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Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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Strategies for further technical and economic progress in poultry production

INRA Prod. Anim., 4 (1), 31-40.


INRA Station de Recherches Avicoles, 37380 Nouzilly

The combination of scientific, technic and economic arguments can still contribute to the elaboration of numerous progress strategies in poultry production. Thus, improvements induced by classical quantitative genetics are far from being ended. New selection criteria are in progress (both in anatomy and physiology). These can be complemented by studies of DNA polymorphisms used as predictors of economic characters such as resistance to illness. However these methods are expensive such as trangenesis which is still limited to the methodological study stage. These methods will be applied practically only if the feasibility to increase an economic trait is clearly demonstrated. In the meantime, any somatotropin induced growth stimulation seems to be excluded. The metabolic utilization of feedstuffs will require an evaluation which is increasingly precise. It may be sometimes enhanced by enzymes in order to decrease environment pollution (nitrogen and phosphorus). The achievement of safe (without pathogenic bacteria) complete feed will be also required. The future of reproduction depends on the control of the breeders’ feed intake and, later, on a general use of artificial insemination which will allow a totally separated management of the two sexes. Poultry pathology is diversifying on account of new complex syndromes such as infectious runting or leg weakness. The animal transport of pathogenic (for man) bacteria will be the other main concern henceforth. Multivalent vaccines can be prepared by gene recombination techniques which will place side by side genes of different antigenic sites inside a bacteria or a virus. An other innovation may be the administration in ovo of some vaccines during the egg transfer to the hatcher. Rearing techniques have still to be adapted to the specificities of each country and even of each area ; they must take first into account the bacteriological quality of the final products and the animal welfare problem. Poultry products will be increasingly submitted to a first, and even to a second transformation which will continually increase their practicability and dietetic value. They will be promoted by trade-mark and advertising politics. As a whole, economic optimization studies integrating all the operations of a network production have still to be developed.

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