One day in the life of: A geneticist
H&N International has been working with own genetic pools since 1945. The company has steadily and organically been growing into what it is today: Currently the worlds forth biggest provider of parent stock in market share. And one of the most innovative, if not THE most innovative genetic company. Chief Geneticist Dr. David Cavero allows a look behind the scenes and explains how H&N International selects and improves traits and manages to offer the most adaptable robust birds.
Breaking the cliché
Most people associate genetics with laboratory surroundings where more-or-less mad or visionary scientists juggle instruments and mix strange fluids in their quest to create something new. In truth genetics is less about creating but all about close and ongoing observation, evaluation, and data-based selection. See more here:
Getting the total index
When do you know your birds are performing well? What does a good performance mean in hard numbers? To give you a hint: it’s not just a fictitious number of eggs per bird. Genetics is all about doing the math to bust the myth and taking a close and scrutinizing look at interdependent factors and aspects. See here what the index is:
Improvements in our birds
In this video Dr. David Cavero explains what different traits he looks at, what variables he evaluates per each bird, and how he balances and orchestrates these to form an index that indicates a solid performance basing on hard facts. Because, after all, only sellable eggs are profit. And only a good Income over feed cost (IOFC) ratio indicates how well investments into feed translate into sellable egg results. Egg shell strength, egg uniformity, egg color are all quality aspects important in sales. And the H&N birds’ individual feed intake capability means that this excellent egg quality is achieved and kept up without dependence on high density feed. Egg producers are able to change to local feeds without compromising egg results. The selection of a well balance bird pursuit not only to have a good production with a good feed efficiency to make the best use of resources, but also a good liveability, a good behavior and a good feather cover to guarantee the welfare and well-being of the birds.
See here what makes our birds great layers:
Math is mandatory in genetics to keep proven track record of traits, variants, and developments. Not enough of that genetics is the art and science of forecasting future production abilities and narrowing down estimations to a safe bet. Dr. David Cavero explains how he factors in over 50.000 markers, enhances accuracy, shortens generation intervals and by doing so increase the genetic progress and achieves a far more precise calibration of future breeding success to trust in and build a solid farming business upon. See how he does it here.
Get an exec summary of Genetics at H&N International here