Published on April 19, 2022
Innovations in R&D: CT Scanning Technology
Progress is about preparing for the future, today. As the primary input into the turkey value chain Hybrid turkeys is leading the way in applying new and innovative technologies to ensure sustainable genetic progress for years to come. CT (computed tomography) technology is one of the many novel technologies they are applying within their breeding program.
CT technology is a diagnostic imaging system that uses X-ray technology to produce multi-dimensional images of the inside of a body. Hybrid Turkeys began using CT technology at their pedigree facility in 2022 to get in-depth information on the various aspects of a turkey’s body such as skin, bones, body composition, airways, and organs.
Delivering economic sustainability
The first stages of application for CT scanning at Hybrid Turkeys surround body composition, such as breast and thigh yield as these are recognized as the driving factors for economic performance in the market. To analyse the yield information of individual birds scanned, Hybrid uses the 3D models created to estimate the total grams of breast meat per kilo of live weight. This information is used to analyze and compare birds and aid in the selection process. The use of CT technology comes as an enhancement, not a replacement to the current data collection efforts in our breeding program thus accelerating progress on these highly desirable yield-based traits.
The possibilities are endless
Although meat yield is a popular trait, we are collecting much more information on attributes like skin, bones, airways and organs. This additional data addresses key performance factors such as livability and overall health and welfare of a turkey. For example, assessing heart size and shape and how it contributes to getting blood flow to the muscles can provide interesting insights to address livability. Or consider bone angulation and density and how this can indicate the ability of a bird to support increased yields. Improvements in livability help not only to improve total flock economics, but also have a positive impact to environmental sustainability in that resources utilized throughout the life of a turkey are not wasted. From the data available through CT scans, several new possibilities exist to improve performance, efficiency and welfare traits. In the end it is about utilizing this technology to create a more sustainable turkey with enhanced economic, social, and environmental gains while still meeting the needs of the market.
Collaboration throughout the value chain with a keen focus on progress is at the core of what Hybrid is doing to contribute to a sustainable industry. CT scanning technology is just the beginning of how Hybrid is applying innovative technology to fuel their genetic engine and deliver continuous improvements to customers around the world.