Crown Chicken win top Ross award

Norfolk integrator Crown Chicken is celebrating success in the annual Ross breeder and broiler flock awards, picking up the Ross 308 flock of the year.

The award was presented to Heather Baker, who runs the rearing farm at Wyverstone in Suffolk, and Les Able who runs the production site near Attleborough in Norfolk.

Birds are transferred to the production farm at 19 weeks. First eggs are saved from 24-25 weeks, and are then transferred to the company hatchery at Kenninghall in Norfolk.

The prize-winning flock produced 150.6 chicks a bird to 60 weeks compared to the UK breed average of 125.6. Hatchability was 86.09%.

“The key to our breeding success starts with the modern rearing facilities” said Crown Chicken agricultural director Matthew Ward. “The birds are fed from computer controlled spin feeders and at the production farm, Jansen nests are used.

“Attention to detail is everything; both Heather and Les are what I would describe as old-fashioned stock people who do the job right. Breeder production manger Barry Nicholas is making the critical decisions on when to light up flocks, decide on feed increases etc.”

The Ross UK flock awards, now in their 11th year, were held at Wroxall Abbey in Warwickshire, recognising the excellent results achieved across the country for Ross 308 and Ross 708.

Results show both breeder and broiler performance increased from last year, with a number of broiler growers achieving EPEF of over 400.

Regional commercial and technical manager for Aviagen, Alan Thomson, said the awards were a way of saying thank you “for the time, dedication and commitment that goes into each and every flock of birds”.

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