Sustainable poultry production for Africa

Published on April 23, 2020

Sustainable poultry production for Africa

With Africa being one of the developing regions where population and economic issues are anticipated to grow substantially in the next five years, we have focused on sustainable animal breeding there in particular for many years. One year ago, we launched a project there, which was considered so beneficial in concept that it was awarded a multi-year grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Better genetic solutions for African Farmers

The Sustainable Access to Poultry Parental Stock to Africa (SAPPSA) project was designed to provide better supply and genetic solutions for African poultry farmers. Through this project, Hendrix Genetics is providing support to local farmers in feeding the growing population with nutritious protein.

Creation of a new genetic pipeline

SAPPSA is backed by SASSO, our traditional poultry business. Over the last year, the initial steps in establishing a strong pipeline of traditional poultry genetics to African farmers have been out in place. While it may at first glance seem odd, this involved setting up a grandparent farm in another continent - South America. Brazil to be precise. Brazil is free of various high pathogenic viruses, and as has been used as a base for the export of animal genetics to a large range of countries in Africa for some time. In addition, with Hendrix Genetics’ large and experienced layer business in Brazil, it became apparent that this would be the best operational base for SASSO. As disease outbreaks within domestic and wild avian populations have threatened the poultry industry on so many occasions, a key feature of sustainable poultry breeding is enhanced biosecurity, disease control and disease-resistance.

Three grandparent barns have been developed at Xaréu Farm, Itapetinininga, Sao Paolo, Brazil on the same farm as Hendrix Genetics’ laying hen facilities. This is the ideal location as the layer genetics are protected against disease threats and any resultant import bans. The range of sites also allows us to provide a consistent supply of genetics at the right time, even to Africa, as per our customers’ requests.

The highest biosecurity standards

Building the new grandparent facility in Brazil required complete design of feed and water systems, flooring and fences to ensure a high standard of biosecurity. Absolute compliance with regulations on these elements is crucial for exporting quality genetics. The first flock of grandparent day-old chicks were hatched in the Salto hatchery and placed for rearing. These birds were supplied by SASSO and will be delivered twice a year.

A flagship sustainability project

SAPPSA is a project that will make a huge positive impact in the lives of farmers, their families, and the African population. We are proud to lead it. It is a prime example of how we are turning our vision into reality with the firm belief that we can only achieve a better, more sustainable future for all of us by working together.

Sustainability is epitomized in our traditional poultry business

Colored chicken breeds

Since 2017 Hendrix Genetics has been and continues to be actively involved in breeding traditional broilers with our brand SASSO. A logical step as traditional broilers is the largest segment in traditional poultry.

SASSO has been involved in the breeding of traditional broilers since the late 60s when the first ‘Label Rouge’ poultry was created. To provide the producers with French day-old chicks, SASSO was founded, dedicated to the selection of traditional colored lines.

With the extensive product portfolio of SASSO added to the business, we now offer red chickens, naked-neck yellow skin, red with white skin, naked-neck black feathers and so on.

Traditional turkeys

Our portfolio of traditional turkeys consists of different breeds that still retain historic characteristics that are rarely seen (at least not since the mid-20th century). Traditional, heritage turkeys have a relatively longer lifespan and a slower growth rate. Through our breeding program we aim to preserve the natural characteristics of the breed, while at the same time breed for robustness and taste for commercial environments. Today, we breed different strains of bronze, black and white turkeys of different origin, different conformation and different final weights. More important, they all carry the taste of tradition that we want to preserve.

Traditional layers

Traditional layer breeding is more than just about the colors of the birds’ feathers, and is very much focused on egg color and appearance. Customers are increasingly looking for differentiation in their egg consumption. Today we offer laying hens naturally capable of laying blue, green or chocolate brown eggs.

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