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Boehringer Ingelheim is pleased to inform you that you can register to participate to the third live webinar of 2019

Gainesville Carbon Neutrality

Gainesville Carbon Neutrality

All of the Boehringer Ingelheim locations have been challenged with reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

All of the Boehringer Ingelheim locations have been challenged with reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

We consider these measures as a prerequisite to having a competitive advantage and being a sustainable company. The Gainesville location took a step toward carbon neutrality as ADMIN's solar panels are now up and running as of October 1st. The 5,430 square foot installation is expected to produce 114,212 kWh per year and reduces the carbon footprint by 57 tCO2e which correlates to the carbon footprint of 6,414 gallons of gasoline.

The installation includes a monitoring platform which allows us to ensure the proper operation and tracks the production of the solar panels. The following chart shows the amount of electricity being generated for use in the building.

Through the reduction of our carbon footprint, we are complying with the company's goal of sustainable development (30% emission reduction by 2030). Converting to neutral carbon emissions, the Gainesville location is now positioned as a leader in the company and beyond.


S.K. ORLOWSKI

Assistant Professor
University of Arkansas

S.K. ORLOWSKI

Assistant Professor
University of Arkansas

Over the past 50 years, poultry production has seen a dramatic increase surpassing beef and pork in both production and consumption. But how have poultry producers been able to be so successful? The answer traces back to pedigree geneticists at primary breeder companies. A primary breeder company focuses on selective breeding of broiler lines for numerous traits at a pedigree level. Through a series of multiplication steps this will eventually produce the parent stock birds that are sold to broiler integrators (Figure 1). The parent stock birds produce the broilers that will eventually be processed for human consumption. in total, genetic selection made at the pedigree level will take 4-5 years before it is on the plates of the consumers, so geneticists have to be very particular in what they select for and how they do it. They also need to forecast the consumer needs and integrate that into their long-term selection plan.

In the 1950's geneticists focused solely on selection for increased body weight. A bigger bird meant more meat. However, over the years breeding programs have evolved to include numerous traits, focusing not only on growth and yield characteristics but also on traits related to reproduction, livability, health, and welfare (Tavarez and de los Santos, 2016) in order to produce a bigger, better, and healthier bird. When selecting at the pedigree level, geneticists gather information on individual birds such as their body weight, feed conversion ration (FCR), breast muscle conformation, pulse oximetry measurement, leg health, and walking ability among many other traits. Recent years have also included an increase in the use of molecular methods in selecting pedigree birds focusing on things like marker assisted selection or quantitative trait loci (QTL) to identify different genes or markers in each bird. In addition to getting information on individual birds, they also gater family information to help in their selection. Once all information has been gathered geneticists use prediction models and analysis to help select the next generation of breeders.

With selective breeding of broilers, certain traits are going to be more heritable than other traits. Heritability to put it simply, is the ability of a measurable trait, for example, body weight, to be transmitted from parent to offspring. Traits that are highly heritable like body weight or breast meat yield are passed easily from parent to offspring and rapid genetic progress can be detected from generation to generation. Other traits that are lowly heritable like hatchability are traits that may be more influenced by the environment and it takes many generations of selection to observe improvement. The commercial broiler is the result of a 4-way cross to mix genetic material and to take advantage of hybrid vigor (Figure 1). THis also results in the ability to improve traits where the heritability may be relatively low at a quicker pace. The four pure or pedigree lines that produce the commercial broiler are selected for varying traits. Pure lines that produce the male bird in the parent stock package are selected for traits such as feed conversion, growth rate and body weight while the pure lines on the female side focus more intensely on reproductive and fertility traits and secondarily on growth related traits. The resulting crossbred broiler is the bird that is on the market for human consumption.

Remarkably, genetic selection and selective breeding of the broiler has been responsible for 85-90% of the improvements made in modern broilers with the remaining 10-15% a result of nutrition management (Havenstein et al., 2001). The modern broiler today can reach a market weight of 6.26 pounds in 47 days while in 1950, growing a bird to only 3 pound took 70 days and utilized much more feed and resources (National Chicken Council, 2019). Not only do we have a broiler that is faster growing, higher yielding, and is more efficient, we have also been able to improve on livability and disease control. Poultry geneticists have had a major role in these improvements and will continue to move the modern broiler forward in a healthy and efficient way.

Figure 1: Breeding scheme of primary breeder companies to produce the 4-way cossbred commercial broiler

REFERENCES
Havenstein, G.B., P.R. Ferket and M.A. Qureshi. 2003. Growth, livability and feed conversion of 1957 versus 2001 broilers when fed representative 1957 and 2001 broiler diets. Poult. Sci. 82:1500-1508.

National Chicken Council, 2019. U.S. Broiler Performance. 1925 to present. https://www.nationalchickencouncil.org/about-the-industry/statistics/u-s-broiler-performance/

Tavarez, M.A. and F. Solis de los Santos. 2016. Impact of genetics and breeding on broiler production performance: a look into the past, present, and future of the industry. Anim. Front. 4:37-41.

JOHN E. MCCARTY
DVM, MAM, Diplomate ACPV

Senior Professional Services Veterinarian

U.S. Poultry Business Unit
Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health

JOHN E. MCCARTY
DVM, MAM, Diplomate ACPV

Senior Professional Services Veterinarian

U.S. Poultry Business Unit
Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health

Coccidiosis control is an essential component of a poultry flock health program. For decades, the method of choice for controlling this disease in broiler flocks was in-feed pharmaceuticals. While commercial vaccines have been available for most of that time, their use was limited until recently. An independent survey reported that approximately 650 million doses of coccidiosis vaccine used in 2003. By 2010, that number had more than tripled to 2.2 billion doses with an additional 60% increase by 2018 for total use of more than 3.5 billion doses. This growth is primarily driven by changing market dynamics that have reduced the ability of producers to use in-feed pharmaceuticals as the method of coccidiosis control. Facing these restrictions, poultry producers have increasingly turned to vaccines to control this disease. While vaccine programs can be very successful, they are more complex to execute than in-feed pharmaceutical programs. Recognizing this reality, Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health's Poultry Business Unit has dedicated significant time and resources to developing complete programs to assist our customers successfully implementing their cocci vaccination programs.

The administration method of choice for these vaccines is via spray at the hatchery. Good uptake of the vaccine is essential for good flock immunity. Other research had shown the importance of the proper light intensity for good uptake of vaccines. Beginning in 2010, BIAH studied the proper lighting program needed to ensure good uptake of HatchPak Cocci III. This research resulted in a lighting program for the chick processing room to help stimulate vaccine uptake. The next year, a further enhancement was developed. This was the addition of a light bar on the spray cabinet to stimulate schick activity and improve vaccine uptake. This work has clearly shown that proper lighting ensures the proper level of chick activity to increase preening behavior and vaccine uptake. As a result of thi, BIAH can offer our customers solid, science-based advice on the best lighting program to use when administering HatchPak Cocci III.

Another concern for many customers was the volume of water applied to day-of-age chicks. Since most chicks also receive a respiratory vaccine by hatchery spray, the total volume of water being applied can be significant. The key to successfully adding a coccidiosis vaccine to the hatchery regimen is to target the proper amount of water to be applied. Too much water results in over-wetting chicks and chilling them. Too little water compromises vaccine uptake. BIA tacked this issue in 2013. The outcome of that research showed that a total volume of 35 ml can be safely applied to chicks, thereby ensuring good vaccine uptake while not over-chilling the chicks. This assures our customers that they are getting the benefit of the vaccine program while still not compromising the welfare of the chicks.

As a result of the concerns over using water as the vaccine carrier, several gel products have been proposed as alternative carriers for vaccines, especially coccidiosis vaccines. These products are purported to improve vaccine uptake as well as produce less wetting and chilling of chicks. In 2015, BIAH tested this theory and found that the gel tested did indeed result in a less dramatic reduction of body temperature. AT the same time, the gel did not show significant differences in vaccine uptake. This work shows that gels can be safely used as the carrier for coccidiosis vaccines.

Like all vaccines, repeated exposure to coccidiosis vaccines results in amnestic response, which enhances immunity. This usually occurs through the natural cycling of the vaccine where the vaccine oocysts are shed into the environment, undergo sporulation to become infective, and are then consumed by the birds through their natural pecking behavior. However, there is a risk that the birds will also consume "wild" oocysts, which can cause disease. To mitigate this risk, it is important to assure that there are sufficient vaccine oocysts in the environment to improve the chances that the birds consume these oocysts. The best way to achieve this is by following the initial hatchery administration with a field administration. In 2016, BIAH tested a number of different programs for field administration. WE found that there is a benefit to field administration because it enhances the likelihood that the oocysts in the environment that are consumed are vaccine oocysts. Customers can use this information to determine the best program to accomplish the goal of most efficiently protecting their flocks from coccidiosis.

The goal of any vaccination process is to immunize the animals that receive the vaccine. No matter how effective the vaccine is, it can't produce immunity if it isn't successfully administered. Since launching HatchPak Cocci III in 2008, BIAH has worked continually to develop new methods to assist our customers in successfully implementing a coccidiosis vaccine program. This history of innovation has resulted in a comprehensive plan to that offers our customers the most effective program we can to help ensure a successful immunization of their flocks. However, innovation never stops. We are committed to continuing to develop new, more effective vaccine programs to help ensure the health and well-being of your poultry flocks. Prevention Works!

D. BROTHERS,
J. CAMPBELL
J. DAVIS,
E. SIMPSON,
J. DONALD

National Poultry
Technology Center

D. BROTHERS,
J. CAMPBELL
J. DAVIS,
E. SIMPSON,
J. DONALD

National Poultry
Technology Center

The ever-evolving modern poultry house has gained numerous energy efficiencies over the last few years. Improvements in tightening techniques & insulation technology, improvements in ventilation systems, control systems, lighting and heating - almost all areas of input costs have received much attention and have seen great improvements. Now with the current efforts in rainwater harvesting being explored and utilized on NPTC test farms, one might be tempted to say there is not much fat left to trim out of the modern poultry farm. However, solar energy can also be added to this list. There are not many things in this world we can say are truly free - the sun's light energy is one of them. Solar electricity is not a new idea at all. Everyone has used and benefits from photovoltaic (PV or solar cell) power generation. You probably have a calculator on your desk that uses PV cells to power it instead of batteries. The technology of converting the sun's light energy into electricity has been around for a long time and is continuing to evolve and improve. In fact, this idea is not even new to poultry housing in the U.S. However, there are some common misunderstandings to how it actually works on a poultry farm. The following is a compilation of Auburn University's National Poultry Technology Center research and observations for solar power on poultry with information gathered through work with solar installation companies over the last several years.

With the increasing cost of power being driven further and faster by the increasing bird demands, it is time poultry growers seriously consider opportunities in solar power. The problem is a system that harnesses this "free energy" is anything but free. In fact, it can be very costly, particularly if done incorrectly without full understanding of how it all works. On the other hand, if done properly with all the right supporting factors, a grower has the opportunity to lock in his future electricity costs at a constant lower rate while paying for the system. Once a system is paid for, a grower can thereafter be virtually self-sustaining in electricity well into the future with little more than the cost of insurance and maintenance for the solar system. With current electricity costs continuing to climb, this can equal a substantial boost to the grower's bottom line.

"Un-plugging" from the power company and going "off-grid" with solar power is becoming a viable choice for some residential and even some small commercial and industrial applications. The solar cycle compared to the electrical demand cycle of a poultry house makes this a difficult goal to accomplish. However, this technology is currently being tested by the National Poultry Technology Center on a commercial poultry farm in northern Alabama. (READ MORE) The early results look promising and a totally solar powered poultry house may well be viable in the near future. But for the poultry grower looking today to add solar power to their farm, there is currently only one readily available and fully tested opportunity for poultry growers to utilize solar electricity: Utility Company Net Metering

NET METERING AND HOW IT WORKS:

Power companies have to produce the power you purchase from them. They have to build and maintain the distribution system. And they have to anticipate and react to ever increasing demands for electricity. They do this at a very successful level and for surprisingly low cost to the end user if you consider everything that goes into your ability to plug into your wall and get power at any time. However, the increasing costs of production and increasing demands often mean ever increasing power bills, as the utility companies try to keep up with demand. Many people may not realize that utility companies are regulated by the public service commissions or legislatures of the states they do business in. Regulations control just how much the utility companies can charge for the power they supply. Therefore, utility companies are always in search of newer, better, less expensive ways to produce and distribute electricity. Enter solar electricity production.

Solar energy has proven to be a highly efficient, low maintenance way to produce electricity. In fact many utility companies are investing in large solar production facilities, or "solar farms," to harness the sun's free energy to produce electricity. Any method of electricity production is most efficient when you can produce the electricity close to the same areas of the highest usage, thus decreasing distribution costs in the form of power lines, substations, etc. These utility company solar farms are often located in areas of high demand.

If a grower is not directly using the electricity he is producing with a solar system, then just how does all this work? Simple, it ia all about the power meter. We are probably all familiar with how the meter works - when you use electricity from the power company, the power meter counts those watts and adds them up over time, turning that number into kilowatt hours (kWh)-the unit by which you get charged for electricity. Now imagine if you could turn that meter backwards. This is in essence how net metering works. There are several forms of the actual metering systems depending on the utility company in question, but the principle is the same. As the solar system produces power and feeds into the power grid, the meter flows in the direction of the grower. When the grower uses power from the grid, the meter flows in the direction of the utility company. At the end of the month, the difference, or the net, is what the grower pays for, or in some cases, what the utility company pays the grower - according to who received more electricity in the month. The poultry grower's ultimate goal is to produce as much electricity and feed it back into the system as he uses off the system, thus netting out at zero power bill. When the sun shines, a grower produces and "sells" electricity to the power company. When it is not shining, he purchases what he needs from them. At the end of the month, you hope to have sold as much or more than you bought.

All power utility companies who participate in net metering have certain rules and regulations for their program. Many limit how much power you can produce by limiting the size of a system at any location. Others limit the number of kWh they will pay for. Most often they limit the kWh they will pay for to be equal or less than your annual usage averaged over time - thereby guaranteeing you can only zero out at best and not get ahead of the utility company. Many will limit the rate per kWh they pa for the power produced by solar. Some companies pay retail rates, others only wholesale. There have been times when a utility company is in an expansion mode and chose to offer incentive rates to encourage local production. Still others have purchase rates that change with seasons and usage patterns. All participating utilities will have guidelines that must be met to tie your system into their grid.

Net-metering guidelines are often regulated again by the state under formalized net-metering laws. These laws are set into place by state legislatures and public service commissions to assure both the power client and the utility company have the opportunity to operate profitably in this unique system. Therefore, it is paramount for any grower who is considering solar energy production to find out exactly how their utility company provider operates regarding net metering as well as how their state laws regulate the system. Without a favorable net-metering program in place, solar energy production is currently an economically profitable choice for most poultry growers.

THE ECONOMICS OF SOLAR POWER GENERATION FOR NET METERING:

The durability, weight, lifespan, and efficiency of PV cell panels are improving rapidly. These improvements are fast reducing the overall cost per watt to record lows - with newer technology promising to continually drive the cost lower in the near future. As new technology lowers the costs, it also shortens the payback period of a system in a favorable net-metering situation. It wasn't too many years ago that solar power was costing $6.00-7.00 per watt of installed capacity. That cost has declined exponentially in the last few years. We have seen current installed cost estimates for an average 50-kilowatt system range from $1.50-$2.00/watt. There are additional opportunities for growers to possibly decrease the cost through available tax credits, government grant incentives like the R.E.A.P. program, as well as possible leasing options.*

*It is to be noted that 3rd party purchase/lease options may not be available in some states. Check your local utility company and/or public service commission for details.

The payback numbers for a solar system are variable depending upon the above cost factors, the cost of electricity in the area and hours of sun exposure per day, per year for the location. 1 kilowatt of solar panel can produce power at the rate of 1,350 kilowatt-hours per year. Depending on a location's solar availability, a 50 kw solar system can potentially produce 67,500 kWh's of electricity in a year. If you are currently paying $0.11 per kWh to the power company, that 50 kW solar system could offset $7,425 of your current annual power bill - assuming you currently use that much power and your utility company offers full net-metering. This offset in electrical cost is the revenue that pays for the solar system, interest, insurance, and maintenance. Considering all the numbers, the average poultry farm with favorable solar location and net-metering opportunities can expect a final payback period of 7-10 years on a 50 kW system. Any cost-share, tax-credits or grant monies that reduce install cost would reduce this period.

System lifespan is very good. PV panels degrade at a slow rate of 1/2 of one percent per year. This means they have an optimal lifespan of 25-30 years before their efficiency drops to less than 80% (though they continue to produce electricity beyond this point.) Most systems will come with a 25 year warranty, or longer, on the panels themselves and a 10-15 year warranty on the power inverters. It is advised that the inverters be upgraded an replaced after 15 years. Otherwise, there is no moving parts on most PV systems so there is very little that is subject to wear and tear. PV systems on poultry farms so far have proven to be very durable with very few problems. The modern solar panel is very durable and not easily damaged. Rain, snow, and hail pose little threat. However, if a panel is damaged, they are modular and capable of being replaced in single piece.

PRACTICAL ENGINEERING QUESTIONS:

Insurance companies, builders, integrators and growers all have interest in how a solar system is installed on a poultry farm and what the associated risks are. First, it is absolutely imperative that any solar system be installed by a reputable, experienced solar installer. A well designed and installed system has built in safeties with regards to electrical shock risk for human injury. There are also life safety switches and controls that must be in place to assure the safety of utility workers when they are performing maintenance or repairs on their connected lines. Strict adherence to NEC's solar power codes and the power utility company's guidelines for life safety is required and no short cuts can be tolerated. But if a system is well designed and installed, they have proven to be safe for all parties. A properly designed system will not cause any interference with normal power supply from the utility company. If for any reason the solar system experiences problems and stops producing electricity, a properly designed system will never cause the houses to be out of power as the utility power source would still be available. This would also not affect the ability of the back-up generator to supply power as needed.

There are also questions concerning physically installing solar panels onto a poultry house roof (see fig 1.) This installation opportunity makes solar uniquely attractive to poultry growers as no land has to be utilized and taken out of otherwise useful production. For example, a typical 50KW solar system being installed in the southeastern US today takes up approximately 4,000 square feet of space. This is less than one half of the side of the typical poultry house roof. Solar panels in the northern hemisphere should optimally face in a southern direction to get most of the sun's energy. With many poultry houses running eat to west, this yields convenient, optimal southern facing roof for solar panel placement. The weight of the panels themselves is minimal and should pose no risk for a poultry house with a well-designed truss system in good repair. However, it is always advisable to have your roof/truss system inspected by a professional prior to installing a solar system. The greatest concern is in areas that experience heavy snow or ice loads in the winter. If your houses are in such areas of the country, extra caution is needed and it is advisable that a structural engineer be consulted before installation. Caution is also necessary if your poultry houses are more than 25 years old, or have roof systems built on less than a 5"/12" pitch. In these cases, you many not have an optimal installation site on the poultry house roof.

If the poultry house roof is undesirable for mounting the panels because of the roof face direction or otherwise, you can still explore a ground mounted system (see Fig 3.). Ground mounted systems are becoming more prevalent as poultry houses are no longer being built strictly in the east/west orientation. Ground mounted systems can sometimes be installed less expensively. However, they also require more maintenance as the surrounding area must be kept clear of weeds, are more prone to damage by debris or livestock, and some consider them to be an eyesore. Either system will work and produce the power it is designed for. Consider all options and choose the best for your situation.

THE BOTTOM LINE:

Solar power generation is certainly not a new idea. Even so, the technology continues to improve both in efficiency and application. It is not new to commercial poultry housing either. There are currently more than 25 poultry farm installations going on in north Alabama alone as the economics are now beginning to become favorable to some poultry growers in some areas. As this technology goes forward and costs continue to decline, it may become a more typical sight to see a poultry farm with solar panels and growers reaping the benefits of this free resource.

Figure 1: Solar panels take up little space on an average poultry house. Here is a 50KW system on a 40'x400' house. The roof system was inspected and it was determined that size and weight of this system pose no threat to the stability of this house. The installation design also allows for modular replacement or repair of the panels if needed. Poultry houses with southerly facing roofs are ideal mounting places for solar systems.

Figure 2: Solar systems use power inverters like the ones seen here to convert solar generated DC power to AC power capable of being fed back onto the utility company power grid.

Figure 3: Ground mounting of the PV panels for a solar system is also a viable option. There can be many reasons to choose a ground mounted system, including aesthetics or houses not facing in an optimal direction. These systems work the same as roof mounted and are cost-effective.

All intellectual property from the study is on file at Auburn University.
Photos contributed by Dennis Brothers.


Food Microbiology and Food Safety Book

The Food Microbiology and Food Safety series is published in conjunction with the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP), a non-profit association for food safety professionals. The book is authored by Michael P. Doyle, who has published more than 500 scientific papers on food microbiology and food safety topics and has given more than 800 invited presentations at national and international scientific meetings. Dr. Doyle is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Institute of Food Technologists, and the International Association for Food Protection and is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.

International Association for Food Protection is dedicated to the life-long educational needs of its 4,500 members and provides an information network through its two scientific journals, Food Protection Trends and Journal of Food Protection.

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"We're not just in the chicken business,
we're in the people business."

Truett Cathy, Founder of Chick-Fil-A, Inc.

"We're not just in the chicken business,
we're in the people business."

Truett Cathy,
Founder of Chick-Fil-A, Inc.


In Ancient Greece, sacrificing a cock to Asclepius (the god of medicine) was a common practice of a sick person who wanted to get well. Today when we're sick we eat chicken soup.

Chicken does indeed have healing properties: The meat contains cysteine, an amino acid that is related to the active ingredient in a drug used to treat bronchitis. A 2011 study by an Iowa physician determined that people with viral illnesses who ate chicken soup recovered faster than those who didn't.

        

                     

 

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We hoped you have enjoyed this edition of The Feed and welcome your comments and content suggestions. If you are interested in providing content to be published in our newsletter, please let us know.

Click Here

For more information on Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health poultry products and services, click here.

 

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