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Summary about the student and expert exchange on 26–28 June 2013

Student and expert exchange - last year’s programme of great success – continued this June with a new team of participants. On the basis of earlier experiences, this year’s programme was formulated in the way that participants can have the chance to gain new information through presentations by practicing professionals, and also gain personal and first hand experiences by visiting operating farms and plants.

As first programme point, a presentation was made about teaching and research activities at the University of Pannonia. Then the different research works on feedstuffs and nutrition conducted in Keszthely were introduced.

  • Such activities include digestibility examinations taking place on the experimental farm of the Georgikon Faculty of the University of Pannonia. With relation to the research, the theoretical background was also presented, including methods to define the nutrient content and digestibility of different feedstuffs, and factors such as the age or development of animals that can affect digestibility.
  • Nowadays very important topic is the possible usage of different by-products (e.g. DDGS) for animal feeding. The research work on evaluating and using by-products in poultry nutrition, and diet recommendations were shown.
  • The effects of dietary energy level on the performance of broiler chicken were also detailed.
  • A summary was presented on the going on researches concerning nutritional effects on gut health.
  • Research on early nutrition was also a topic of the presentation. The importance of this area lies in the fact that, according to experience, the delayed nutrition of day chicks (after hatching) has a negative impact on the development of the immune defence system in the hindgut as well as on body weight gain.
  • Another topic of the presentation included the effect of mycotoxins (the toxins of mould) on digestibility, which is a current field of research in CEPO project.

Afterwards, participants listened to a most interesting presentation illustrated by numerous examples from practice and plenty of photos on the most important poultry health problems and diseases occurring in Hungary nowadays. Diagnosis, possible treatment and prevention were also detailed.

After the presentations, the group visited the feed test laboratory of the department of animal sciences as well as the experimental farm mentioned earlier, where practical information was provided on the work conducted and equipment used.

On the second day of the programme, the participants visited one of the most important companies of the Hungarian food industry in Gyermely. The laying farm, the egg sorter and packaging centre, and the feed mill of Gyermely Egg Ltd were introduced.

The “Gyermelyi” pasta is market leader in Hungary. The Gyermelyi Food Ltd. is surrounded and served by the company group, which has four main units, such as crop production, milling industry, poultry farming (with feed production) and pasta production.

After the foundation of the pasta factory the most important task of the hen industry was to supply the plant with good quality fresh eggs. The number of hens grew parallel with the development of the factory. Presently there are facilities to rear 550 000 laying hens on three farms, altogether in 8 different size cage technology hen-houses. The eggs are delivered on an egg-forwarding line from the hen-houses to the classifying (egg sorting) and packaging machine, and after candling, grading by weight, due marking and packing, they are forwarded to a selling point or to the pasta factory. The egg branch produces 104 million eggs annually, half of which are taken to the pasta factory, while the rest are sold to downstream users and traders packed according to the customers’ demand.

On the third day of the programme, the group visited the hatchery of Gallus Ltd. in Devecser. At present, Gallus Ltd. has the best equipped and most modern hatchery with the greatest capacity in the Western-Transdanubian region.

The company operates a so-called integrated production system covering a whole range of activities „from field to table”, that is, from producing its own crops to feed its own flocks to making the final meat products ready to cook. In order to be able to supply the system with the necessary amount of feedstuffs, the company keeps contract-based contacts with a network of crop producers (cooperatives as well as private farms) in the area of - among others - Vas, Zala and Győr-Moson-Sopron counties. The slaughterhouse and meat processing plant belonging to the company is in Sárvár.

By the help of the network of professional contacts of the organizing party, graduating students of veterinary medicine and experts taking part in the programme had the opportunity to get access to information and aspects that had been less pronounced in their education or everyday work so far. We would like to express our gratitude to the speakers for their great presentations.