Bábolna Tetra continue to improve their layers to face future challenges

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Bábolna TETRA have invested heavily in infrastructure over the past five years, with the updating of existing housing and the building of new breeding farms, to ensure that the company can supply the highest quality of breeders and hatching eggs.
The key to this continuous development is close communication with their customers. Updates on the latest management recommendations are frequently presented during popular training schools and internal conferences.

Cooperation with Scientific Institutes
The aims of the Bábolna TETRA layer breeding company have not changed much throughout the last decade and remains that of finding a balance between welfare and economical production while increasing its share of the global market by predicting future trends within the sector. New challenges need to be approached utilizing effective R&D in cooperation with Scientific Institutes. The effect of climate changes on animal husbandry, innovation on precision feeding and housing techniques, as well as breeding for heat tolerance in layers and coloured broilers, are all hot topics for TETRA over the coming years.

New challenges
The most important traits requiring attention remain those relating to production performance, egg quality and viability. The increased genetic potential of the birds, resulting from newly applied selection strategies, must be transferable to and replicated in the field. The company also continues to invest in the international testing of their brown egg layers.
One of the latest research topics is the concern regarding heat stress tolerance, which is highly relevant in countries with hot climates. Resilience to this heat stress is deemed a positive trait. Whether it is a layer or a coloured broiler, Bábolna Tetra is on the way to introducing new products within the next few years that are selected for heat tolerance.
Recent studies have shown that certain genotypes produce eggs with more favourable composition (i.e. with higher dry matter content) which is of interest to the egg processing industry. These genotypes have not only higher dry matter, but also higher fat content due to the higher ratio of yolk in their eggs. This topic is now being further investigated by Bábolna TETRA with a university partner over the next 3 years.
Presently, test flocks are involved in a large feed trial, with the aim of monitoring the effect of feeding specially manufactured layer feeds with super high fat content. The checking of egg quality for various traits is important for the industrial egg processing sector and therefore further investigation of dry matter and egg yolk weight is an important factor on the list of projects of Bábolna Tetra layer breeding programme.
Gene preservation is also an important topic for all breeding companies. Freezing semen from the most valuable males is one option and this could be introduced to elite programmes. Cryopreservation of semen in the later stages of production is known to be difficult due to the decline in sperm viability and the higher ratio of abnormal sperm cells. It is however possible to achieve using the right technique.
Bábolna TETRA is working with a Biotechnology team and is determined to find the best protocol for gaining success with frozen and thawed semen collected from males over 60 weeks of age. Preliminary results on artificially inseminated flocks are showing that timing, type of container and method of freezing have the strongest impact on fertility results in the latter weeks of production.

Regarding flocks housed in alternative systems it is accepted that hens need to be genetically selected to adapt to these conditions. Gathering selection data from birds housed in cages is not a suitable modelling exercise when their off spring are being housed in a cage free environment. To create the required and correct testing environments Bábolna Tetra has therefore upgraded their company test farms and also created a chain of partner farms across the globe to collect data. These global farms are approved by experts from our sales and genetics team and given constant support and technical backup.
Such a programme is another example of the company’s foremost interest which is to support and to collaborate with their valued customers from the transportation of the day-old chicks to the farm right through to the end of the production cycle.
Bábolna TETRA believes that all its efforts will guarantee the competitiveness and increased popularity of their hybrids across the globe.