From selection to hatching: selecting the best stock to meet consumer demand for meat.
Grimaud Frères runs several selection programmes, which are specific and tailored to suit each product and which correspond to the expectations of each sector. The genetic improvement needs of each stage of the chains are factored into the main selection policies.
In breeding animals :
- Laying, fertility and hatchability
- Egg weight
- Egg quality
- Semen quantity and quality
In finished products :
- Live weight
- Consumption ratio
- Fillet yield / conformation
- Mule duck liver weight and quality
The selection programmes are overseen and implemented by our geneticists, engineers and technicians specialising in animal selection, with the support of the SYSAAF (the French Poultry and Fish Breeders’ Union) and Groupe Grimaud’s scientific department.
Our products, resulting from various crosses between our constantly improving pure lines, are tested on our experimental sites and validated in the field before being marketed. All selection work is carried out under the strictest sanitary and hygiene conditions and with full respect for the health and welfare of the animals.
Our R&D, dedicated to selection, has to be ever more innovative in order to optimise genetic progress while minimising the inbreeding of pure lines. To do this, we develop state-of-the-art measuring techniques using the Genetech by Grimaud concept.
Medical imaging measurements using our CT scan give us unparalleled accuracy in estimating the meat yields of our elite animals, and provide us with additional information on the body composition of each subject.
Developed by our teams of engineers and technicians, techniques for recording individual consumption using RFID technology have revolutionised selection on the consumption index. These make it possible to measure feed efficiency in collective conditions close to real-world field conditions, while obtaining all the information relating to the feeding behaviour of each specimen (number of visits to the feeder, ingestion rate, feeding schedules, etc.).
The teams are also working on many other R&D projects for the selection of tomorrow, such as the implementation of genomic selection in ducks.
Finally, we have a specific platform for data management and analysis, in order to make the most of the vast amount of information generated by all these innovative measurement techniques.
PRODUCTION OF BREEDING ANIMALS AND FUTURE BREEDING ANIMALS
Grimaud Frères’ production is driven by a network of breeding sites spread across the Pays de Loire, Centre and Nouvelle Aquitaine regions. These tools may be the property of Grimaud Frères or owned by poultry farming partners who raise future breeding waterfowl or high genetic value breeding stock.
In order to optimise and guarantee the safety of production, animals and eggs from farms are regularly checked on quality and health criteria throughout the production process.
Grimaud Frères’ zootechnical expertise, upheld by passionate breeders and technicians, enables it to be at the forefront of research into techniques that are both simple and innovative. It also, of course, enables Grimaud Frères to remain competitive while respecting people, animals and the environment. Improving working conditions, raising awareness of the need to respect animals and reducing the use of chemical molecules are the priority focus areas. The sustainability of our very own production system is at stake.
At Grimaud Frères, the incubation story began in 1966 with the first Muscovy duck eggs. It was in 1970 that the first pedigree hatching took place, initiating the first genealogical selection work. It is thanks to this experience that the company today occupies a leading position in its multi-species business sector.
Today, the species being hatched are: Muscovy, Mule, Pekin and goose. Grimaud Frères represents a substantial incubation capacity of nearly 6,000,000 eggs over 3 sites:
- Several hatcheries in La Corbière – Roussay – Sèvremoine (Maine-et-Loire department) with a total capacity of approximately 3,800,000 eggs,
- A hatchery in Meslay-du-Maine (Mayenne department) with 1,200,000 eggs,
- A parental hatchery in les Epesses (Vendée department) with 700,000 eggs.
Grimaud Frères also has:
- Three companies in China, ”Grimaud Chengdu”, “Grimaud Putian” and “Grimaud Shaanxi”, producing Muscovy, Mule and Pekin ducks,
- A company in Vietnam, “Grimaud Vietnam”, which also has several hatcheries for local production of Pekin ducklings.
Incubation serves primarily to reproduce what female ducks do in the wild. We incubate all year round and must be alert to the effects of the seasons. The primary objective is to transform an egg into a quality duckling to best serve our customers. This transformation time varies according to the species and ranges from 28 days to 35 days of incubation.
Product traceability is systematically ensured using ergonomic in-house software. This traceability covers the whole process, from the egg in the laying house to the delivery of the duckling. Monitoring is constant throughout our processes so as to maintain temperature and humidity conditions in our incubators and hatchers for the hatching of our chicks.