in egg grading and packaging equipment“ by Paul Buisman.
The afternoon program consisted of a visit to an egg grading station exclusively concentrating on “Label Rouge” production followed by a visit to a 6000 hen unit “Label Rouge, free-range” commercial layer farm.
Throughout the 2 1/2 day program ample time was set aside to allow for discussions among the participants including the invited speakers. Especially, the evenings in the bar were much appreciated to converse with other members of the distributor’s network on trends and issues in the respected local markets. The overall conclusion and feedback from the participants has been the ISA Technical Distributors Meeting “definitely has to be continued”.