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farmers depend on specialist sections within the broiler industry and before the
he can start to produce chicken for the table, he has to have healthy stock.
Dedicated breeding companies are responsible for growing the parent flocks.
It is no secret in the poultry world, that a some years ago the health status
of a few flocks, left something to be desired. The bird was being bred to
convert it's food into meat as quickly as possible and the consequences of this
was, that some of very heavy birds were unable to support their weight properly
and walked awkwardly.
Happily thanks to an observant chappie watching his suitcases being x-rayed
at the airport, he adopted the principle to view a chickens bone structure.
Today's elite breeder stock have their legs x-rayed, so any weakness is not
carried forward to potential parents.
This procedure is also carried out in other forms of animal husbandry,
especially in breeds of pet dogs that are known to have hip problems.
An elite pedigree male bird, will be responsible for 28,800,000 baby chicks
or put another way 39,744 tonnes of chicken meat over a five year period.
That is why it is very important for the breeding companies to select the
parent stock very carefully.
And this is where the story really begins.
Once the elite parent stock have been selected, their off spring form the
Great Grandparent stock, who in turn form the Grandparent stock to the Parent
stock. It is the Parent stock that lays the eggs for the Hatchery and their off
spring are known as broiler chicks.
Whatever the British bird has eaten or been
administered, then it will have been recorded and those supplies monitored and