News Centre

Performance of ISA layers in the light of the XXII. International performance test of commercial layers at Ústrašice, CZ.


It is almost nine years ago that the ISA company (Institut de Sélection Animale) became part of the leading international selection company, Hendrix Genetics. Recently, we have set out our ambitions to poultry people around the world. Within the next few years we want to supply a layer suitable for a long production cycle of 100 weeks of age, without moult, and capable of producing 500 1st quality eggs per hen housed. 

The length of the production cycle for commercial layers depends heavily on the management practices of the egg producer. The length of the cycle is also linked to the prevailing situation of the egg market. Egg producers are continually facing new circumstances that influence the economic effectivness of their production. Taking into account the whole package of risks, requirements and traps linked to this activity, it is literally walking on eggs! 

The combination of a huge pure line genepool, with the best selection methods, prolonged cycles of selection, use of genomic information and a steady increase of their breeding value estimations are bringing us closer to our goals.

One of the factors influencing the observed extension of the production cycles over Europe in the recent years is the improved laying persistency and egg quality of the flocks towards the end of production. The results of our internal tests as well as those provided by the independent institutions, like the 38 NCLPMT (2012), the Gunma test in Japan (2013) but also just recently finished XXII International performance test of commercial layers at MTD Ústrašice (2014) demonstrate that this is not just by chance. 

The XXII International performance test of commercial layers at Ústrašice lasted from the 127th till 518th day of life – that is from 19 to 74 weeks of age of the birds. Two breeds with the lowest egg production - the only white egg breed and one brown egg breed are not included in the following comparison. The group of competitors is represented by Lohmann Brown Classic, Novogen Brown Lite, Lohmann Tradition, H&N Brown Nick, Novogen Brown Classic, Hy-Line Brown, and Tetra SL. Reading the final report we can see that only the layers of ISA, in this case it was the ISA Brown, the Bovans Brown and the Hisex Brown, achieved the average total HD production intensity above 90% through all the periods. The difference in the average of the production rate of ISA and Competitors` birds during the test is seen on the Graph 1. The excellent persistency of production of our breeds is evident from an increase of this trait with the age of hens. (Graph 1).

Graph 1


Our breeds produced on average 9,2 total eggs more per HH compared to the average of the HH production of competitors. In the 1st class eggs production per HH our three breeds achieved in average 7,2 more than was the average of the 1st class eggs per HH production of our competitors (Graph 2).

Graph 2


The ISA layers also reached an excellent result in comparison of the Feed Conversion Ratio per egg, or 1st class egg produced. They produced every egg with 3.2 or 3.3 grams of feed less respectively, compared to the average of our competitors (Graph 3). With the feed price of 0,22 Euro/kg it is more than 0,07 cents saved per egg produced, in feed costs. Those who produce hundreds of thousands or hundreds of millions of eggs can easily calculate the possible amounts of money saved when working with ISA layers. If the feed price is higher, the difference could be even higher.

Graph 3


Reading the report further we can see that the eggs of ISA breeds produced on average 0,48% more eggs of categories M+L than the average produced by our competitors. We can also see that our breeds  produced less (ISA Brown, Bovans Brown) or similar numbers (Hisex Brown)  of eggs of cagegory S (Graph 4). 

Graph 4


The final report also evaluates the eggs according to the eggshell colour with the scale between 1 and 5 (1 is for white, 5 for a dark brown colour). Our breeds achieved the average of 4,26 points, our competitors 4,24 points.

The results of the XXII International performance test of commercial layers at Ústrašice prove to us at ISA, that the way we select is the right one. It demonatrates to all the table egg producers around the globe who are working with our breeds that they have chosen birds that stand their ground successfully in face to face competition. To those who do not use them yet, it shows where to find such birds. And last but not least it attests to the customers of our daughter company Integra, a.s. from Žabčice in Czech Republic (where the hatching eggs for the presented Ústrašice test came from) that they are hatching day old layer pullets of an excellent genetic background and a supreme biological quality.