A new broiler production system, the X-treck system, allows for eggs to be hatched inside the stable. The aim of this study was to compare the sustainability performance of the X-treck system with the conventional system. Sustainability indicators were selected based on the available data and extra information from literature.
A new broiler production system, the X-treck system, allows for eggs to be hatched inside the stable instead of at the hatchery with immediate access to feed and water after hatching.. This would imply a lower chance for suffering dehydration and hunger and therefore improve post hatch performance which might be beneficial for sustainability performance. The aim of this study was to compare the X-treck system with the conventional system. The research was conducted on a database from Vencomatic. Farms in this database had one X-treck stable and one conventional stable. Sustainability indicators were selected based on the available data and extra information from literature. The economic indicators were net costs (euros/broiler), net revenues (euros/broiler), net profit (euros/broiler) and percentage hatched. The environmental impact indicators were global warming potential (g CO2 equivalents/kg broiler meat(, acidification potential (kg NH3/kg broiler meat) and land use (m2/kg broiler meat). The only societal issue of concern assessed was animal welfare with the indicators litter quality (score 0-4), plumage cleanliness (score 0-3), foot pad dermatitis (score 0-4), hock burn (score 0-4), gait score (score 0-5) and mortality (percentage culled broilers).
Without taking the first three days into consideration, the X-treck system was found to have a lower net cost than a conventional system, but this did not translate into a difference in profit. No differences between conventional and X-treck were found for the environmental indicators. The X-treck system was found to be slightly better than the conventional system for the animal welfare indicators plumage cleanliness and footpad dermatitis on day 35.
The economic and environmental indicators could have been more precise if the right data was collected from the start, but this data was not collected as the focus had not been originally to do a full system analysis, but only concentrated on basic production and animal welfare. This is also why there is no economic or environmental data collected about the three days before hatching. As such further investigation should be considered towards the economic and environmental impact of the three days before hatching and the cost and profit based solely on collected data.
Student: CJM Mijdam
Supervisor: dr ir E Bokkers