Cobb expands broiler research facilities

Broiler genetics company Cobb is continuing to expand its research and development facilities in Europe, with two new units for parent stock and commercial broilers in Holland.

The parent stock facilities will be centred near Eindhoven in southern Netherlands, studying all aspects of broiler breeder management.

They include one house with 26 different compartments to accommodate males and females through the hatching egg production cycle, from 20 weeks to 60 weeks of age. The pullets will be reared in a separate unit on site, so reducing the disease risk.

A new commercial broiler unit is also being established in Flevoland in central Netherlands, focusing on how to achieve optimum results from the Cobb500.

This farm, with capacity for 40,000 broilers, provides 25 different sections with separate recording of feed and water uptake, and weight by individual pen.

“This facility will provide a true commercial environment which is vital to understand how different breeds perform in the field,” said Tom Procter, product manager of Cobb Europe.

These investments take place as construction work progresses on a €13m (£11m) project to double the size of the Cobb pedigree breeding complex at Herveld, midway between the two new units.

Formerly part of Hendrix Genetics, the Herveld farm was acquired by Cobb as part of its 2008 purchase of the Hybro breed. The enlarged site will have 26 rearing, production and broiler development houses, with the labour force increased to 100.

“The aim is to develop the European research facilities to match those in the USA,” said a company spokesman.

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