GUT HEALTH: The source of all-round egg quality
Poultry.Network has teamed up with Alltech to offer poultry producers and industry professionals this not-to-be-missed discovery event looking at what can be controlled in layer systems to promote egg quality and extend length of lay.
The live event has now concluded. To request a recording, please complete the below registration form.
18:00–18:05 — Introductions
18:05–18:25 — Gut Health: The Big Picture Broken Down — Dr. Steve Collett
18:25-18:35 — Egg Shell Analysis Demonstration — Adam Platt
18:30–19:15 — Gut Health: Your Questions, Expertly Answered — Panel Discussion
A panel of practical professionals
Attendees will benefit from getting practical answers to some of the industry’s most common tricky questions from leading experts from across the supply chain.
Read the full speaker biographies below.
About the speakers:
Jake Davies, journalist and editor, Poultry Network
Jake Davies is a journalist and editor who specialises in the commercial poultry sector. He graduated from Leeds Beckett University with a degree in journalism and joined the team at Farmers Weekly shortly after. Soon after beginning his career, he began specialising in creating content for the commercial poultry sector and never looked back. In 2016, he became the editor of Poultry World, focused on the global poultry meat and egg sectors. In 2019, he set up the digital publication Poultry Network, which serves readers in the UK with a mix of news, market data and technical features.
Martyn Langford, owner and manager, Rhosddu Farm Limited
Martyn is a free-range egg producer, farming close to Welshpool in mid-Wales. With two older brothers, Martyn did not originally envisage working on the family farm, and initially pursued a successful career in the hospitality sector. After graduating from the University of Bournemouth with a degree in International Hospitality Management, he worked in hotels across the U.K. before setting up and running a wine bar and restaurant in Oswestry. But in 2007, he returned to his family farm, which at the time, was a sheep and ex-dairying holding.
Martyn diversified the business into a free-range system, first putting up a 16,000-bird flat deck system. An additional 16,000-bird multi-tier shed followed in 2010, and then another 24,000-bird unit in 2015. Since building these sheds, Martyn has installed solar panels and a combined heat and power (CHP) system. These renewable energy sources provide all the electric needed on site plus the heat to warm the laying houses alongside the biomass boiler.
While looking after the free-range hens take up most of his time, Martyn still keeps a hand in the chef game, occasionally working with local restaurants. Martyn has also been known to promote eggs to consumers at local farming shows with an omelette stand.
Dr. Stephen Collett, poultry consultant, 4FC Consulting, LLC, and Professor Emeritus of Population Health in the College of Veterinary Medicine at The University of Georgia
After qualifying as a veterinarian, Dr. Stephen Collett spent 10 years in private practice before specialising in poultry, receiving his MMedVet (Poultry) from the University of Pretoria, South Africa and diplomat status with the American College of Poultry Veterinarians. He gained many years of industry experience as head veterinarian for Rainbow Chicken Farms in South Africa and as Director of Alltech Inc. North American Poultry Division, before joining the UGA Poultry Diagnostic and Research Center (PDRC) in 2004. He rose to the rank of clinical professor before retiring in 2017. The PDRC in Athens, Georgia, is part of the poultry industry’s diagnostic network for the State of Georgia, which has a farm gate value of approximately 4.4 billion USD.
As a clinician at the PDRC, he was primarily responsible for teaching clinical medicine to veterinarians specialising in poultry medicine (Masters in Avian Medicine program) and providing support to the entire United States of America poultry industry. He has an interest in managing the health of the digestive tract to maximise bird welfare, nutrient assimilation and performance. He has been invited to provide expert opinion, write and present review papers and problem-solve on the subject in over 30 countries.
Avril Ritchie, senior area manager, Noble Foods
Avril grew up on an Irish dairy farm, where she developed a strong interest in agriculture and animal husbandry. Avril studied at Harper Adams, gaining a BSc in Business Management with Marketing in 2010, completing her placement at the Northern Ireland Food Chain Certification.
Avril joined Noble Foods in 2011 under the management trainee programme, where she developed and implemented a comprehensive new producer audit scheme and was responsible for a quarterly producer publication communicating key aspects of the business (Egg Express). Avril was promoted to Regional Area Manager in 2014, where at which time she advised 41 farms that, accumulated together, equated to a flock of approximately 1 million birds. Avril was promoted again in 2018 to her current role as Senior Area Manager, where she is responsible for the management and development of three Noble Foods company organic farms of approximately 80,000 birds, working closely with farm managers to maximise performance and KPI’s. Avril’s main focus, with the support and engagement of a team of regional/farm managers, is looking at how we can have the very best technical standards.
Adam Platt, regional poultry manager, Alltech
Having spent an eight-year-long career providing specialist advice to the benefit of 2.7 million birds over 150 farms, Adam comes with a wealth of knowledge and experience and a speciality in free-range laying hens. Adam is focussed on helping producers with all aspects of bird husbandry to help maximise production profitability while also helping meet growing welfare and environmental compliance standards. Prior to his career in the poultry industry, Adam spent 6 years working in AgroSciences as part of a team conducting operator exposure trials; testing for chemical residues post-crop spraying. This is where Adam found his passion for agriculture and was keen to continue his path in improving the food supply chain.
Since joining Alltech in August 2020, Adam has found his niche and enjoys contributing his his skills, knowledge experience towards research and development on the poultry gut health in the U.K. In addition to this, Adam is part of the Alltech Europe poultry team, currently using his experience to help support the poultry sector transition from caged systems to barn and free-range systems in Europe. Adam still enjoys the boots on the ground aspect of his role and likes to spend time on-farm offering advice and solutions to the producer on poultry gut health issues.