György Schvéger has been dealing with broiler rearing in his broiler farm adjacent to Pénzesgyőr since 1986. Before moving to that site, he worked in the poultry industry in the region of Bakonybél, and prior to that he had been employed in the timber industry.
Currently he is rearing broilers in a two-storey building located on the outskirts of the village of Pénzesgyőr. On arrival, the birds are received on the upper level of the building, and then at about 10 days of age half of the flock is transferred to the lower level via a self-made chute. This solution ensures that the birds are exposed to only a minimal level of stress, thus avoiding any decline of performance. The rearing spaces are fitted with pan feeders and nipple drinkers, and fresh air is provided through cross-flow ventilation and tunnel ventilation. The bedding material is usually wood shavings. The farm does not have water-filled cooling pads yet; currently the birds are cooled with a humidification system under hot weather conditions.
György Schvéger had been a customer of our company already in the times of Bábolna Co. Ltd., and was satisfied with the quality and performance of the feed already at that time. Then he had been purchasing feed from other feed suppliers as well. As the biggest cost item of broiler production is the cost of feed, he always chose feeds that offered the highest value for money. At that time he took a 3rd place in the National Broiler Fattening Competition with his results that could be considered outstanding already then. In that competition, the results of broiler operations with more than 20 thousand birds were compared on national level, and the best farms were awarded prizes at the end of the year.
György Schvéger has delivered broilers to several slaughterhouses over the years. As a point of interest, he mentioned that at the start of his broiler producer’s career the expected slaughter weight was only 1.85–2.00 kg. He made a contract with his current slaughterhouse, Avium 2000 Ltd., in 2008, and they have conducted business together continuously ever since. For more than 20 years, he has been buying the day-old chicks from Hegyhát Broiler Ltd. He has successfully adapted both this technology and his way of thinking to counter-sex cockerels. This is perhaps best reflected in the fact that he achieved the best results in the year 2016 when the average body weight of broilers delivered to the slaughterhouse was 3.33 kg per bird after 44 days of rearing. Even at such a high body weight the feed conversion ratio remained 1.6 kg/kg. György Schvéger tried out other hatcheries for a few batches but was not satisfied with the birds’ performance, and therefore he returned to using his original supplier of day-old chicks.
He usually delivers six batches of broiler chickens per year. He does not use flock thinning; rather, the entire farm is cleared out when the birds are 39–40 days old. The entire flock is removed at once or in maximum two parts, to avoid stressing the birds too many times. Initially he placed as many as 40 thousand chicks on the 2,000-m2 rearing area. The performance figures were good even then, but the culling rates were too high in his opinion. For this reason, he gradually decreased the stocking density over the years, eventually reaching the currently used placement rate of 23 to 25 thousand chicks around 2012. Applying this lower than usual stocking density he provides much more living space for the birds, and thus litter quality remains excellent throughout the whole cycle. The number of chickens with foot pad lesions or breast blisters is negligible. Because of this lower stocking density, weekly weighings are usually performed additionally to the technology, enabling him to deliver the birds one week sooner than the average. This has resulted in a reduction of the annual expenses, and enabled the farmer to keep a sufficient downtime between batches.
According to György, in addition to the high-quality day-old chicks and the good feed the conscientious care provided by the farmer is also crucial for high-level production. This concept has been proven right by the outstanding success achieved by him with our PLATINUM feed in the recent batches. In the past months the mortality rates throughout the rearing period only slightly exceeded, or remained below, 1%. György could deliver birds with adequate average weights at a very favourable feed conversion ratio below 1.5 kg/kg. The success of rearing is best reflected by the outstanding broiler indices (EPEF). The EPEF values calculated after delivery tend to exceed 450, and his last batch, delivered in September 2018 achieved a broiler index of 498.
As regards György’s plans for the future, the installation of water-filled cooling pads is among the priorities, as the past few years’ experience shows that farmers should focus on protecting the birds from the impact of extremely hot weather. While earlier the cold winters were the main problems, nowadays the hot summer period poses a challenge for the producers. This is why many broiler producers tend to suspend their production in July and August because of the extreme heat.
We congratulate our partner on these soaring results and wish him similarly outstanding success stories in the future.
Chief Poultry Consultant