In 2017 WATT Global Media celebrates 100 years serving professionals working in global poultry production and processing. To commemorate this significant milestone, WATT Global Media’s editors are creating a series of original forward-looking industry-focused articles that will publish throughout 2017 in WATT Poultry USA, Poultry International, Egg Industry and Industria Avicola. These are planned as in-depth articles focused on exploring developments in key industry sectors that are making an impact on the future of the worldwide poultry industry. Additionally, in January 2018 the WATT 100-Year Anniversary Compendium issue will be published and linked here on this website as a special digital edition. This unique issue will be a keepsake collectible of all “WATT 100: Future of the Poultry Industry” articles.

Thank you to our “Future of the Poultry Industry” article series sponsors including ADM, Aviagen, Cobb, Diamond V and Elanco, we appreciate and value your support!

Future of poultry welfare: What producers should expect

Attitudes to poultry welfare still vary greatly from market to market, but ever-more alignment can be expected as interest in animal welfare grows.

Poultry producers can expect welfare pressures to continue growing, probably at a greater pace than they have seen to date, necessitating ongoing changes to broiler and layer management.

Welfare is a focus now not only of governments and interest groups but, increasingly, of multinational companies, and the latter will have ever-greater influence on the future of poultry welfare. Developed-world producers are already confronting a number of challenges that may eventually spread throughout developing markets, with commitments to phase out layer cages, perhaps the most high profile.

For egg producers, this will not simply be new investment, but thoroughly reviewing flock management, and where welfare is concerned, views are mixed on benefits for birds.

Interest in slower-growing birds is a similar example of how welfare attitudes vary greatly between groups, as speed of growth alone is not universally seen as among the best welfare indicators. Nevertheless, welfare-motivated consumer demand in this area continues rising and the industry must respond.

The drivers of welfare are changing. Large corporations are taking a growing role not only in response to consumers, but picking up public sector responsibilities in countries favoring smaller government.

Where one major company leads, others follow. McDonald’s 2015 announcement that all its eggs in the US and Canada would come from cage-free birds was followed by others committing to do the same. This ripple effect continues.

Retailers will also put more demands on producers. It is Europe’s retailers – not legislators – that are bringing an end to enriched cages.

Companies increasingly deem welfare a “key business issue,” says Compassion in World Farming (CIWF). More are signing up to its Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare (BBFAW) –  established wtih World Animal Protection and Coller Capital –  designed to drive higher welfare in food business.  The latest BBFAW includes 99 companies.

It will not only be the poultry industry’s clients that drive welfare, but its suppliers too. As the industry becomes increasingly standardized, genetics companies will have little interest in supplying birds that perform poorly in changed production system.

In this issue, you will also learn about:

Read the full article.

This is the fifth article in WATT Global Media’s 100-year anniversary series, which considers bird welfare. The next article in the series will explore industry structure.

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Gut health additives: four possible future scenarios

What does the future hold for the business of gut health additives over the next decade?

Exclusive Feed Management preview:

What will the future hold for the gut health additives business in the years to come? The global feed additives business is growing at record speed, and it is estimated to exceed USD$20 billion within a few years. Gut health additives certainly make an increasing proportion of this market as other products, such as amino acids and flavors, appear to have reached maturity.

Read the entire article about the future of the gut health additives business in the March/April issue of Feed Management.

If we were to consider the business of gut health additives for the next decade, we would have to ponder over all possibilities, even the most extreme. It is logical to assume that each scenario has its own proponents, especially when jobs and businesses are affected by the success or failure of all other possible scenarios. This remains a fluid market where all outcomes are possible.

In this article, you will explore these four possible senarios:

  1. Nothing will change
  2. A super additive will emerge
  3. Microbes will produce their own additives
  4. New drugs will emerge

In this issue, you will also learn about:

4 feed formulation software trends shaping animal nutrition
Feed phytogenic market growth shaped by global views

Read the full article.

This is the fourth article in WATT Global Media’s 100-year anniversary series, which considers four possible future scenarios for gut health additives. The next article in the series will explore bird welfare.

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The future of poultry health: New and old challenges

Experts predict the major poultry health challenges over the next few decades will be caused by endemic avian influenza and Newcastle viruses, cage-free egg production, and antibiotic-free growing programs.

In the future, endemic viruses such as avian influenza and Newcastle, and the impact of new trends in poultry and egg production will be the focal points of avian health.

Respiratory and enteric diseases will continue to shape the poultry industry; avian flu has evolved to become the No. 1 concern among the catastrophic infectious diseases in poultry.

While the poultry industry has grown in Asia and Africa, those regions do not address disease like the U.S. and Europe do. By not eradicating the avian flu virus, it continues to spread and mutates, so it becomes a problem around the world.

Another concern is Newcastle disease (ND). There are ways to control ND, including vaccines, biosecurity measures, and mobilization controls of products and byproducts.

There is increasing consumer pressure to produce chicken and eggs raised without antibiotics (also referred to as antibiotic-free or ABF) in mature markets. In fact, many restaurant, hotel and supermarket chains have stated that they will only buy chicken and turkey from farms that have never been treated with antibiotics.

Ionophores, a major group of coccidiostats used to control coccidiosis and necrotic enteritis, are antibiotics. This creates a major challenge in ABF production.

The other major problem in ABF production is respiratory diseases that turn more complicated with colibacillosis. It is expected that more airsacculitis problems will arise.

The conversion to cage-free egg production has brought back some disease issues not seen in decades. Access to the outdoors can cause other health issues.

You will also learn about:


This is the third article in WATT Global Media’s 100-year anniversary series, which considers the future of poultry health. The next article in the series will explore four possible future scenarios for gut health additives.

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Seed biotechnology: The impact on animal production

Over the course of two decades, genetically modified (GM) crops have offered many benefits to farmers, consumers and the environment, including the use of fewer pesticides, larger yields and lower food and animal feed costs.

Read the entire article to learn more about the key areas of seed biotech research

The world is facing very real challenges that may prompt further exploration into the potential of seed biotechnology. By 2050, food production will have to increase by 70 percent to feed a global population of 9.7 billion. To do so will require intensification in crop and animal protein production.

For those working in animal agriculture and its allied industries, the availability, quality and price of feedstuffs is an evergreen concern. Looking to the future, the following innovations will play a large part in securing a sustainable and abundant cereal supply. However, in the short term, GM seed technology must overcome a series of significant obstacles.

You’ll learn more about:

Four areas of seed biotechnology innovation that will directly affect the producer’s margins and improve animal health:

  1. SUPPLY: Higher yields
  2. PROXIMITY: Climate adaptability
  3. SAFETY: Mycotoxin resistance
  4. NUTRITION: Nutrient manipulation

Threats to progress:

  1. Cost of regulation
  2. Consumer’s perception
  3. Labeling laws

Despite long-term challenges, food industries likely will prevail in shifting the public dialogue out of sheer necessity. Read the full article to find out more.

Also in this issue:

This is the second article in WATT Global Media’s 100-year anniversary series.

The full article can be read in February issues of Poultry International, WATTPoultryUSA, and Egg Industry.

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Future of poultry breeding, balanced genetic selection

Economically important traits will improve as balanced selection efforts result in broilers and layers that perform well and have high welfare under a variety of management and nutritional regimens.

In the developed world the broiler and layer industries have birds with high performance measures for livability, growth rate, feed conversion, yield and other factors. However, activist groups and consumers have a heightened interest in animal welfare and transparency, so poultry producers are being challenged to manage their flocks with that in mind.

Fortunately, poultry breeding companies recognized these consumer and activist trends years ago and began adapting their selection programs to produce genetic stock that is adaptable to multiple housing situations and has improved performance on bird welfare measures.

The movement out of cages for laying hens started in Europe, but is rapidly spreading to North America. Lying hen strains have proven adaptable to cage-free environments because breeders started adding

This article examines other factors in laying hens, such as feather coverage on laying hens and beak shape, and looks at genetic solutions being developed in the broiler industry to produce the bird of tomorrow.

This is the first article in WATT Global Media’s 100-year anniversary series, which looks at key drivers that will shape the future of the worldwide poultry industry.

The full article can be read in January issues of Poultry International, WATTPoultryUSA, and Egg Industry.

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