Alternative, slower-growing segments of the broiler market have existed for decades. Historically, however, these were largely niche or artisanal operations. More recently, there has been an increase in demand for slower-growing broiler products across various European markets, in particular The Netherlands, Germany and Scandinavia.
The growth of this segment in the European market has been driven by two key factors. Firstly, retailers are striving to find particular points of difference to attract consumers and in some cases, slower-growing birds can be part of such an approach. Secondly, consumers have greater spending power and are thus creating some of that demand.
As a primary breeder it is crucial to recognise such changing consumer needs and adopt these as part of the breeding programme. Aviagen foresaw a potential change in market requirements and has invested in dedicated product development exclusively for the alternative, slower-growing sector over the past 15 years.
The company has developed a broad range of slower-growing products particularly well-suited to alternative indoor, organic and free-range segments of the market. The core objective of Aviagen’s product portfolio is to preserve and enhance the welfare benefits of the birds at the same time as offering strong advantages for feed efficiency and meat yield within this sector. The company’s goal is to provide a range of products, which offer excellent welfare and at the same time deliver improved economic and environmental sustainability in each segment of the broiler market.
The Aviagen offering of slower-growing birds is suitable for a wide variety of growing styles and customer requirements. The range includes The Ranger Classic™, The Rowan Ranger®, and the newly- introduced Ranger Gold™.
The Rowan Range has been approved in a series of welfare accreditation schemes worldwide and offers superb health and welfare characteristics as well as sector-leading performance for meat production.
The Ranger Classic is the premium choice for the slower-growing market with excellent health and welfare characteristics as well as being the leader for FCR and meat yield in the slower-growing sector. It is a combination of the brown-feathered Ranger female with the white-feathered Classic male. The Ranger Classic broiler has white plumage with shades of brown and also benefits from being feather-sexable.
The Ranger Gold is a newly-developed product, currently on field test in Europe. It is a combination of the brown feathered Ranger female with a Gold male and provides an excellent balance of high robustness and vitality along with excellent FCR and meat yield. The Ranger Gold broiler is coloured, with a variety of brown and gold-shaded colours and also benefits from being feather-sexable.
The Rowan Ranger is a combination of the brown-feathered Ranger female and the brown-feathered Rowan male and can be used in a number of production systems. The package brings a great blend of reproduction, rusticity and meat yield. The Rowan Ranger broiler has fully-brown plumage and offers the benefit of being feather-sexable.
The momentum of the slower-growing segment will undoubtedly continue to grow across Europe. Aviagen has invested in dedicated pedigree programmes and strong product development to offer market-leading products, with the objective to be the supplier of choice for all segments of the slower-growing sector.