… one of the most interactive meetings I’ve ever seen!” and aaaction!!!
Cuxhaven, 13th to 17th November 2023 – Dynamic Learning became one of our favorite ways long before to share knowledge and acquire more of it! And we can’t get enough of it: also, our November Academy was rich in interaction, collaboration, and exchange. Together with our valued friends and customers from Algeria, Angola, Brazil, Morocco, Nepal, Spain, Uganda, and USA we went through some high-energy days:
Starting with a lavish welcoming dinner at a new venue, the Hotel Strandperle with its unique Bell ‘Époque Art Deco cross-over inspired interior design, the group spend Tuesday with discussing future developments and putting a focus on correct lighting programs. Small breakout groups maximized collaboration. Bowling, a tradition we have come to love over the years, kept up the dynamic momentum before we closed the first day with dinner.
On Wednesday we shifted the focus towards the “Dos and don’ts in rearing”, production and nutrition – and our external speaker, nutritionist Rick Kleyn from Spesfeed Animal Nutritional Consultants, South Africa, threw some new-old light on the specifics of layer nutrition. Xabier Arbe, Managing Director of H&N International and nutritionist himself, introduced Rick as “one of the superstars of Poultry Nutrition”.
He surely and truly is, because he put a few things straight that otherwise may get lost in the subject: Especially Ricks explanations of the difference between protein and energy – it may sound totally obvious, but for far too many of us it’s not! – proved to be an interesting, enlightening look behind and inside “the system” of nutrition. Some basic truths, like how to get to one calory, have almost been obliterated by – human food marketing!
Believe it or not, but human food marketing has in great portions been transferred to or rubbed off on animal nutrition, creating a boatload of misconceptions! Nutrition is a science, and Rick recovered, or rather re-excavated some simple facts that apply as basics to anyone’s nutrition:
Feed comprises four major components, and feed is not just about protein. Human beings and animals convert food into dietary components and use these to maintain body function and to the creation of tissue, be it meat or eggs. So, what’s the difference? Humans eat precisely the same things as chickens. Just cooked. Grain and protein. But low and behold, humans don’t lay eggs!
Our body doesn’t know what it’s eating. It just keeps breaking down and metabolizes substances, and these are used to maintain the system or create tissue, depending on the type of animal or bird consuming the feed. Sounds simple, but many people (not nutritionists) let themselves be fooled by a protein-story that originates from adverts about human food, such as those products sold for bodybuilding! Small group workshops intensified the subject.
Our special edition of the world-famous board game Trivial Pursuit, H&Ns “Trivial Poultry” combined facts with fun as we wrapped up the second day. Well, wrapped up? Not yet – the Karaoke Night after dinner did it. Rumor has it that the last singers – and really about everybody sang! – left the stage well past midnight!
After Wednesday could well have been headlined by “stomach related things”, Thursday again shifted focus towards Avian Influenza and respiratory diseases, not without also a lecture for “Troubleshooting Feed” issues, to keep up Wednesday’s momentum. Lots of room to ask questions and get good answers was provided by more breakout groups and an “Ask the H&N Team” round.
Rick Kleyn, who has seen many many meetings during his world spanning career said: “This was the most interactive meeting, I’ve ever been to!” Well, let’s have more of this! If you would like to recap the Academy, please find more information on our Campus.