What's New ? - 2022

What's New ? - 2022

The economic consequences of thinning in broiler production

Animals 2022, 12, 1521. 27 June, 2022

Partial depopulation in broiler production consists of the removal and early slaughter of a portion of the flock prior to the final slaughter age. Partial depopulation is used at different ages and different percentages in various countries. In a study, by Belgian researchers, the production of a house performing partial depopulation of 25% of the flock at 35 days of age prior to the final slaughter at 42 days was compared with a production system where partial depopulation was not performed. The differences in production costs, profit, and technical performance parameters were evaluated. The model indicated that stopping partial depopulation reduces the production between 16 to 24%, which results in a 14% reduced profit per kg of live weight, and a 31% reduced profit per production cycle. To compensate for the profit loss, it would be necessary to increase the meat price by 3% from a starting price of 87.44 euro cents. For current conventional broiler production, it may be financially challenging to stop partial depopulation practices. Focusing on external biosecurity to avoid the introduction of Campylobacter into poultry houses may be the right compromise.