Improving the health of the parent stock

Partenaire(s) : Grimaud Frères
Filière(s) : Canard

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Vaccination and control of the environment, feed and drinking water of the parent stock allows Grimaud Frères to continuous improve the health and thus the productivity of commercial ducklings sold around the world.

Parental health directly influences the health quality and therefore the productivity of commercial ducklings. This can be explained partly by the vertical transmission of maternal antibodies to ducklings, but also by the quality of the components of the egg (shell, yolk) that depend on many environmental factors, such as the choice of feed components and drinking water quality.

Grimaud Frères harnesses its vast experience of vaccination. Vaccination is a major issue in the preventive medicine of parent stock because it prevents many pathologies developing and thus maximises the quality of their offspring, while reducing the use of curative products. In order to optimise its effectiveness, Grimaud Frères raises parent stock in the most appropriate conditions. As for commercial ducklings, treatment of the beak and claws at one day old optimises vaccination of the parent stock (see explanation in insert). To ensure the best vaccine intake and maximise maternal antibody levels, vaccines are not administered during stress periods such as transfers to breeding buildings and/or changes of feed. Vaccines are always administered at least 8 days after the animals are transferred to a new building.

The prophylaxis plans of parent stock batches include regular vaccination boosters against Muscovy duck parvovirus, a leading duck-meat farm disease. In addition, the batches are regularly tested throughout the laying period to confirm that sufficient immunity against the disease is maintained and that maternal antibodies are transferred to the ducklings that will hatch.

For batches of Pekin or Mule breeding ducks, a specific vaccination plan for viral hepatitis and Derzsy disease is produced and the geese batches are vaccinated against HNEG. At the same time, we provide preventive prophylaxis which is tailored to our livestock and production areas, mainly through the use of autovaccines. This allows us to fight regional and recurrent diseases (colibacillosis, erysipelas, pasteurellosis, etc.) on certain farms more effectively and thus to meet our antibiotic use reduction goals and provide our animals with improved living conditions.

Continuously improving the quality of the environment of parent stock.

All the components of the environmental quality of the animals are monitored, in particular effluent management (slurry, litter and air quality). To ensure this, Grimaud Frères first seeks to reduce the amount of slurry produced (viewed as a reservoir of bacteria and viruses) and takes great care to ensure comfortable living conditions for the animals (control of ventilation and litter quality for example).

Thus, Grimaud Frères uses probiotics and/or prebiotics, as well as digestive flora orientors such as vegetable essential oils and bacterial flora (Filavie*)

Food and water, the mainstays of parent stock health.

Good nutrition of parent stock ensures better animal health (skeleton and tissue formation) and therefore better immunity. Good diet of the female ducks also means better formation of the egg and embryo and so better immunity and viability of the ducklings.

A duck drinks 3 times more than it eats, so drinking water (whose bacteriological and chemical quality is in line with human standards) is necessary to guarantee the digestive comfort of the ducks and avoid disease.

These efforts to control the living conditions of the parent stock and preventive prophylaxis partly explain that 92%** of customers are satisfiedwith the health quality of one-day old animals delivered by Grimaud Frères.

Did you know?

Dietary deficiencies of parent stock (calcium) may result in thinner shells permeable to bacteria and a weakening of the duckling from birth.

* Filavie, a Groupe Grimaud Company

** Survey conducted from January to September 2020 on 200 Muscovy and Mule duck producers.

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